Environmental Protection

Vancouver Picks Nexterra for Gasification Pilot

Nexterra has completed testing biosolids as a potential new fuel source for its proprietary gasification technology.

The first phase of testing took place at the company's product development centre in Kamloops B.C., using biosolids from Metro Vancouver, who selected Nexterra's gasification technology to pilot this initiative.

Nexterra is actively developing a new application of its proprietary gasification technology to convert biosolids into renewable heat for use in sludge dryers at municipal wastewater treatment plants. This new application can displace fossil fuels currently used for drying and will provide a long-term, renewable energy solution for sludge disposal that will lower fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions for municipalities.

This biosolids gasification solution is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 4,000 - 15,000 tonnes annually per facility, the equivalent of taking 1,000 ā€“ 3,700 cars off the road.

"We are excited to be part of this industry leading initiative, working with Nexterra to convert biosolids into renewable energy," said Paul Kadota, program manager with the Residuals Management Division of Metro Vancouver. "This puts gasification on the radar of opportunities for the management of biosolids. The potential for savings on fuel costs is evident, but there's also the option of creating biosolids pellets which, in itself, is an alternative fuel or fertilizer."

The technology produced significant high quality thermal energy from the Metro Vancouver biosolids without requiring any major equipment modifications. In addition, third-party commissioned field tests confirmed emission results that were well below the guidelines set by British Columbia's Ministry of Environment.

"The use of biosolids as a fuel for gasification truly falls within the definition of conservation and innovation for the future. The ability to turn a costly management issue into an on-site valuable resource using gasification technology allows us to develop a renewable energy source, which can result in energy independence for the wastewater treatment community" said Jeanette Brown, vice president of the Water Environment Federation.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than 16,000 wastewater treatment facilities exist in the United States; many owned and operated by municipalities. Biological sludge is a residual product of the wastewater treatment process.

"This represents a major advancement for the wastewater treatment industry and Nexterra," said Jonathan Rhone, Nexterra president and chief executive officer. "And we believe this is just the tip of the iceberg."

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