Sludge-to-oil demonstration project concludes in Calif.

ThermoEnergy Corporation recently announced the successful conclusion of the STORS 2000 Demonstration Project sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., June 19, 2001 — ThermoEnergy Corporation recently announced the successful conclusion of the STORS 2000 Demonstration Project sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

This $3 million project, located in Colton, California (greater Los Angeles area), confirmed the ability of the Sludge-to-Oil Reactor System (STORS) process to convert raw sewage sludge (biosolids) into a high energy fuel known as 'biofuel.'

STORS systems can form the nucleus for new wastewater treatment plants or as a retrofit for existing plants to produce this high-energy biofuel which can then be converted into electricity on-site and sold at a discount to the local electricity power market.

Water from the STORS system will be further treated by the Company's Ammonia Recovery Process (ARP) which removes nitrogen (ammonia) from the water, converting it to ammonium sulfate, a commercial-grade fertilizer, which can be distributed to agriculture markets around the world.

A STORS / ARP biosolids treatment system requires on a fraction of the space necessary for conventional methods - a key factor for large urban areas where additional capacity is desired, but the required space is not available. Combined, STORS and ARP represent a significant advancement over conventional wastewater treatment methods currently used throughout the $150 billion wastewater treatment industry.

Prior to the introduction of this technology, disposing of municipal biosolids (mostly liquid) involved some form of land disposal such as landfilling, composting or land application. For large wastewater plants, this involves thousands of truck trips per-year over many miles to reach disposal sites. Since most municipalities produce only Class B biosolids, this has not boded well for humans living in the vicinity of the deposit sites. Recent warnings from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that Class B biosolids may contain disease causing organisms in sufficient quantity to warrant restricted public access.

A STORS/ARP renewable energy system can provide municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plant operators with on-site conversion of sewage to EQ Class A commodity products, generation of energy for use on-site or sale to the local market, greatly improved nitrogen removal efficiency, a significant reduction or elimination of odor problems, and significant reduction in traffic to and from existing wastewater facilities.

In addition, the STORS/ARP process degrades toxic organic materials such as chloroform, Lindane and other similar pesticides, removing them from the discharge stream.

While local conditions can affect biosolids quality and output, large wastewater treatment plants fitted with a STORS system can generate an estimated 10 to 50 megawatts per day in renewable energy.

"The success of the Colton project proves that the STORS technology can operate as a large-scale treatment facility," said Dennis Cossey, CEO of ThermoEnergy. "The implications of this success are far-reaching in the grand scheme of the energy crisis. We have found a cost-effective way to use waste to our advantage, giving hope for a new, environmentally safe means of energy production that can decrease our reliance on traditional energy sources."

Based on the success of the Colton demonstration project, ThermoEnergy is currently teaming with several large wastewater companies to pursue design/build/operate opportunities both in the U.S. and abroad.

More in Energy Management