News | June 10, 2014

Water Environment Research Foundation Expands Research On Energy Production From Wastewater

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) has selected Hazen and Sawyer to perform research as part of a series of new projects on furthering co-digestion. The project, Developing Solutions to Operational Side-Effects Associated by Co-Digestion of High-Strength Organic Wastes (ENER8R13), will help water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) plan, design, and implement co-digestion programs with clearer expectations, improved process design, and more consistent operations.

The practice of adding waste organic feedstock directly to anaerobic digesters (co-digestion) is becoming an attractive way for utilities to generate revenue from tipping fees while boosting biogas production. However, the practice is only used by about 20 percent of WRRFs with anaerobic digesters. Currently, there is uncertainty on how to avoid digester upset. Co-digestion of organic wastes that contain high energy content, such as fats, oils, greases, carbohydrate and sugar waste, and food waste, with wastewater solids represents an opportunity for WRRFs to increase biogas production using existing digester capacity.

This work will enhance existing WERF research on Co-Digestion of Organic Waste Products with Wastewater Solids (OWSO5R07). The project team will develop a compilation of data regarding High-Strength Wastes (HSWs) that have been successfully treated through co-digestion, co-fermentation, or mainstream anaerobic treatment, as well as guidance documents to provide utilities with strategies that can be used to overcome operational side effects associated with co-digestion of HSWs.

About The Water Environment Research Foundation
The Water Environment Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization formed in 1989, is America's leading independent scientific research organization dedicated to wastewater and stormwater issues.

SOURCE: The Water Environment Research Foundation