0

Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >

Opportunities for Distributed Electricity Generation at Wastewater Facilities

[+] Author Affiliations
Barry Liner

Water Environment Federation, Alexandria, VA

Steve Tarallo

Black & Veatch, Gaithersburg, MD

Lauren Fillmore

Water Environment Research Foundation, Alexandria, VA

Chris Peot

DC Water, Washington, DC

Paper No. POWER2014-32190, pp. V002T10A008; 5 pages
doi:10.1115/POWER2014-32190
From:
  • ASME 2014 Power Conference
  • Volume 2: Simple and Combined Cycles; Advanced Energy Systems and Renewables (Wind, Solar and Geothermal); Energy Water Nexus; Thermal Hydraulics and CFD; Nuclear Plant Design, Licensing and Construction; Performance Testing and Performance Test Codes; Student Paper Competition
  • Baltimore, Maryland, USA, July 28–31, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4609-4
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME

abstract

“Wastewater treatment plants are not waste disposal facilities but are water resource recovery facilities that produce clean water, recover nutrients (such as phosphorus and nitrogen), and have the potential to reduce the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels through the production and use of renewable energy and the implementation of energy conservation.” This quote from the 2011 WEF Renewable Energy Position Statement clearly calls attention to the role of wastewater management through Water Resource Recovery Facilities (WRRF) to address the needs of the Utility of the Future.

The water resources utility of the future will integrate these three major concepts of Nutrients, Energy and Water, and many cutting edge utilities are already implementing this management goal of resource recovery. This focus may initially have been internal to the water or wastewater utility, investigating sustainable energy management through energy conservation, increased renewable energy production (where feasible), and focus on overall energy management. The overall societal benefit of the resilience improvement through distributed generation is starting to be realized. The fact that a water resource recovery facility (wastewater plant) that generates its own energy can operate when the power is out is an asset during extreme events. In addition, this capacity can be coordinated with electric utilities to address peak loads and other system needs. Valuable energy products generated on-site at wastewater plants can also supply a portion of energy demand within their respective service areas.

On average, the energy content of wastewater (chemical, hydraulic and thermal) is five times greater than the energy required for treatment. The most common opportunity for on-site power generation is through biogas created through anaerobic digestion. However, technologies such as gasification, pyrolysis, and incineration may be used to generate electricity or fuel. District energy systems, facilities to generate renewable diesel or aviation fuel, hydrogen fuel cells, and in-line hydropower are all being installed today.

However, becoming net energy positive is not the only goal. Optimizing overall sustainability may actually require using more energy or producing less energy onsite. Treating water to higher standards is often more energy intensive. Similarly, using biogas as a transportation fuel reduces onsite power production and increased energy use is required to further process biosolids to maximize reuse potential and to recover nutrients and minerals (e.g., nitrogen, phosphorous, magnesium).

A number of utilities worldwide have already taken the leap and begun this transformation towards resource recovery. While it is not practical for all water resource recovery facilities to become energy positive or neutral, all can take steps towards increasing sustainability while also improving resilience in the energy sector.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME

Figures

Tables

Interactive Graphics

Video

Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and Association With Material Stature

Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In