Des Moines WRA producing RNG following WWTP upgrade

The Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority (WRA) is now producing renewable natural gas (RNG) at one of its wastewater treatment plants (WWTP).

The WRA has spent several years and millions of dollars upgrading its facilities to create RNG from one of its wastewater treatment processes. The facility takes a gas produced from a biological process, cleans up the gas by removing unwanted contaminants, and then injects the clean gas into a local utility’s pipeline.

WRA director Scott Hutchens said: “Our facility is one of the largest WWTPs in the state of Iowa and one of the first to implement a project of this kind.

“We’re also the first to inject RNG into the pipeline of the utility company we worked with.

“It’s been a long time coming but the collective hard work of many individuals has allowed this to be a very special and historical moment for our organisation.”

The RNG injected into the pipeline is expected to provide revenues of around $3 million (€2.57 million) annually, allowing the WRA to offset operational and maintenance costs for the WWTP and utilise a by-product of the treatment process innovatively.

Injecting RNG into a pipeline will also allow the WRA to substantially reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint. The amount of RNG the facility will provide daily is equivalent to the volume used by 5,500 average US homes each day.

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