City of San Jose Grant for the San Jose Biomethane Project
San Jose and project partner, Harvest Power, will evaluate and potentially build and demonstrate a new gasification system that can turn urban wood waste, yard waste, and biosolids into natural gas that can be used as a transportation fuel. In the process, the technology also could produce heat and electricity.
The first phase of the project will evaluate the economic, technical, permitting and stakeholder feasibility for demonstration and commercial scale operations. This feasibility evaluation will also confirm the optimal site for the demonstration gasification unit at the existing San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant. Upon successful results from the feasibility study, a demonstration unit will be constructed that uses a proprietary process designed by Agnion Technologies, an international biomass gasification specialist. The German company's patented Heatpipe-Reformer uses a lower temperature process to produce methane more efficiently and with a higher energy content than normal technology.
If the project proves feasible and replicable, cities all over the world will have a new, more efficient method of turning wood waste and biosolids into a high-quality renewable fuel. In addition, it could provide substantial cost savings. San Jose alone could save $450,000 a year in transportation fuel costs by using the natural gas produced by the project in its city-owned vehicles. Municipal wood waste and biosolids will no longer have to be landfilled, generating additional savings. San Jose may also be able to sell excess heat and electricity created by the project.
$4,214,624 from the project’s participants.
The City of San Jose will act as the lead agency to coordinate the project, supply the wood waste and biosolids to be used as feedstock, and oversee the demonstration unit.
Harvest Power, Inc., d/b/a Harvest Organics, Inc. in California, ("Harvest") provides industry leading technology and project development capability to harness the renewable energy found in organic waste. The management team for this proposed project brings together industry-leading professionals with decades of experience in the relevant engineering, development and operational domains.
Agnion Technologies GmbH is the primary technology provider for this facility, which will use Agnion’s proprietary gasification process and the Agnion Methanation Reactor.
The San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control District will provide the plant site.
A commcerial scale implementation of the project could reduce San Jose’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1,600 tons of CO2 annually. Approximately 5 construction jobs would be created by the demonstration project, and the City is still determining how many full-time workers will be needed to operate the unit.
All of the wood waste and biosolids used as feedstock will come from municipal solid waste, reducing the amount of material San Jose sends to the landfill. The project could generate high-quality renewable fuel through a net energy-producing process, helping to reduce California's reliance on imported oil and fossil fuel. Waste haulers in the City of San Jose alone can avoid $450,000 a year in fuel costs for their trash-hauling trucks. Eventually the project could produce surplus energy as electricity and heat, transforming waste into an additional, steady revenue stream.
Grant Agreement Number: ARV-10-016