CleanWorld today officially opened the nation’s largest commercial-scale, high solid anaerobic digestion (AD) system at the South Area Transfer Station property in South Sacramento.
The Sacramento Biodigester is one of CleanWorld’s Organic Waste Recycling Centers and will convert 25 tons of food waste per day from area food processing companies, restaurants and supermarkets into renewable natural gas, electricity and soil-amendment products. The Sacramento Biodigester in 2013 will be expanded to process 100 tons of waste per day, making it the largest commercial-scale, high solid AD system in the United States.
“Opening this facility is an historic step for our company, region and the state,” said Michele Wong, CEO of CleanWorld. “CleanWorld is proud to be leading the way in successfully commercializing technologies that efficiently and cost effectively convert organic waste into renewable energy and other organic products.”
California’s first AD-based Renewable Natural Gas Fueling Station is also being developed at the site by Atlas Disposal Industries and is expected to open in the spring 2013. Natural gas produced by CleanWorld’s digestion system will be used to fuel Atlas clean-fuel trucks, along with clean-fuel vehicles from area jurisdictions and agencies. Electricity to run the station also will be generated by the digester system – a first in the United States.
When complete, the Sacramento Biodigester will replace 1 million gallons of diesel with renewable natural gas and produce 2 million kilowatt hours of electricity – eliminating 5,800 tons of greenhouse gases per year – equivalent to the emissions from 1,000 vehicles or 500 homes.
Construction on the system began in June 2012. When fully constructed, it will divert nearly 37,000 tons of waste annually from landfills. It will also produce organic fertilizers and soil amendment products for distribution to area farms.
The Sacramento Biodigester will create 16 long-term jobs in Sacramento and generate more than $1.1 million in annual combined tax revenue for the City of Sacramento, Sacramento County and the state.
CleanWorld’s proprietary systems are based on AD technology originally developed at UC Davis to convert food waste, agricultural residue and other organic waste with up to 50 percent solid content into renewable energy, fertilizer and soil enhancements without adding water. This reduces the systems’ size and cost, and enables their use in a wide range of settings.
Financing was provided by Synergex, Five Star Bank, Central Valley Community Bank, California Energy Commission, CalRecycle and California Office of State Treasurer. Key project partners include Otto Construction, Atlas Disposal, City of Sacramento, Sacramento County, University of California, Davis, and Sacramento Municipal Utility District. The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, Carson Development Company, Peabody Engineering, TSS Consultants, Capstone Turbine Corp. and Frank M. Booth also have played key roles in the facility’s development.