Arizona Wastewater Plant to Use Biogas as Renewable Fuel Source

March 14, 2014
Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department in talks to create a biogas upgrading facility

Anaergia Inc. and its project partner Grannus LLC have been selected to enter negotiations with the Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department (PCRWRD) in Arizona to design-build-finance-own-operate (DBFOO) a large-scale biogas upgrading facility. The biogas upgrading facility will produce a renewable biomethane, which is a clean fuel to offset the use of conventional fossil fuel.

PCRWRD operates nine wastewater treatment facilities throughout Pima County. The majority of biosolids generated from these wastewater plant operations are transferred to a centralized wastewater biosolids handling and treatment facility located at the Tres Rios Water Reclamation Facility. Anaerobic digesters are used to process the biosolids to produce a continuous supply of digester gas, which is currently flared.  

“Flaring the biogas is not the best use of this resource from an environmental or ratepayer perspective. This project will leverage innovative technologies and practices of the private sector to help us accomplish the mandate set out in our System-Wide Biosolids and Biogas Utilization Master Plan.” commented Jackson Jenkins, director Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department.

“Wastewater treatment plants across the country are searching for innovative ways to convert their facilities into resource recovery centers. The PCRWRD has taken a leadership role in demonstrating how this can be achieved with minimal risk or investment,” said Arun Sharma, President of Anaergia Services, located in Carlsbad, Calif.

The county’s primary project goal is to utilize its biogas in an environmentally sustainable manner that generates revenue and can offset wastewater treatment costs. The DBFOO will allow the PCRWRD to focus on its core business of wastewater treatment plant operation and regulatory compliance, while creating a long-term partnership with Anaergia/Grannus to not only deliver and operate the biogas upgrading facility, but to market and sell the commercial biomethane product. In addition to extracting value out of the biogas currently produced at the plant, Anaergia/Grannus and Pima County are exploring options to increase biogas production with assets already in place at the facility.

Source: Anaergia Inc.