Eurisko Scientific Grant For the Enhanced Transportation Biomethane Production from Municipal Sludge Digesters Project
Eurisko Scientific LLC and the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory will partner with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) to demonstrate a process to increase production of biogas through anaerobic digestion while reducing the amount of CO2 produced. SMUD’s Sacramento Regional Waste Water Treatment Plant in Elk Grove will be the demonstration site.
The patent-pending process developed at the Argonne Lab adds magnesium silicate minerals to anaerobic digesters to convert CO2 emitted during the digestion process into calcium carbonate. The minerals react chemically with the waste sludge and the CO2 is chemically bonded to the rocks, essentially sequestering the CO2 and producing a negative Carbon Intensity value. The process improves the rate and volume of biogas production and increases the biomethane content of the biogas, which boosts its energy content. At the same time the process reduces impurities in the gas produced and creates carbonate byproducts, like material for roadways.
In the first stage of the project, the Argonne National Lab will test ways to best use the additives and to control its proprietary process. Then a field demonstration of the additive process will take place at the wastewater treatment plant in Elk Grove. Partners in the project will document the increase in biomethane production and the reduction of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Finally, the project will produce six months’ worth of liquefied natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG) to be used as transportation fuel in medium- or heavy-duty trucks. The project is expected to produce approximately 5,000 standard cubic feet of compressed biomethane per ton of wet waste material.
$1,870,824 from the project’s participants.
Eurisko Scientific LLC, with headquarters in Fair Oaks, California, will commercialize the biomethane-producing technology created by its partner, Argonne National Laboratory.
The US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) will provide its patented anaerobic digestion technology. The Illinois-based laboratory will conduct both bench- and pilot-scale tests of its process.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District will provide project support and test the anaerobic digester at its wastewater treatment plant in Elk Grove, California.
Technikon LLC, a renewable energy engineering company headquartered near Sacramento in McClellen, California, will manage the program and lead the testing effort.
CHA Corporation will demonstrate its microwave technology to clean and upgrade the biogas produced in the project. The company is also based in McClellen, California.
Clean Energy, the largest provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in the US, will collect and distribute the biomethane for use in LNG and CNG vehicles.
California has 240 wastewater treatment plants producing large volumes of sludge each year. Some have anaerobic digesters that produce biogas for power generation – a process that is being curtailed because of air quality concerns. This project could produce a new revenue stream and create transportation fuel out of a waste product. Other economic benefits include producing potential income from sales of digested manure and sewage. Revenue also may come from producing and selling green energy and carbon credits. The process also will cut costs by reducing water consumption.
When compared to standard anaerobic digestion, this technology produces less greenhouse gasses, ammonia, and particulate emissions. The process will capture nutrients for reuse and reduce the need for inorganic fertilizers. It will also reuse recycled water, reduce the contamination of groundwater and surface water, and cut the amount of solid waste that is sent to landfills.
Energy benefits include the generation of high-quality renewable fuel through a net energy-producing process that creates surplus energy as electricity and heat, helping to reduce reliance on imported oil. If the improved process was adopted at all wastewater treatment plants in California, the gas produced could displace 870 million gallons of diesel fuel -- or 29 percent of all diesel consumed in the state each year. This would eliminate more than 7.3 million tons of CO2 annually.
Grant Agreement Number: ARV-10-003