U.S. DoE Backs Project for ‘Biocrude’ and Biomethane
The Alexandria, Va.-based Water Environment & Reuse Foundation is publicizing its role in a project to produce gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and renewable natural gas from wastewater solids. A pilot plant will be hosted by the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District outside San Francisco, WE&RF reports.
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $1.2 million for the effort, one of six Project Definition for Pilot- and Demonstration-Scale Manufacturing of Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biopower initiatives being funded by the Bioenergy Technologies Office of EERE, DoE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy section.
“If fully implemented in wastewater treatment operations across the U.S., the technology will produce more than two billion gallons of gasoline equivalent per year,” WE&RF says, noting the planned facility will yield “biocrude,” which can be processed like conventional petroleum crude, and biomethane.
PNNL Among the Partners
The Hydrothermal Processing technology has been by developed by organizations including DoE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Merrick & Company, Southern California Gas, Tesoro Corp, Metro Vancouver, MicroBio Engineering, Brown and Caldwell, “and over a dozen utility partners,” WE&RF says.
It “converts waste solids from a wastewater treatment plant into biocrude oil and methane gas in less than one hour.
‘Replaces Fossil Oil’
“The biocrude oil replaces fossil oil,” WE&RF says, “providing green fuels with nearly zero net new carbon emissions. The methane gas can be used in the same ways as fossil natural gas.
“Biocrude oil produced in the system will be refined in an existing refinery, while the methane gas will be sold for transport in the gas pipeline system.”
The technology also yields fertilizer byproducts.
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Source: WE&RF with Fleets & Fuels follow-up