Southern California Conversion Technology


Conversion Technology E-Newsletter - October 2017


U.S. Biogas 2017

October 25-26, 2017
San Diego, CA
For more information on this event, please visit the website:

Stakeholder Workshop for SB 1383 Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP)
October 30, 2017
Sacramento, CA 

Stakeholder Workshop for SB 1383 Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP)
November 2, 2017
Southern California, specific location TBD

Southern California Waste Management Forum
November 8, 2017
Pomona, CA

Alternative Technology Advisory Subcommittee Meeting (ATAS)
November 16, 2017
Alhambra, CA
For more information on this event, please visit the website: 

RNG Conference 2017
November 27-30, 2017
Dana Point, CA


Three Experts, Three Methods: The Debate Over Food Waste Processing

When it comes to food waste, the EPAs Food Recovery Hierarchy lists all the different ways it can be handled from producing less food and feeding the hungry to landfilling. Waste Dive interviewed three industry experts to explore the options and effectiveness of anaerobic digestion (AD), composting, and incorporating food scraps at wastewater treatment facilities. Patrick Serfass of the American Biogas Council boasts the potential of AD facilities to scale up and efficiently produce renewable natural gas. The U.S. Composting Councils Frank Franciosi boasts that composting is a better option in areas where food waste collection and processing is necessary but not dependent on profitability. Jon Koch, the Director of the Water Pollution Control Plant in Muscatine, Iowa explains that adding food scraps to an existing wastewater treatment plant will produce energy from an already existing and necessary process.  To read more, click here.

Brown County Bioenergy Project Receiving $15 Million State Grant

The Public Service Commission of Brown County approved a grant to fund construction of a bioenergy system that will create renewable natural gas (RNG) from dairy farm manure and other waste. BC Organics of Dynamic Concepts in Waukesha will take the lead on the project. The $15 million dollar grant is part of Wisconsins Focus on Energy program, which is funded from contributions from the states investor-owned utilities. This project is a response to a request from proposals from developers interested in RNG derived from anaerobic digester system while benefiting agriculture, water quality, and public health. Various state and local agencies still need to approve the project, though it received strong support from state officials. The project will be located near a landfill owned by Brown County and nine farms in the state have committed to using the digester. The system is expected to start operating by January 2019.  To read more, click here.

Revamped Fremont Biodigester Expected to Power 2,500 Homes Annually

The Fremont Regional Digester in Fremont, Michigan initially opened in 2012 only to close in 2015. It was recently bought by Generate Capital Inc. from San Francisco who invested in and revamped the project, which is expected to be fully operational this fall after a test start-up was completed this past July. It is expected to divert 165,000 tons of organic waste per year to produce enough electricity to 2,500 annually. Much of the feedstock will be provided by local food processors and agribusinesses according to Daniel Meccariello, chief operating officer of Dynamic Systems Management who is contracted to manage the Fremont Regional Digester. The leftover digestate will then be used as organic fertilizer at local farms.  To read more, click here.

AOE & Other Anaerobic Digester Facilities Protect Environment By Transforming Organic Waste Into Fertilizer

Every year, New York City businesses alone send approximately 650,000 tons of food waste to landfills. The scale of food waste is so large that a demonstrable decline in its numbers is not in the foreseeable future. While New York City is aggressively expanding its commercial and residential food waste programs, most municipalities have yet to even begin. American Organic Energy (AOE) is a company based in Yaphank, New York that specializes in converting food waste into renewable energy via anaerobic digestion. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo credits AOE as a model to be followed. AOE aims to divert 180,000 tons of food waste, 30,000 tons of FOG (fats, oils, grease), and 10,000 tons of green waste from the landfills of New York annually. The new AOE facility is expected to generate enough biogas to create nearly 50 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, which can be used to power the facility, its fleets, or sold back to the utility companies. The leftover digesteate will be incorporated into nutrient-rich water as a partnership endeavor with Miracle-Gro to produce organic nitrogen fertilizer.  To read more, click here.

Washington State University, Pacific Northwest National Library Convert Biofuel Waste into Commodity

Converting algae to biofuels begins by applying high temperature and high pressure to the algae in a process called hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL), which was developed by Pacific Northwest National Library (PNNL). This process produces wastewater that contains a lot of carbon and nutrients, but Washington State University (WSU) has developed a possible option to break down this residue. By adapting anaerobic microbes, the material is converted into bionatural gas without the use of harsh chemicals. Solids that are left behind can also be applied as fertilizer, or recycled back into the HTL process. Converting the waste product of HTL into a usable commodity helps algal biorefineries with a solution to one of its largest issues. The results were promising enough for WSU to partner with PNNL to perform a similar strategy with conversion of sewage sludge to fuel.  To read more, click here.

Rhode Island Anaerobic Digester Could be Model for Region

The largest digester in New England is a commercial scale anaerobic digester in Johnston, Rhode Island and has yet to be completed. In 2014, the state of Rhode Island passed a compost law requiring large institutions to divert organic waste to a farm, food pantry, compost facility, or anaerobic digester as longs as such a facility exists within 15 miles. Blue Sphere Corp. is an Israeli-based company that has been planning for this facility since 2012. The biogas that will be produced will fuel one of the facilitys two generators for a capacity of 3.2 mW. Power will also be purchased by National Grid under a 15-year power-purchase deal. The remaining digestate will be sold off as a soil amendment. Blue Sphere already has contracts to take organic waste from food manufacturers and hopes to attract seafood processors in the rest of the state as well as Massachusetts. The 2014 law expands in 2018 to include smaller institutions that produce 54 tons of food waste a year.  To read more, click here.

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view, download Adobe Acrobat Reader.


Stay Connected

Subscribe to our newsletter to recieve the latest updates!