Get More Juice Out of that Lemon: EBMUD’s Search for Energy in Wastewater
Municipal wastewater treatment plants are increasingly interested in waste-to-energy technologies as a way to reduce operating costs. The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) identified and evaluated a number of waste-to-energy technologies that had potential for application at its Main Wastewater Treatment Plant (MWWTP) in Oakland, California. These technologies included conventional applications like cogeneration using digester gas, as well as less common applications at wastewater plants like fuel cells, biosolids gasification, and biodiesel production from fats, oils, and greases. Each technology was developed at the conceptual level and cost estimates were prepared. Economic and non-economic factors were considered in a comparative analysis to determine the most attractive technologies. Based on this analysis, selected technologies include cogeneration expansion; biodiesel production from fats, oil, and greases; and biosolids gasification.