Southern California Conversion Technology


Conversion Technology E-Newsletter - August 2017


Stakeholder Workshop for SB 1383 Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP)  Sacramento
August 16, 2017
Sacramento, CA
For more information on this event, please visit the website:

Alternative Technology Advisory Subcommittee Meeting (ATAS)
August 17, 2017
Alhambra, CA
For more information on this event, please visit the website: 

CRRA Annual Conference & Tradeshow
August 20-23, 2017
San Diego, CA
For more information on this event, please visit the website:

Waste Conversion Technology Conference
August 21-23, 2017
San Diego, CA
For more information on this event, please visit the website:

Resource Recycling Conference
August 28-30, 2017
Minneapolis, MN
For more information on this event, please visit the website:

Stakeholder Workshop for SB 1383 Short Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) Riverside
August 31, 2017
Riverside, CA
For more information on this event, please visit the website:

ISWA's World Congress & WASTECON 2017
September 25-27, 2017
Baltimore, MD
For more information on this event, please visit the website:

2017 Syngas Technologies Conference
October 15-18, 2017
Colorado Springs, CO
For more information on this event, please visit the website:

BioCycle REFOR17
October 16-19, 2017
Portland, OR
For more information on this event, please visit the website:

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


Boise, Idaho, Anaerobic Digester to Process Multiple Streams to Increase Efficiency

Boise Biogas is planning to install an anaerobic digestion (AD) system that will produce pipeline gas for local distributors and fertilizer for local farmers. This system will be fed by various feedstocks. Originally, Boise Biogas intended to generate electricity to run its equipment, but a surplus of organics ending up on landfills and dairy farms needing assistance for manure management provided a unique opportunity. The planned system aims to take out as many solids as possible while also recycling treatment water. The process is intended to be enclosed from the drop-off until the byproducts are removed from the digester to control any odors and emissions. The key is to find a way to manage the multiple feedstocks as slight variations can greatly change how the AD system must operate.  To read more, click here.

California City and Waste Hauler Propose Biomass Facility

The City Council of Napa, California, and Napa Recycling and Waste Services have proposed two biomass facilities that will divert wood waste from landfills to generate power by gasification. Truck fleets would also be converted from diesel to compressed natural gas and sorting equipment would need to be improved. It is projected that the plants would cost a total of $12.6 million to build and will generate approximately 15,000 megawatt-hours per year, enough electricity for 2,200 households. Ten percent of the power would be used by Napa Waste and Recycling with the rest sold to the Pacific Gas and Electric Co., resulting in a $1.75 million increase in revenue. Additionally, Napa Waste and Recycling can also sell the biochar as fertilizer or as a water filtering agent, creating $1.37 million revenue per year. The City of Napas Department of Public Works stated that the plants would turn a profit of $5.1 million in its first 20 years. In addition, the City also projects an increase to residential rates of 9.5 percent over two years if the proposal passes.  To read more, click here.

Anaerobic Digestion Plants Now Power Over a Million UK Homes

The July 2017 report of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) shows that AD in the United Kingdom (UK) has increased in capacity by 18 percent over the last year. Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of ADBA, elaborates that anaerobic digestion has reached a milestone in the UK, as it can now power over a million homes in the region. Additionally, she points out that despite the increase in capacity there is still a lack of support for AD in terms of long-term policy, particularly in heat and transport. There are plans to add 437 AD plants in the UK, but without strong support, they are unlikely to come to fruition. There are currently 13 AD plant projects on hold, as a result of delays in passing legislation for the Renewable Heat Incentive. Approximately 50 to 80 plants were commissioned in 2016, but it is projected to fall as low as 19 this year, due to the uncertainty in policy.  To read more, click here.

Study: Anaerobic Digestion Could Reduce Microplastics in Sludge

There is a new study that was published in Environmental Science & Technology that suggests that anaerobic digestion may reduce the amount of microplastics in sewage sludge. Digesting microplastics out of sewage sludge is attractive, because it is a mitigation step, rather than a cleanup step. Though consumers are depending less on microbeads, a large source of microplastics in the water cycle, it is still important to mitigate the amount that does end up in sludge. The implications of this study would mean that cities that plan to use anaerobic digestion to co-digest food waste and sewage at wastewater treatment plants may end up with less plastics in their biosolids; less plastics in biosolids means it will be a higher quality product that can be sold for agricultural purposes, among other things. However, more studies must be made, as this particular studys scope was limited to having looked at seven wastewater treatment plants in Ireland and a lack in pre-treatment testing.  To read more, click here.

Merchant Biogas Plant Services Food Waste Generators

Quantum Biopower, LLC, is a food waste AD development company, based in Southington, Connecticut, that privately financed its first AD facility. The financial risk to permit such a facility was a calculated one on the owners part, banking on the fact that the regulatory ban on disposal of food waste would work in their favor.  It took approximately two years for Quantum to obtain critical permits from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Revenue from this facility will be derived from tip fees, sale of electricity, compost, fertilizer products, and Renewable Energy Credits generated from the biogas.  Initially, this facility was going to repurpose forest by-product materials through gasification and pyrolysis, but instead decided to go with a low solids AD technology. This posed the challenge of setting the standard for food waste and biosolids codigestion in Connecticut.  Quantum added a food waste decontamination step to maximize the range of food waste that could be processed. The liquid food waste is then digested and processed into biogas, and the digestate is processed for compost and fertilizer. Quantum projects that the facility will capture 5,000 tons per year of carbon dioxide once it processes 40,000 tons of food waste per year.  To read more, click here.

What the Anaerobic Digestion Industry can Learn From Solar Standardization

The AD market in the U.S. is primed for growth with the landfill industry in decline and food waste diversion regulation on the rise.  The technology exists and is proven to work, and there is a foundation for the industry to prosper. However, potential investors are wary, despite the number of projects and pilot programs currently under development. Though there are parallels between the European and U.S. biogas markets, the skepticism of these investors is more comparable to the early days of the solar industry 20 years ago.  Standardization will do much in the way to quell risks in the eyes of investors, especially when done on the same level as the solar industry. Laws that promote food waste diversion from landfills have also helped development of AD projects, setting the scene for a prosperous market. A well-developed commercial structure, proven technologies and process, and a strong operator, will go a long way in gaining the confidence of future investors for a budding industry.  To read more, click here.

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