In September 2011, Spectrum began a ½ ton per day demonstration project at Albany County’s South Wastewater Treatment plant to demonstrate the effectiveness of using anaerobic digestion systems for wastewater biosolids and fats, oils and grease and food waste management to produce high quality biogas that can be used as clean renewable energy. Spectrum aims to build commercial size plants that provide a food waste solution for the municipality and local businesses, and a biosolids and energy solution for waste water treatment plants. The project has received financial support from the New York State Research and Energy Development Authority (NYSERDA).
Spectrum BioEnergy Launches Biogas Demonstration Project at Albany County Wastewater Treatment Plant
Spectrum BioEnergy, in partnership with Albany County Sewer District and with financial support from the New York State Research and Energy Development Authority, has launched operations of a demonstration project that will use a combined half-ton of wastewater sludge, fats, oil and grease (FOG), and food waste to demonstrate the ability of anaerobic digestion to manage organic waste and produce renewable energy.
“Spectrum BioEnergy and Albany County Sewer District joined hands after seeing the gap in anaerobic digestion solutions among wastewater treatment plants and food processing entities in the State. Today, many wastewater treatment plants use aerobic processes for sludge management, which is expensive due, in part, to the need to incinerate and or landfill the residual materials. In addition, the majority of food waste in our communities is landfilled,” remarked Spectrum BioEnergy VP of Business Development, Suma Reddy. “Our systems provide an innovative, renewable-energy producing, alternative for wastewater biosolids and food waste management.”
Compared to aerobic processes, anaerobic digestion is considered more effective in reducing the volume of sludge that ultimately requires final disposition in a landfill; and, sludge that is treated via anaerobic digestion may even, in some cases, be land applied rather than placed in a landfill.
Located at the Albany County Sewer District’s South Wastewater Treatment Plant, Spectrum’s project demonstrates that anaerobic co-digestion of wastewater sludge, fats, oils, grease and food waste increases energy yields, thereby producing more biogas that can ultimately be used as a natural gas replacement or combusted to produce electric energy. Food waste and FOG will be procured from local bakeries and the neighboring City of Waterv liet. Spectrum’s goal is to build commercial size biogas plants that provide a biosolids and energy solution for wastewater treatment plants, and a food waste solution for municipalities and local businesses.