Mining Raw Sewage For Electricity Production
With the worldwide dependence on fossil fuels coming to an end, converting wastewater-to-biogas for electricity production is rapidly increasing. A relatively new wastewater-to-biogas technology is a compact yet transportable system called SRS (Sewage Recycling System), a.k.a. Recyllose manufactured by Applied CleanTech.
SRS/Recyllose has three distinct advantages over fossil fuels as it (1) results in a useful product that (2) does not involve ripping up virgin land and (3) solves a major bottom line problem; reducing the expensive and energy-intensive wastewater treatment process that allows communities to recover biogas from their wastewater.
Harvesting biogas is becoming a popular method of electricity production as the gas extracted from wastewater can be used right at the wastewater facility to offset energy costs. SRS/Recyllose makes this whole process more efficient as it reduces the amount of sludge that goes through the treatment process by 50%, substantially reducing the energy it takes to pump the wastewater through the plan.
In addition, SRS/Recyllose removes sludge before the conventional treatment process begins, thus freeing up capacity within the existing treatment facility and forestalling the need for an expensive wastewater treatment plant expansion. The process does not reduce the amount of biogas created from wastewater because SRS/Recyllose traps the cellulosic particles in sludge which otherwise would not be digested during biogas production.
Applied CleanTech estimates that operating expenses are cut by roughly 30% and capacity while increasing capacity by 30%, although undoubtedly, these figures could vary quite a bit depending on the nature of the treatment facility.
The bioplastics angle is a particularly interesting one because it could enable wastewater treatment plant operators to harvest bioplastic feedstock at two different points in the process; by capturing sludge at the beginning, as provided for by SRS, and by capturing biogas at the end, as demonstrated by a company called NewLight Technologies.#wastewater-to-biogas