Zero Waste Energy has broken ground on an anaerobic digestion facility that will convert 11,200 tons per year of food and green waste into more than 100,000 diesel equivalent gallons of compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel and compost.
The company says the project will divert almost 95 percent of the organic waste feedstock from landfills and estimates that each collection vehicle will collect enough organic waste during just one route to fuel it for an entire day, creating a closed loop system.
The Blue Line Biogenic CNG facility in South San Francisco, Calif., will be developed in a partnership with disposal and recycling facility Blue Line Transfer, waste management company South San Francisco Scavenger, and Zero Waste Energy, which builds and operates solid waste processing facilities. It will include a Smartferm anaerobic digestion facility that will transform the organic waste into CNG, produce heat to run the facility, and an in-vessel composting system that will mitigate odor issues and provide digestate that will be matured into compost.
The facility is scheduled to begin operation in the second quarter of 2014.
Smartferm systems can include biogas-processing technology for combined heat and power (CHP) generation as well as CNG. In addition, in-vessel composting options can provide partial or complete maturing of compost for the wholesale or retail market.
Smartferm facilities can process 4,000 to 100,000 tons per year of almost any organic material, Zero Waste Energy says.
Last last month, Covanta Energy and Turning Earth partnered to divert organic waste from Connecticut businesses and municipalities and turn it into renewable energy and compost.
Earlier in October, Clean Energy Fuels became the the first company to commercially distribute a renewable natural gas vehicle fuel made from waste streams such as landfills, large dairies and sewage plants directly to fleets around the country and at 35 public Clean Energy stations throughout California.
Waste Management is also building a facility that will create pipeline-ready natural gas from its Milam Landfill in Fairmont City, Ill. The processed renewable natural gas will be injected into the pipelines of Ameren Illinois for withdrawal at other locations, including some Waste Management facilities. Once there, it will be used to fuel truck fleets and other equipment that run on compressed natural gas.