What is your technology?
Ecoremedy’s Fluid Lift process integrates proven gasification technology into turnkey auto-thermal sludge drying projects. Whereas pyrolysis occurs in an oxygen-free environment, and incineration occurs in an oxygen-rich environment, gasification converts biosolids to energy-rich syngas in an oxygen-starved environment. Grit, screenings, and FOG can be co-gasified with sludge. Dewatered sludge volume is lowered by over 90% through reduction to concentrated minerals. The system can shift to production of biochar or dried Class A biosolids product when regulatory constraints are satisfied, and off-take is available. Project capacities range from 8,000 to over 25,000 wet tons per year per unit (18% TS or greater). The Ecoremedy team includes experts in gasification and sludge drying who are experienced with handling sludges that are sticky and highly variable in character.
What are the benefits to implementing your technology?
Ecoremedy provides cost-effective energy recovery and diversification of products for small towns and large cities.
The cost of biosolids disposal is escalating rapidly across the U.S. Land application faces a wide array of challenges, including extreme precipitation events, odors, public perception, and economics. Landfill bans are increasingly common. Emerging contaminants including PFAS are disrupting biosolids co-composting programs across the globe.
Ecoremedy provides unsurpassed flexibility to meet changing markets and regulations over the 25-year life of a project. Ecoremedy reduces sludge to concentrated minerals without fossil fuels and a clean emissions profile as a non-incineration technology. In addition to reducing all biosolids to low carbon, sterile, concentrated minerals, Ecoremedy offers the unique ability to produce carbon-rich biochar. Biochar from biosolids is promising but largely pre-commercial at this time. Years of lab testing, permitting, and development of off-take contracts are required before large volumes of biochar can be transformed from a disposal liability to a salable product. The third product of Ecoremedy is Class A dry biosolids. However, heat-treated, dried Class A solids can be a disposal liability seasonally or year-round, depending on the region, or in-demand year-round.
The temperature profiles and residence times within the gasifier and oxidizer are engineered for the thermal destruction of PFAS compounds. Preliminary lab results show that PFOS and PFOA levels in the concentrated minerals are at or below background levels compared to soil samples from throughout the U.S. with low leachability. The emission control and odor control systems utilize negative pressure and two types of BACT, including an activated carbon filter, to ensure clean, odorless emissions.
The system is affordable, with CapEx for turnkey projects that are highly competitive with other thermal treatment technologies. OpEx is low due to automated controls, no natural gas usage except during start-up, and little to no consumables required in the emission control system. Ecoremedy can provide a Design/Build solution or finance the construction of Build/Own/Operate/Manage projects.
The compact footprint is suitable for both greenfield sites and installation in existing confined incinerator buildings.
Ecoremedy offers low technology risk. Although Fluid Lift Gasification is novel to the municipal sector, it has been successfully deployed for more than a decade with a range of animal manures and sludges. Technology risk is mitigated in several ways:
- During scheduled or unscheduled gasifier downtime, each project operates as a conventional natural gas-fired dryer.
- A management team experienced with rapid technology scaling.
- The proprietary gasifier has only one moving part. It is fabricated in Pennsylvania by a leading manufacturer of biomass energy systems with over 100 installations.
- All other system components – from conveyors to dryers and emission control – are supplied by well-established manufacturers in the wastewater sector.
Has the technology been tested, demonstrated, or implemented anywhere to date?
Ecoremedy recently developed and permitted the Morrisville Project under a Finance/Build/Own/Operate/Manage model at a municipal WWTP near Trenton, NJ. The project is in the late stages of commissioning and has a capacity of 25,000 wet tons per year. Engineering, fabrication, and construction were completed within one year from signing the contract with the Morrisville Municipal Authority. Project permitting through PA DEP was straightforward.
Ecoremedy has contracted with Hazen and Sawyer’s Philadelphia office to conduct third-party independent quarterly technology validation reports for the first year of commercial operations at the Morrisville Project.
Ecoremedy has begun preliminary engineering for multiple municipal biosolids projects, and will soon commission a wood-waste-to-biochar project in Australia.
What are some of the next steps needed to advance the technology?
In Q2-Q3 2020, Ecoremedy will be interviewing preferred project partners. Preference is given to seasoned project developers with ready access to project capital that own multiple shovel-ready sites at suitable sites such as landfills, private wastewater utilities, or existing biosolids processing facilities (e.g., co-composting).
Not only has LIFT helped to legitimize our technology within the municipal biosolids sector, but it has also been a source of multiple serious project leads.Chris HolcombProject and Business DevelopmentEcoremedy LLC