Technology to Turn Sewage Waste into Renewable Energy

Xebec Adsorption's innovative biogas technology was used to launch the first renewable energy project in California to purify biogas from a wastewater treatment facility, to meet California's stringent natural gas quality standards.  The new biogas purification plant at the Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility in Escondido, Calif.,is a joint project of the city, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy) and Xebec.  Xebec has provided the engineering, procurement, construction and management for this $2.7 million US project.

"Today represents an important achievement for Xebec," said Kurt Sorschak, president and CEO of Xebec, a provider of biogas upgrading, natural gas and hydrogen purification solutions for the clean, energy market. "Using Xebec's technology, the city of Escondido has the potential to produce enough natural gas to serve 1,200 homes with absolutely no negative impact on the environment, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lowering the overall dependence on fossil fuel derived products.  As the first Canadian company to introduce this groundbreaking technology to the state of California, we believe we are one step closer to achieving our company's vision of a world powered by clean energy."

California is one of the world's most advanced markets for green energy and is rapidly increasing its interest in using biogas as a source of renewable energy.  Biogas produced by wastewater treatment facilities represents a large source of previously untapped renewable energy.  The United States has approximately 16,000 WWTF of which 540 have been identified as being large enough to warrant biogas utilization, and only two currently produce renewable gas.  Normally, biogas is burned off or "flared" and released into the atmosphere, a process that generates greenhouse gas emissions.  This new facility, and others that may follow, could help California meet its Renewable Portfolio Standard goal of 33 percent of energy being from renewable sources by 2020.

"Our revolutionary kinetic pressure swing adsorption technology enables us to remove nitrogen and oxygen in a single process step, while at the same time separating carbon dioxide and water," Sorschak said. "This gives us a solid competitive advantage in an ever-growing marketplace that needs to address ways of producing renewable gas that meets government renewable energy targets and environmental goals like lower carbon footprints."

Over the next 12 months, the newly purified gas at the Escondido site will be monitored and tested for potential injection into the natural gas pipeline system.