New York City's sewage treatment plants will now be in the business of harvesting and selling renewable energy. Heating fuel will be extracted from sludge, butanol (a gasoline alternative) extracted from the algae that grows in wastewater and, of course, methane gas will be captured from sewage plants' digesters.
The city's residents create 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater daily, which results in a daily yield of 1,200 tons of sludge being sent to landfills. The city is looking for vendors to turn that sludge into renewable energy, fertilizer, and paving and building materials. City officials plan to have contracts by 2013.
The city sewage plants already use half of the methane produced by the digesters to provide about 20 percent of the electricity used by the plants, but now they'll be putting the rest on the market. The Newtown Creek Wastewater Plant in Brooklyn already has a contract in the works with National Grid that will provide enough methane gas to heat 2,500 homes.
The city is also looking to build solar and wind installations at its wastewater treatment plants on Staten Island.
via NY Times
written by Asaf Shalgi, February 12, 2011
written by David Guion, April 26, 2011
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