Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It May Be Bigger And Better In Texas

Pipes that extract methane gas generated by waste decomposition are seen at the Simi Valley Landfill and Recycling Center in Simi Valley, California May 8, 2008. REUTERS / Hector Mata

September 9, 2008 was the day that San Antonio, Texas unveiled a deal that may make it the most progressive city in the United States. They will begin to harvest the methane gas from human waste on a commercial scale in order to convert it into a clean-burning fuel.

Steve Clouse, chief operating officer of San Antonio’s water system, contends that the 140,000 tons of euphemistically renamed “biosolids” produced by the city’s residents can be reprocessed into natural gas. “You may call it something else,” Clouse said, “but; for area utilities, the main byproduct of human waste – methane gas – will soon be converted into natural gas to burn in their power plants.”

Methane gas, which is a byproduct of human and organic waste, is a principal component of the natural gas used to fuel furnaces, power plants and other combustion-based generators.

Ameresco Inc., a Massachusetts-based company, will convert the biosolids into natural gas. The deal approved with the city could generate about 1.5 million cubic feet per day, Clouse states.

"The private vendor will come onto the facility, construct some gas cleaning systems, remove the moisture, remove the carbon dioxide content, and then sell that gas on the open market," Clouse said. He went on to state that the gas would be sold to power generators.

“Some communities are using methane gas harvested from solid waste to power smaller facilities like sewage treatment plants; but, San Antonio is the first to see large-scale conversion of methane gas from sewage into fuel for power generation,” he said.

In further explanation, Clouse went on to say, “following the agreement, more than 90% of materials flushed down the toilets and sinks of San Antonio will be recycled. Liquid is now used for irrigation, many of the solids are made into compost, and now the methane gas will be recycled for power generation.”

Way to go, San Antonio!!

1 comment:

kathi said...

I may send this to our city leaders. Yeah! San Antonio.

BTW, the videos are cycling much quicker now. The VW ones are there, but can get to the environmental ones by just waiting a second. :) k