Retrofit helps Californian authority produce biogas, increase capacity

Sept. 29, 2014
The Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority has started operation of its new OmnivoreTM biogas production system, supplied by Anaergia..
Above: Digesters and headworks at the VVWRA (Image credit: California Water Environment Association)

The Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority (VVWRA) has started operation of its new OmnivoreTM biogas production system, supplied by Anaergia and funded in part by the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program.

The VVWRA retrofit is the first in North America for Anaergia and aims to demonstrate how existing wastewater treatment plants can increase digester loading and biogas production using existing infrastructure.

VVWRA will be using high solids mixers and recuperative thickener, which change an ordinary digester into a high-solids OmnivoreTM digester. The retrofit enables VVWRA to triple the digester’s solids content and biogas production rate, according to Anaergia.

Additional biogas will be converted into electricity to meet part of the wastewater treatment facility’s electrical demand.

Logan Olds, the General Manager of VVWRA, said: “Our goal is to demonstrate that we can operate our existing infrastructure more efficiently. With recuperative thickening or even with traditional digesters, the ability to co-digest an additional waste stream can bring added value to the facility, whether it be through minimizing tipping fees or by producing power from the additional methane that is generated as a result of the decomposition.”

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