A Regional Approach to Sustainable Energy
Biosolids are the nutrient rich natural by-product of wastewater treatment. They are produced by removing the organics from municipal sewage - the majority of which comes from residential homes.
Over 158,000 metric tons of “dry solids” are produced annually in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Biosolids to Energy Coalition is committed to creating energy from biosolids using state-of-the art technology to generate clean and renewable energy resources of value to society and the environment.
Biosolids contain latent energy that can be harnessed via capture and combustion of methane gas or via direct combustion. The conversion process involves heating the material to break down the solids and create gases that are converted to energy. Converting biosolids to energy relies on technologies including pyrolysis, gasification, thermo oxidation, fluidized bed reactor and arc plasma.
Local wastewater agencies can help achieve state and federal goals of meeting electricity and low carbon fuel needs with renewable sources. The Bay Area Biosolids to Energy Project is working to capture the energy within biosolids on a larger scale and in a more effective and efficient method. Read more...
California Senate committee approves SB 1213 to convert biosolids to clean energy. New technologies will help state accomplish several of its environmental goals. Read more...
The mission of the Bay Area Biosolids to Energy Coalition is to develop a diverse and robust portfolio of beneficial biosolids resource recovery projects for the San Francisco Bay Area.
Producing energy from biosolids is an emerging field with significant advancements in technology, research and development currently taking place. BAB2E pursues a multi-pronged approach that includes:
Download the latest copy of our information brochure here.
State - In February 2016, California State Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), introduced Senate Bill 1213 calling for $12M for the BAB2E project, along with ongoing appropriations through the California Energy Commission of $20 million for B2E technology projects.
Federal - In 2015 BAB2E secured language in the Energy & Water Appropriations bills directing the Department of Energy to diversify its bioenergy portfolio to ensure that biosolids feedstock have an opportunity to compete on a level playing field. Additionally, the Congressional delegation continued to articulate the importance of advancing this innovative approach to sustainable energy, securing commitments from the Department to compete for biosolids to energy technologies.
Commercial-scale demonstration of biosolids to energy requires large capital investment that is difficult to obtain without a revenue stream; yet agencies cannot commit a revenue stream without commercial- scale demonstration. It is expected that initial projects will require state and federal assistance to help offset the higher costs. However, once initial projects are established, costs are expected to come down. BAB2E goals are closely tied to state and federal policy goals of renewable energy development and greenhouse gas reduction; and the state and federal government have an interest and role in addressing this challenge by assisting with the funding gap.