ClearCove, a renewable energy company, announced recently the completion of their New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)-supported project titled “ClearCove Organics Harvester Demonstration at the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility (IAWWTF).” The final report documents the energy potential of the Harvester technology. A pilot system operated at the IAWWTF resulted in data indicating a potential for a 300 to 500% increase in energy production, versus conventional technologies, and a 52% reduction in energy consumption.
NYSERDA is supporting a number of strategies for promoting the transition of New York State’s larger Water Resource Recovery Facilities (WRRF) toward Utilities of the Future. One of these strategies is support for demonstrations of innovative technologies such as ClearCove’s Harvester, which could both reduce facility energy consumption and increase the production of on-site energy.
The Harvester technology is a complete headworks primary treatment solution that enhances the capture of organics at the head of the wastewater treatment plant. By capturing the high-energy value organics at the primary stage the technology increases the biogas production potential and reduces the energy consumption typically associated with the secondary treatment phase.
“Most big wastewater plants have the same type of primary treatment: gravity settling. What ClearCove looked at was a way to basically double the primary treatment system’s capacity for the removal of organics”, said Dan Ramer, chief operator of the IAWWTF. “Our facility could achieve net-zero energy, even net positive energy, with this solution.
“This demonstration has provided validation that the Harvester technology drives significant process efficiency improvements at wastewater facilities and furthers the renewable energy opportunity for the industry including the realization of energy neutral, or even energy positive operations” said Dr. Mark Greene, co-author of the report and Anaerobic Digestion Subject Matter Expert at O’Brien and Gere Engineers.
Wastewater treatment plants consume 1-2% of the total US energy consumption and are often one of the largest energy consumers in a community. However, the energy found in wastewater contains nearly 10 times that required for treatment, meaning that there is a significant renewable energy source that is typically not being fully used. “By capturing the organics in the primary treatment process our technology can provide more carbon-rich fuel for the anaerobic digesters, thereby having the potential to create considerably more energy than traditional solutions.” said Gary Miller, President and COO of ClearCove. “The project’s focus was demonstrating the renewable energy opportunity provided by the Harvester technology, which could change the economics for this common community asset by becoming a sustainable, renewable energy hub.”
A copy of the final project report can be downloaded through ClearCove’s website www.clearcovesystems.com.
ClearCove, headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., is a renewable energy company focused on harvesting organics from municipal wastewater and industrial process water. ClearCove provides disruptive technologies that change the economics of wastewater treatment by enabling significantly higher volumes of energy production and cleaner water while dramatically reducing energy consumption and costs associated with treatment processes.
ClearCove patented technologies allow facilities to meet sustainability milestones and realize significant economic potential no other technology can deliver.