Poo to fuel: Metro Vancouver plans to convert human waste sludge to energy source

3 Metro Vancouver has received a recommendation to establish a drying facility for biosolids. Biosolids are nutrient-rich treated sewage sludge that comes mostly from human waste. According to a report by Lillian Zaremba, a manager with the regional district’s liquid waste services, dried biosolids can be used to replace coal that fuels cement kilns. The new product can also be utilized in blended fertilizer. “A recent market analysis anticipates that local cement kilns or the fertilizer market could each use the entire quantity of dried biosolids produced by a facility with capacity of 75,000 bulk tonnes per year,” Zaremba wrote in her report to the district’s liquid waste committee. According to Zaremba, replacing coal with dried biosolid fuel has the added benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The region’s generation of biosolids is expected to increase in the coming years. This is due to population growth, and upgrades to the district’s five wastewater treatment plans. Zaremba noted that Metro Vancouver produces 55,000 bulk tonnes of biosolids every year from its wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Zaremba related that 98 percent of these biosolids are used as soil topping. According to her, the region’s production of biosolids is expected to increase […]

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