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Canada-based waste-to-energy project receives EPIC backing

Canadian biowaste and organic company Lystek International has been awarded a $1.5 million (€1.26m)-plus grant from the California Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Program.

The mandate of the EPIC Program focuses on funding for the creating of new energy solutions, fostering regional innovation, and bringing clean energy ideas to the marketplace.

Approved through unanimous vote on 8 November, 2017, the project sees Lystek partnering with Goleta Sanitary District and the University of California in Santa Barbara to deploy an environmentally and economically sustainable organics-to-energy system.

‘Thermal Hydrolysis Process’

According to the company, the project will demonstrate that source-separated food waste, and potentially other organic waste streams, can be pre-treated and processed to produce a high-quality biogas, which can ultimately be used as a fuel source for electrical energy generation.

In addition, the resulting by-product of the treatment (biosolids) can be treated with Lystek’s Thermal Hydrolysis Process and converted into LysteGro biofertiliser for the agricultural market.

 “Lystek has a proven track record of bringing advanced technology to the wastewater service sector and this proven experience was important to the California Energy Commission in its granting of the award,” said Jim Dunbar, general manager at Lystek OMRC-FSSD.

He added: “Our partnership with Goleta Sanitary District and the University of California is an ideal opportunity to show the opportunities for resource recovery from existing organic waste material and the conversion into a sustainable and renewable energy source.”

Lystek will construct and operate the demonstration unit; Goleta will be the host site and provide logistical support; and, the University will be the source of the feedstock (food waste from school cafeterias) and, potentially volunteer participation from students and faculty.

Source-separated organics 

The pre-treatment technology will be constructed as skid-mounted, mobile units for processing source-separated organics and biosolids and will have cogeneration capabilities thereby further increasing the energy generation from the wastewater treatment system.

“The Goleta Sanitary District is excited to be a part of this unique demonstration project with Lystek,” said Steve Wagner, general manager at Goleta Sanitary District. “The ability to partner with a proven technology provider such as Lystek gives us future options as we look to alternatives in traditional energy sources.”

“This is another example of how the public and private sectors can work together in solving our environmental challenges,” he added.

Separately, Lystek has helped to build an organic material recovery centre at the Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District in California, called the OMRC FFSD.

Opened in August 2016, the OMRC-FSSD has celebrated its first full year of successful operations and it is rapidly contributing to the company’s overall ability to divert hundreds of thousands of tonnes of biosolids from North American landfills annually, in favor of higher and better uses.

The facility opened with a baseline volume of 14,000 tonnes per year from the FSSD and it is rapidly securing additional volume commitments from numerous, other Bay Area agencies, including Santa Rosa, San Francisco and others.





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