Water Oil Sun Methane: Interview with Inventor John Nistler, Founder and CEO of PSIDA by Willi Paul
Water Oil Sun Methane: Interview with Inventor John Nistler, Founder and CEO of PSIDA by Willi Paul

I found Mr. Nistler in the hallways of LinkedIn.com recently and wanted to follow-up on some of his insights. John credits include15 patents, 7 patent pending and over 40 conference presentations on a wide range of subjects concerning semiconductor processing and design, asynchronous electronic design, enhanced optical techniques such as photonic band gap enhanced optics and solar tracking with non-focusing optics to maximize intensity delivered to solar panels. He developed the only dirty water electrolysis unit available world wide to address energy and environmental needs facing various areas around the world.

Who owns water John?

Dirty water is commonly available. We could all go out, filter and boil our own water. The problem is it costs money to properly take care of contaminated water. In many countries, counties and cities the issue is that it is money spent, not earned. If you do not have much income, then you end up with open sewers, outhouses over lakes, etc.

Turn the corner and make contaminated water profitable - then get out of the way. Investors would come pouring in, and many of the issues of insufficient potable water will disappear. Contaminated water would be of value. Hydrogen from the contaminated waters would be combined with air in fuel cell units. Oxygen generated during the electrolysis would be available for medical and industrial purposes.

Rains would occur in the deserts, our seas would not be polluted with too high of a salt content, green house gas production by humans would be reduced, and even raw sewage would start to have value for investors.

India and China have been involved heavily in Methane digesters for years. The costs of these units is low, some designs can actually be built by hand. Since the farmers or peasants can utilize the methane for cooking, boiling or hot water, it is "profitable" for people to build these digesters. The effluent coming from these units is then used as a fertilizer that is not organically dangerous.

On average, a typical American uses 58 gallons of water a day. What are some of the possibilities for conservation in your view?

Willi, everyone knows the basics. Less flushing of the toilet, fix drips, less time in the shower, reuse your bath water. There is not a lot I can add to the suggestions that are out there.

If we started utilizing waste water for fuel purposes, many of our issues about potable water will go away. Please elaborate on this?

Water wells in Caldwell County and other counties throughout Texas, the United States and around the world are contaminated by oil field brine water, industrial waste water, sewage and other chemicals. By contributing a profit related to contaminated water, what is presently a cost to dispose is worthwhile to use instead to produce fuels, oxygen and other products. This encourages investment in dirty water facilities, removing this contaminant source from clean water wells.

In addition, the use of hydrogen in a fuel cell, either for transportation or power level loading has byproducts of heat and clean water. Capture of this clean water allows one to take contaminated water and produce clean water while obtaining energy (electricity or fuels) at the same time.

Since Methane is the primary constituent of biogas, removal of the hydrogen for fuel or use of the Methane itself entices construction of methane digestion systems, aka, investors. Algae grows well in sewage water, and could be used for biodiesel or ethanol generation.

Why isn't grey water tech the next big thing in America?

In my opinion, I see no reason why it should not be. Unfortunately, it appears that congress and the President do not seem to understand that a hydrogen infrastructure addresses a lot of different issues they are facing:

1) It can address sources that contaminate our waters.

2) It would provide significant employment, especially since Hydrogen production does not require "power on demand", Solar, Wind and other AE's are applicable for energy sources.

3) It makes it profitable to increase production of older, non-profitable oil fields here in the United States,

4) It encourages production of high technology components here in the USA.

How does the grey water system underneath the drive way work? What are the costs and environmental impacts to install and maintain?

The system I am familiar with uses limestone. Limestone stores a significant amount of water and can actually be used as the base for the driveway. The costs were associated with excavation, the cost of the collection system (gutters & pipe) and the cost of the rock (hauling plus materials). Maintenance is related to keeping the gutters clean, sometimes having to fix a broken pipe or pump.

In a current CleanTech Group discussion in LinkedIn.com called: "Is water really the next oil?", you stated "In my opinion the investment is in dirty or contaminated water and conversion into fuel, oxygen, electricity and other products. Then clean drinking water becomes a byproduct, aka, part of the overall ROI, not the primary." This seems counter-intuitive. How does this work?

Let's take sewage as an example. Typically you would not consider making drinking water out of sewage even though it has been proven that it can be done with hyacinths and other plants completely biologically. But Methane is easy to obtain by aerobically fermenting the solids plus some liquids. The heat generation kills bacteria and if done properly, the effluent is biologically clean, aka, a source for clean water.

The Methane though ends up being the highest money maker, fertilizer is a viable product (thereby making it worthwhile to filter the water) and the clean water is a byproduct at lower value.

Do you think the next world war will be over water?

Only if we do not do something about the availability of water. It is already occurring; lets look at the root cause of Somalia pirates. This part of the world is in the worst drought in a decade. People are hungry because their cattle and crops are dying.

Do you drink bottled water? Is this a scam industry overall?

I will admit that I do on occasion, when traveling. But it amazes me that people will buy bottled water but not install a filtration system. The price of bottled water is excessively high. You can buy a gallon of distilled water for 67 cents, yet water at a convenience store for 8 ounces can run you $1.50.

Can desalination offer clean water and fuel if you address the waste water as a source for electrolysis?

Yes. Electrolysis breaks down the salts into its constituents. The Chlorine can be recombined to form bleach or sold for industrial applications such as PVC plastics.

John Nistler Bio -

John received his degree in physics in 1981 and spent over 25 years in the semiconductor industry working on processes and design on flash and microprocessors prior to starting PSIDA in 2006. John has published on such wide ranging topics as microprocessor design, asynchronous design, photonic band gap enhanced optics, transistors, solar and wind applications with multiple US and International patents.

In running PSIDA, John has always kept in mind that one of the fundamental problems with Solar and Wind energy is that the "Sun does not always shine and the wind does not always blow". For that reason PSIDA has developed a "dirty water electrolysis unit" which breaks down contaminates and water into hydrogen, oxygen and other products. Water is a valuable resource but unfortunately can be contaminated easily. By addressing an economical and profitable way of utilizing contaminated or salty water, PSIDA intends to help others in making sure that clean drinkable water is available worldwide.

Connections -

John Nistler, CEO
Austin, TX
Jnistler at yahoo.com