BioCycle: Anaerobic Digest
BioHiTech America has partnered with Natural Systems Utilities, Ridgewood Green RME and the Village of Ridgewood, New Jersey to test anaerobic digestion of the effluent from BioHiTech’s Eco-Safe Digester at the village’s wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The Eco-Safe unit utilizes an aerobic digestion process to convert food waste to grey water, also referred to as effluent. Typically the effluent is discharged into the sewage system and individual wastewater treatment facilities treat it with other sanitary waste. This new process will put the unit’s effluent in a tank for transportation to the WWTP’s anaerobic digester (AD) where biogas can be captured and used to create renewable energy.
In essence, the Eco-Safe Digester performs the hydrolysis stage of anaerobic digestion at the point of origin. Because the aerobic digestion process begins with the breakdown of solid organics to liquid slurry, the effluent can be pumped and transported, arriving at the AD facility in a “predigested” condition allowing for efficient feedstock transfer. This process is currently being tested at a high-volume supermarket in New Jersey and transported to an anaerobic digestion facility operated by the Village of Ridgewood, at its WWTP. Ridgewood Green RME owns a 20,000 gallon/day liquid waste receiving facility and a 240 kW digester biogas power plant that is located at he WWTP’s anaerobic digester. Natural Systems Utilities operates those components of the project owned by Ridgewood Green RME. “Early trials to receive the material and feed it to the digester have proven successful,” notes Paul Knowles, director of technical operations at Natural Systems Utilities. “We are working with BioHiTech to expand the process so it can offer this solution to new and existing customers.”