Chemergy was incorporated in Miami in 2011 to commercialize two uniquely synergistic technologies to produce low-cost renewable hydrogen from burdensome and regulated sulfurous- and organic- feedstock. Chemergys HyBrTec technology will convert organic matter to hydrogen, heat, and fertilizer... and creates an economic incentive to utilize waste and keep it out of our water. Chemergy's five-year goal is a UL approved household appliance for processing residential kitchen, toilet, postal, and yard waste into renewable hydrogen and heat. Our twelve-month goal is to demonstrate for oil & gas companies a prototype system for processing hydrogen sulfide; for wet-biowaste processing, the eighteen-month goal is a prototype system for processing one-ton per day.
TypeStartup or self-employed
FoundersRobin and Melahn Parker
HeadquartersMiami, FL 33129, USA
An Introduction to Chemergy’s Biowaste-to-Hydrogen Technology and Piloting with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Biowaste including sewage, manure, wood & agricultural residuals, paper, plastics and municipal solid waste are an economic and environmental burden; however, all contain a remnant of stored solar energy that Chemergy’s patented HyBrTec processing recovers as low-cost ($2/kg) renewable hydrogen, carbon dioxide and heat.
HyBrTec exploits two well-established processes for recovering hydrogen from wet-biowaste: First, the biowaste is ‘burned’ in a glass-line reactor with bromine to produce intermediate hydrogen carrier hydrogen bromide along with carbon dioxide and heat. (Burning with bromine as the oxidizer is similar to burning with oxygen, except HBr is co-produced instead of H2O). The hydrogen bromide reacts with unreacted water to produce hydrobromic acid (HBraq), which is then electrolyzed to recover bromine for recycling and hydrogen. The electrolysis of hydrobromic acid exploits the same electrolysis systems found in chlor-alkali plants for producing chlorine.
Weakly-bonded HBr electrolysis requires less than half the energy required for water electrolysis affording a roundtrip efficiency greater that 100% when the hydrogen is reacted with more energetic oxygen (air). Also, the electrochemistry is reversible (2HBr ↔ H2 + Br2) co-providing an efficient energy storage capability by converting electricity into storable chemical energy that is later converted back into electricity. This capability benefits micro-grid development.
Florida has over 300 wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) that annually landfill over 65,500 dry-tons of sewage biosolids, whose run-off promotes algae growth that contaminates Florida's waters impacting tourism, fishing and seafood industries.
HyBrTec will produce 100 kg of hydrogen from a dry-ton of sewage biosolids. Thus, the 65,500 tons of landfilled biosolids that are contaminating Florida’s waters, can be processed into over 6.5 million kilos of renewable hydrogen fuel. One kilo of hydrogen has the energy (Btu) equivalent of 1 gallon of gasoline (gge).
Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (MDWASD) produces over 100 dry-tons of sewage biosolids daily, which is landfilled. Last January the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) approved $2 million to Chemergy to provide a pilot program at MDWASD’s Virginia Key plant to process sewage biosolids. The program is scheduled to begin in October.
In addition, to address the widespread toxic algae blooms, the Florida 2020 Clean Waterways Act has legislated provisions to minimize pollution including: The FDEP will ensure funds are available for disposal infrastructure improvements to end contamination, and to prevent discharges because of power outages at sewage treatment facilities.
Chemergy’s HyBrTec can eliminate pollution by processing biosolids into hydrogen and can co-provide an energy storage capability that will mediate power disruptions. The new legislation provides an opportunity for Chemergy to profitably solve a major environmental problem. Projections indicate that annually processing 65,500 dry-tons of biosolids from 300 WWTP will require 16 HyBrTec systems providing a $20 million EBITDA and a 29% IRR by 2025.
The information set out above, is solely for the purposes of information and the Solar Impulse Foundation does not provide any guarantee as to its authenticity, completeness or accuracy. To validate the Membership to the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions, the Solar Impulse Foundation only verifies that each entity is registered and has signed our principles and values stated in the following World Alliance for Efficient Solutions charter. For those Members who are also solution providers, this information does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation to buy into, transact or to enter into any agreement with any of the parties or persons mentioned above. Potential investors or interested parties are solely responsible for their investment or business decisions and for performing any due diligence required by the circumstances.