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The SlurryCarb™ Process: Turning Municipal Wastewater Solids into a Profitable Renewable Fuel

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An innovative disposal method that provides answers to the challenges of biosolids disposal, protects the environment and simultaneously produces a high-grade renewable fuel, EnerTech‘s patented SlurryCarb™ process has generated widespread support – support which will culminate in the first commercial plant to begin construction in 2001. The unique process chemically converts Municipal Wastewater Solids and other wastes into a high-energy, liquid fuel (or solid fuel) that is cleaner to combust than most coals. A highly adaptive system, SlurryCarb™ can stand alone or mesh with existing or planned wastewater plant infrastructure and produce significant savings in both operating and capital costs.

Simplicity of operation is key to the SlurryCarb™ technology. Municipal Wastewater Solids (MWS) is brought to a central manufacturing facility where it is processed as a pumpable slurry (at ˜ 16 – 20% solids). The highly adaptive plant can be placed before digestion or before or after dewatering. The slurry can be created from a single waste stream (such as MWS) or a combination of wastes (such as MWS and Municipal Solid Waste), according to the disposal needs being addressed. After processing the slurry, the product fuel, known as “E-Fuel”, can then be utilized on site to help with the power requirements of the plant, or can be transported to industrial and utility users and used as a supplement or substitute for currently used fuels such as coal or oil.

E-Fuel can be produced up to 9,500 Btu/lb (dry basis) and easily utilized in conventional combustion infrastructure and combusted with less than 20% excess air. In addition, the SlurryCarb™ process typically can remove over 98% of the feed chlorine, greatly reducing HCl emissions and boiler corrosion from combustion of EFuel. Combustion of E-Fuel also produces simultaneous CO, NOx, trace metal, and dioxin emissions that are below Environmental Protection Agency's Standards (40 CFR 503), and SO2 emissions that are comparable to coal, without the need for extensive air pollution control systems.

The technical advantages of the SlurryCarb™ process all contribute to excellent economics. A 75 dry ton per day solids facility can operate profitably at a less than 250 per dry ton tipping fee (assuming the sludge enters the SlurryCarb™ system at 16 – 20% solids). Reduced-capacity units (i.e. 25 – 50 tons per day) have similarly strong economics. The technology provides exceptional public relations benefits as the presence of a combustion facility is eliminated, and waste is no longer landfilled, land applied or burned but converted to a valuable fuel and then exported to the marketplace.

Current activities include a commercial project under development in New Jersey with ground breaking scheduled for 2001. An agreement with Mitsubishi Corporation has produced a 20 ton/day (as received MSW) unit in Japan (See Figure 4). Construction of the Japanese demonstration unit was completed in early 1997 and operation began in March 1997. EnerTech also has extensive testing facilities in the United States. EnerTech has been able to address the technical risk associated with a new technology through the above activities and by securing system performance insurance from Hartford Steam Boiler and Inspection Company.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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