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New Bioenergy Technology in Operation: The Rialto Slurrycarb™ Facility

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Abstract:

EnerTech Environmental, Inc. (EnerTech) has developed an innovative, energy-efficient process for converting biosolids into a renewable fuel. Five agencies in Southern California have partnered with EnerTech Environmental California, LLC, a subsidiary of EnerTech, to provide a new biosolids management option to the region. The Facility, located in Rialto, California, employs EnerTech's SlurryCarb™ technology to generate a renewable fuel product. This new technology is reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Southern California.

Commissioning of the Rialto SlurryCarb™ Facility started in 2009. Being a first of its kind facility, some issues were encountered during start-up that led to changes to the design of the facility and resulted in improved operations. By late 2009 the Facility was operating consistently at rates in excess of 500 wet tons per day. These design improvements are described in this paper.

The Rialto Facility is a net energy producer. The renewable fuel, called eFuel, contains twice as much energy as the facility requires producing it. This allows the facility to have a net negative carbon footprint. eFuel produced at the facility is being used by local cement kilns.

In 2009, EnerTech retained Environmental Resources Management (ERM) to perform an independent comparison of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions profile for EnerTech's process compared to accepted alternative methods for biosolids management. ERM concluded that, “compared with the alternative biosolids management scenarios evaluated, producing and using eFuel as a coal fuel substitute results in a net reduction in GHG emissions.”

This paper presents a review of the performance of the Rialto facility, including:

A brief overview of the Rialto SlurryCarb™ Facility


A discussion of the performance of the Rialto Facility as of late 2009


A review of design improvements that have enhanced operations at the Rialto facility


A summary of ERM's carbon emissions analysis and conclusions

Keywords: Renewable energy; SlurryCarb; bioenergy; carbon footprint; eFuel; greenhouse gas emissions; thermal treatment

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/193864710802766958

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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