Sustainable Security: Stevens Is Helping Design Cleaner, Greener Military Facilities
Supported by the Department of Defense (DoD), Stevens is taking the lead in the greening and “net-zeroing” of America's munitions-production facilities, developing technologies to purify water, remove toxic substances and produce fuel. The $8 million (to date) project involves multiple departments, faculty and initiatives, and is led by Christos Christodoulatos, director of the university's Center for Environmental Systems. One team has developed a process of treating wastewater containing the synthetic explosive DNAN with ultraviolet light and hydrogen peroxide. That process, the team found, degrades DNAN into harmless substances such as nitrate, carbon dioxide and water.
Stevens researchers are also designing a process to produce biomass energy from wastewater streams. Bright green microalgae samples are grown in special bioreactor tubs that gently agitate the colonies, stirring them with pinwheel-like paddles. The water is then collected, whirled in a centrifuge and mixed with solvents. Result: a power-packed algal oil that could one day power entire bases or plants.