High solids anaerobic digestion system unveiled in Ohio

By City of Akron | November 08, 2013

Once again, Akron, Ohio, is at the forefront of “green” technology as it manages the biosolids generated from the Water Reclamation Facility. The Renewable Energy Facilityonce known as the Akron Compost Facility, now uses a state of the art high solids anaerobic digestion system (ADS). Biosolids once used to make compost is now transformed into biogas that produces renewable energy in the form of electricity. KB BioEnergy, formerly known as KB Compost Services, is now processing 100 percent of the biosolids through Akron’s new $32 million facility.

KB BioEnergy, a premier biosolids management company in Northeast Ohio, is dedicated to promoting new, environmentally responsible means and methods of creating usable byproducts from waste solids better known as biosolids. The city and KB BioEnergy have had a public-private partnership since 1989 to manage the biosolids through the city’s composting facility. In 2007, the city contracted with KB BioEnergy and constructed the ADS (Phase I) which processed one-third of the biosolids generated by the City while producing renewable energy. The success of that demonstration project resulted in a renewed contract with KB BioEnergy and the construction of the Phase II plant, which is three times the size of the original ADS and accommodates 100 percent of the city’s waste stream.

The Phase II plant incorporates the Bioferm/Schmack Biogas technology that was successfully demonstrated in Phase I. In addition, a new dryer by Komline-Sanderson was installed to dry the solids that remain after the digestion process has occurred. Approximately 15,000 cubic yards of “pellet-like” material will be generated through this process.

In the ADS process, the biosolids have a dual purpose. The biosolids contain microorganisms responsible for breaking down the wastes, and provide nutrients to sustain the microorganisms.  The biosolids are regularly added to the digestion tanks, which are maintained at 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The wastes are broken down and biogas is generated. This biogas is then used to fuel three 600 kilowatts (kW) combined-heat-and-power units. Expected renewable energy production will be 10,000 megawatt hours (MWh) annually, which is enough electricity to power 1,400 homes each year. In Phase II, the excess electricity will be used to offset the needs of the Water Reclamation Facility.

- With this new facility the City of Akron will recognize the following benefits:

- Generation of renewable energy available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year

- Management of solid wastes or biosolids for future generations extending out 30 to 50 years.

- Reduction in greenhouse gas footprint

- Generation of sustainable products in the form of electricity and pelletized organics

“With the completion of Phase II, our Water Reclamation Facility will be ‘energy neutral,’ meaning all the electricity required for the facility is produced on site,” said Mayor Don Plusquellic.  “Not only is this a great technology that we’ve imported from Germany to help ‘green’ our city, but we are also a true business partner in this project -- for every community that constructs an ADS system based on Akron’s model, Akron receives a royalty.  And, Akron should have a good return on its investment as other cities around the country start using this money-saving, energy-producing, innovative process.”




2 Responses

  1. Helane Shields



    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acknowledges there are human and animal prions (mad cow disease, chronic wasting disease, Alzheimer's, Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease) in sewage sludge: Sewage Treatment does not inactivate prions -- it reconcentrates them in the sludge biosolids (Pedersen, et al 2007): The EPA and waste industry urge homeowners to use Class A sludge biosolids in their home vegetable gardens.: Now scientists have found that plants uptake infectious prions from soil and sludge biosolids: It is time to end the landspreading of sludge biosolids. Helane Shields, Alton, NH

  2. Ratnesh



    We would all prefer not to s..t. And those about us who go' every day are low types. But sh ing is a woufnrdel, natural process (as distinct from eating Macca's) which takes from our bodies the dead bacteria that have kept us alive by doing their duty in our gut. And if we had the (uncommon) common sense to eat the plain whole foods that our grandmothers cooked eschewing all the drugs and additives we so enjoy then our c..p would be much more user friendly than it is. With the right soil profile and some other considerations, it could be piped untreated yes untreated straight onto suitably timbered (flora covered) areas and left to do it's next round of duty, for the flora. Compared with waste dumps at mining sites we won't even consider nuclear waste the human waste, so handled, is almost a piece of cake within a few weeks of hitting the ground. Those of us don't s..t would be offended by the pong but, hey .It's quite a lot like death really. These days we pass' rather than dying and we generally go six feet under or get burnt. Going that far under is silly. This is at last being realised, with shallower burials in cardboard boxes under flora cover being encouraged by the enlightened. Great natural stuff, using the carcase this way. Getting burnt is truly disgusting and will have to be curtailed eventually, just like all the chemicals we currently apply to our s..t in the treatment centres.


    Leave a Reply

    Biomass Magazine encourages encourages civil conversation and debate. However, we reserve the right to delete comments for reasons including but not limited to: any type of attack, injurious statements, profanity, business solicitations or other advertising.

    Comments are closed