The Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority (VVWRA) of Victor Valley, California, held a ceremony on September 26 to mark the successful startup of its new Omnivore biogas production system, which was supplied by Burlington, Ontario’s Anaergia Inc. The high solids digestion technology is the first of its kind in use in North America.

Many municipal wastewater treatment facilities use biogas produced from the treatment to generate energy to offset part of their electrical needs. Without high biogas production rates, however, the cost of electrical generation installation can be prohibitive. To boost biogas production rates, some facilities may accept additional waste streams like food waste, fats, oils, and grease. Existing anaerobic digesters which produce the gas often can’t be loaded with this external waste, necessitating the construction of additional digester capacity.

The new technology implemented by VVWRA allows wastewater treatment plants to increase digester loading and biogas production using existing infrastructure.

“Our goal is to demonstrate that we can operate our existing infrastructure more efficiently,” said Logan Olds, General Manager of VVWRA. “With recuperative thickening or even with traditional digesters, the ability to co-digest an additional waste stream can bring added value to the facility, whether it be through minimizing tipping fees or by producing power from the additional methane that is generated as a result of the decomposition.”

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