Lystek Thermal Hydrolysis

Jun 17, 2019
Kevin Litwiller

Lystek International Inc. (Lystek) is a division of the Tomlinson Group (Tomlinson). Tomlinson is 60-year-old family-owned construction and environmental services company that has been managing biosolids and organics for over 20 years. Tomlinson has a long and successful history of constructing municipal infrastructure including the recently awarded Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel (CSST) project in Ottawa ON (2016). Lystek Organic Materials Recovery Center at the Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District in Fairfield California.

Lystek Organic Materials Recovery Center at the Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District in Fairfield California.

Lystek Thermal Hydrolysis (Lystek THP) is a proven, innovative, cost-effective biosolids treatment solution to help water utilities produce more biogas and reduce biosolids volumes, costs, odors, and greenhouse gases (GHGs). It also produces an outstanding fertilizer product. A low temperature process, the technology transforms raw or digested sludge into a multi-purpose, Class A, EQ (Exceptional Quality) end-use product. High-speed shearing, alkali addition, and low-pressure steam are applied simultaneously in a single enclosed reactor. Despite having a solids content of 15-17%, the end product remains fully pumpable with conventional liquid handling and application equipment. The product can be sold as a high-quality fertilizer (LysteGroTM) and/or recycled to digesters or BNR systems to deliver process enhancements. Recycling up to 25% of the “LysteMizedTM” product to the digester increases biogas yields by 40% or more and enhances biodegradation, reducing output by 25% or more. The treated product can also be used in BNR systems as an alternative carbon source, replacing costlier products like methanol or glycerol. This product is called LysteCarbTM.

The system is typically installed as a post-anaerobic digestion (AD), post-dewatering solution. It is also able to process raw sludge, producing a high-quality product without anaerobic digestion (roughly half the CAPEX and a third the OPEX of lime stabilization). It can also be deployed in pre-digestion mode. Lystek THP is scalable and flexible and can be deployed as either an “in-plant” (Design-Build-Turnover) at the WWTP or set-up and utilized in a regional processing hub to service multiple customers.

For a more detailed look, please see our Lystek THP video.

What are the benefits to implementing your technology?

The solution is full automated and simple by design. It requires little engineering and is modular with a small footprint, making it flexible to deploy and easy to retrofit into existing facilities. It is easy and cost effective to operate and maintain, requiring no special training or skills. One hour of operator attention per day is typically all that is required to run the system.

Lystek Reactor 1 Organic Materials Recovery Center at the Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District.

Costs are subject to specific customer needs and are proven to be amongst the lowest in the industry allowing for rapid Return on Investment (ROI).

The system has a small footprint, is extremely cost effective, fast, and efficient. It treats thickened or dewatered, raw or digested biosolids. It reduces odors, output volumes, storage, and GHGs, and produces a Class A, EQ fertilizer with predictable NPK values and other essential nutrients. In an onsite deployment, Lysek can also be leveraged to optimize the performance of anaerobic digesters, increase biogas production, and is a cost-effective, alternative carbon source for BNR systems.

To hear what our customers think of the system, click here.

Has the technology been tested, demonstrated, or implemented anywhere to date?

The Lystek system is proven at full scale, with eight projects in Canada and a first project in the United States. Canadian projects include Lystek’s first, state-of-the art, regional Organic Materials Recovery Center (OMRC) in the Township of Southgate, Ontario. This center is owned and operated by Lystek. It provides services to a wide variety of generators within approximately 90 miles (150 kilometers) of the center, including the City of Toronto. It is capable of diverting up to 150,000 tons of organic material from landfills annually.

​Lystek Reactor and Hopper: In-Plant Deployment. ​

The company’s first, U.S.-based project is the Lystek OMRC-FSSD in Fairfield, California. This regional facility is also owned and operated by Lystek under a unique, private-public partnership model with the Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District (FSSD). It provides a range of processing and plant optimization services to the FSSD and surrounding San Francisco Bay Area and is also designed to divert 150,000 tons of material from landfills annually.

Lystek provides design, build, and transfer, as well as design, build, own, and operate solutions. Revenue is primarily generated from sales of the technology, tipping fees and revenue from fertilizer product sales. Engagements that involve avoided cost modelling, conversion, and sale of biogas into green energy and revenue sharing models based on product sales can also be explored.

What are some of the next steps needed to advance the technology?

The Lystek THP system has been proven in at full scale across several deployments, including seven installations right at the wastewater treatment plant. We have a demonstrated ability to divert biosolids and organics from landfills and convert these materials into federally recognized, Class A, EQ fertilizer products. Read more about this  technology.

Lystek SCADA System.

We are currently (October 2016) in aggressive expansion mode with a primary focus on North America. We are in the advanced stage of proving the full benefits of our LysteMize approach to digester optimization for reduced overall volumes and increased biogas production for conversion to green energy and are looking for additional customers that understand these benefits, as well as projects that would involve the utilization of our LysteCarb material as an alternative source of carbon for BNR systems, thus replacing costlier commercial products such as methanol or glycerol.                                                                                

Through LIFT we have been able to network and educate the market about our solutions for cost-effective, pragmatic management of biosolids and organics. We are always looking for additional opportunities to communicate directly with interested clients through excellent programs like this so we can grow our business.
Kevin Litwiller
Director of Business Development
Lystek International Inc.


Kevin Litwiller
Director of Business Development
Lystek International Inc.