Biomass: From Waste to Watts
Our expertise includes the development of innovative projects that convert waste streams of organic material into onsite power for wastewater treatment plants. Our biomass solutions transform an urban waste into a revenue-generating asset for cities, deliver renewable power and energy savings, and reduce landfill waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
Wastewaterthe stuff of drainpipes and toiletsis typically treated at wastewater treatment plants using gravity and microorganisms. Microorganisms (bacteria) in the wastewater use the waste material as a food source and, in the course of "feeding," convert the waste to byproducts that include methane gas, a useful energy source. But unless that gas is captured, it escapes into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas and its potential as fuel is unrealized.
Our project for the City of Rialto, California, generates on-site electricity cleanlywithout combustionusing methane produced from restaurant kitchen grease and other organic material in wastewater. This innovative design incorporates energy efficiency and renewable power and provides an environmentally beneficial solution for the disposal of fats, oils and grease (FOG).
The FOG receiving station provides an effective alternative for FOG hauling companies to dispose of the thousands of gallons of fats, oils and grease collected each day from restaurants. This disposal method reduces the amount of FOG delivered to landfill sites as well as the methane that would have been produced and released into the atmosphere during decomposition. It also provides new revenue for the City from the "tipping fees" paid by the grease hauling companies.
The environmentally friendly system increases municipal revenues, reduces landfill wastes and lowers greenhouse emissions by nearly 5,500 tons annually, while decreasing the city's energy cost by about $800,000 a year. The system includes a 900-kilowatt fuel cell power plant that generates electricity without combustion using the methane produced naturally on site.
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