Technology Spotlight

What is your technology? 
ElectroCell Technologies provides a patented BioElectric cell lysis system that uses discrete amounts of shaped electrical pulses to disrupt the ionic bonds that hold organic cell walls together, allowing carbon and other usable material to escape osmotically.

What are the benefits to implementing your technology?
We are a catalyst that can enhance other existing processes. Key applications of the technology optimize methane gas output from anaerobic digesters, speed up aerobic digestion and drop pathogens to undetectable levels, improve separation of solids/liquids, reduce BOD in wash water from food production, and sequester excess nutrients in livestock waste in the bottom solids of manure and other liqueous storage lagoons, among many others. Where there is sufficient conductivity in organic liquids with solids fractions below 12%, we can make a difference.

Has the technology been tested, demonstrated, or implemented to date?
We have been operating a number of portable systems in the agriculture space for several years, including being certified by Pennsylvania DEP as a manure management tool that creates significant reductions in phosphorus and nitrogen in land-applied manures. These reductions are then monetized in the form of nutrient credits. We are the first technology that has ever generated or sold these types of credits. In 2012, we received the Pennsylvania Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence, having been nominated by the PA DEP. Our relatively simple systems are hardened and are UL certified to operate from +120 to -40° F and have operated for many years with minor maintenance and without any significant service issues. 

What are the next steps needed to advance your technology?
Our newest application involves helping achieve the WEF stated goal of net zero energy usage by optimizing gas output in anaerobic digestion by 15-50% for municipal WRRF's and the rapidly growing private digestion sector. This is accomplished by either pretreatment of digester feedstock or direct treatment of digestate in the digester, which opens up organic cells to increase the carbon and other food resources to expand the population of methane-producing bacteria. Another positive result of this enhanced digestion process is the potential for more stabilized digestate residuals that can be easier to separate and can help achieve reductions of biosolids. We have several installations planned for this spring for direct digestate treatments and look forward to sharing the data with WERF members as the results become available. 

How has LIFT helped, or how can LIFT help?
The most difficult part of the process of bringing a technology to market is third party evaluation. WERF's LIFT program has really helped towards this end as we go into the field and present our BioElectric system to operators, engineers, and private plant owners. Since our technology was reviewed through the Technology Scan process and information about it was included on the LIFT website and database, I can think of at least two occasions where plant operators had already been to the LIFT site and felt far more confident about bringing our technology into their plant for consideration than before. It is a huge tool for both a technology developer like us and for WERF subscribers as well. 

For more information, contact Buzz Hoerr, ElectroCell CEO, at