The syngas will be used to displace around 77,000 MMBtu/year of natural gas currently utilized by the SWPCA to dry wet biosolids in an existing biosolids dryer manufactured by Andritz Separation. By selecting Nexterra’s gasification technology, Stamford projects that it will lower its fuel costs by up to $1 million per year and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by around 4,000 tons annually, the equivalent of taking 1,000 cars off the road. The system will be designed to meet or outperform local air emissions standards.

To implement the project – scheduled for completion by the end of 2010 – Nexterra plans to collaborate with strategic alliance partner Andritz Separation. The project will be funded by U.S. Department of Energy grants and matching funds from the SWPCA. Financing costs associated with funds to be invested by the SWPCA will be more than offset by energy savings that will be realized from the project. Two engineering firms, Aecom and HDR have been retained by Stamford to conduct independent reviews of the project’s technical and economic viability before Stamford proceeds.

Once this project is completed, Stamford may proceed with future phases that will be developed and assessed on their own technical and economic merits. These include a possible second phase of the project to provide a closed loop renewable energy solution, enabling the SWPCA to use dry biosolids as the fuel source for the gasification system. In a possible third phase, Nexterra and SWPCA may develop a second gasification system that would convert dry biosolids into renewable electricity. Syngas produced by gasifying biosolids would be cleaned, conditioned and fired into a GE Jenbacher internal combustion gas engine. The resulting electricity would be sufficient to meet SWPCA’s on-site power requirements making it energy independent from the grid.

“This project showcases the potential to transform the wastewater treatment industry into a major producer of renewable heat and power from waste fuels while maintaining the highest standards of water quality and public health,” said Jeanette Brown, executive director SWPCA and vice-president of the Water Environment Federation. “We are very pleased to have selected such a strong technology partner as Nexterra who has consistently demonstrated unparalleled excellence in technical innovation, commercialization and project deployment.”