Why is it important to harvest the power of biogas?
Not every wastewater treatment plant considers itself to be a utility that cleans wastewater. Some utilities have begun to adjust their messaging from "we make clean water" to "we recover resources from water." They consider themselves to be water resource recovery centres. These utilities are converting their biosolids into biogas, a green energy source, by anaerobic digestion.
Five reasons are outlined supporting to why every wastewater treatment plant should follow suit:
1. Stop wasting money and resources:
Biosolids are traditionally regarded to be something that needs to be eliminated, with the waste gas being vented into the atmosphere. Utilities that do so are essentially throwing money away. Gas is a very precious resource, utilities are just wasting it.
2. Alternative Power Sources:
Biogas can be utilised to power a wide range of plant functions. It is currently most commonly used to power plant heating systems, but it can also be used to power process heating, sludge drying, cogeneration, cars, and other machinery. A combined heat and power (CHP) unit is one alternative, particularly for smaller enterprises.
3. Adaptable to any size utility:
It did not make financial sense for a small plant to invest in an anaerobic digester ten years ago. That isn't the case now. The model is evolving.
Yes, in many circumstances a small wastewater treatment facility cannot produce enough biogas on its own to justify the purchase of the equipment. However, if they think about what else they can add to their digester and think beyond the box, an anaerobic digester could be well worth the money.Food waste and fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from local businesses can now be collected and added to digesters at plants. Both area eateries, which are obligated to properly dispose of trash, and wastewater treatment plants, who require more fuel sources for their digesters, benefit from this transaction.
4. Financial Advantages:
Some wastewater treatment plants have been able to go entirely "off the grid" by blending biosolids from the plant with FOG and food waste. Using internal energy instead of external energy saves utilities money and provides them more control over their energy efficiency. Some wastewater treatment plants produce more biogas than they require, which allows them to sell it to other facilities for a profit.
5. Eliminate Sludge and Odour:
When biosolids are fed to an anaerobic digester, the amount of biosolids that must be managed at the plant is reduced.When plants enhance their digesting process, the amount of solids in the sludge is lowered. This means there is less stink and the plant has less waste to dispose of. They save money and time as a result of this. It's a win-win situation.
As biogas technology advances, so will the financial incentives for utilities to adopt it.No one knows what this sector will look like in the future because there are so many different models out there. Netsol Water is still in the early stages of this, but there's a lot of room for improvement.