D.C. Water turns poop into power

23 November 2015

D.C. Water and Sewage Authority are leading the way in sustainable energy with the launch of a new treatment plan that converts poop into clean energy.

Located in America’s capital, the US$470 million project will process an average of 330 million gallons of raw sewage each day and turn it into 10 megawatts of electricity. That’s about one-third of the plant’s energy needs.

The process uses high heat and pressure to “cook” the solids left over at the end of the wastewater treatment process. This weakens the cell walls and the structure making the energy easily accessible for anaerobic digestion. The methane produced by these microorganisms is converted into energy, and the rest of the solid waste is turned into rural and urban compost.

In addition to the US$10 million in savings from electricity use, the project expects to save US$13 million annually in treatment chemicals and waste management.

Not only will it pay for itself in the near future, D.C. Water’s new system will reduce emissions by 50,000 tons of CO2. That’s equivalent to removing 100 million car miles from the road.

Source: Business Insider

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