Anaergia wins wastewater award for bioenergy facility

US-headquartered Anaergia has announced that its Rialto Bioenergy Facility in Rialto, California, received the Distinction Award for Wastewater Project of the Year at the Global Water Awards 2022, one of the industry’s most prominent international awards programmes. The award was presented at a ceremony in Madrid, Spain. 

The Rialto Bioenergy Facility is a $185 million project built, owned and operated by Anaergia. It is one of North America’s largest organics processing facilities, with the capacity to convert up to 1,000 tonnes per day of wastewater biosolids and landfill-diverted, organic waste into up to 985,000 MMBtu of renewable natural gas and agricultural fertiliser.  

By reducing the landfilling of organic waste and producing a carbon-negative fuel, the facility’s net carbon dioxide emissions reduction is approximately 220,000 tonnes annually equivalent to taking 47,500 cars off the road. 

“We are very proud that Rialto Bioenergy Facility has received this global recognition, demonstrating Anaergia’s world-leading capability to deliver sustainable wastewater and waste infrastructure of the 21st century, and helping utilities convert their biosolids into resources and reduce their carbon footprint,” said Andrew Benedek, Anaergia's chairman and CEO. “Far too much of the world’s wastewater sludge, food scraps and other organic waste is allowed to rot in landfills, producing methane that escapes and adds significantly to global warming. By converting organic waste to a carbon-negative renewable fuel and high-quality fertiliser, we are not only reducing planet-warming methane emissions, we are also replacing fossil fuels with a renewable fuel and improving the health of the earth’s soil.” 

Rialto Bioenergy Facility is unique in that it co-locates wastewater biosolids processing with organic waste processing. The facility digests organic waste that was extracted from mixed municipal solid waste using Anaergia’s proprietary OREX™ technology and produces renewable natural gas (RNG) using the Company’s advanced anaerobic digestors, which are up to three times more efficient than conventional digestion technology.  

It also converts Class B biosolids into high-quality Class A fertiliser through drying and will soon complete the addition of Anaergia’s PyroSys™ pyrolysis technology to produce NutriChar™ biochar fertiliser. PyroSys™ is a unique thermal technology that converts Class B biosolids into Class A fertiliser that is free from PFAS and other contaminants of concern.  

With Californian law now requiring the diversion of 75 percent of organic wastes from landfills by 2025, the plant will serve as a replicable reference for years to come as cities and utilities work to achieve carbon neutrality goals. 

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