Energy recovery from biosolids technologies is one of the most developed opportunities for treatment plants to engage in energy production practices. Expansions on the two established pathways for energy recovery, anaerobic biodegradation and thermal conversion, are being examined at facilities across the nation. New and evolving technologies, including pyrolysis, supercritical water oxidation, hydrothermal liquefaction, and gasification, may hold the key to turning issues such as disposal costs and public opposition to land application into a renewable source of energy and revenue.
The Biosolids to Energy (B2E) Focus Group is actively exploring these technologies with the goal of moving them from the emerging or experimental stage into practice. The group is funding demonstrations with leveraged support from EPA and DOE. The group is also working cooperatively with organizations such as the Bay Area Biosolids to Energy Coalition (BAB2E). Three different demonstrations are currently being conducted by the Coalition and peer reviewed by WERF.