energy Archives - Infrastructure Digest

Reduce, reuse, recycle: Turning wastewater into energy

“The False Creek Energy Centre in Vancouver, B.C., is the first application of localized sewer heat recovery in North America — and the only one to use untreated sewage. For about two years, the plant has provided hot water and heating for the Neighborhood Energy Utility (NEU) in Vancouver, a city of about 650,000.

The $30 million False Creek Energy Centre services a portion of the city seeing significant new building development — about 2.7 million square feet, which is expected to grow to about 7 million square feet.

The plant supplies 100 percent of the heating and hot water demand — 70 percent from sewage heat recovery and 30 percent from natural gas boilers, according to Chris Baber, Vancouver’s NEU manager.”

Why should you read this? It’s a successful, locally popular biomass facility, and a wastewater treatment plant. Fascinating. TPO, January 2013

Portable MBR overcomes oil and grease wastewater challenges in Middle East

“ACWA Emirates said cost savings achieved using the portable MBR solution are estimated at AED 10 million ($2.7 million, £1.7 million). Removing the wastewater by tanker from such a remote site to the nearest treatment facility, 100 km away, and bringing in water for wastewater treatment, would have cost an estimated AED 42 million ($11.4 million, £7.1 million), equivalent to AED2700 ($735, £500) for each round of delivery and removal by tanker.”

Why should you  read this? The wealthy oil states have the funds to experiment on a large scale with all sorts of interesting infrastructure technology, and this is a brief look at one such experiment, a portable membrane bioreactor.

India Blackout Affects 600 Million People

“Electricity for nine states in the northern grid, supporting about 370 million people, went off at 2:00 a.m. on July 30 and returned within 11 to 18 hours. Northeast India lost power at 1:00 p.m. on July 31. Ten hours later, power had not been restored in some places in north India. In all, the outages have affected some 600 million people in 19 of India’s 28 states.

A combination of drought, unmined coal resources and a lack of grid controls likely led to the collapse, experts say. The northern grid, the country’s largest, is not matching up with demand. Hydropower has suffered this year because of a lack of monsoons, and thermal powerplants are suffering because of low coal supplies. Thermal plants supply 65% of power in the country.” Details on the huge Indian blackout, from a credible source. ENR, July 31st, 2012

Destroying Precious Land for Gas

“Natural gas has been sold as clean energy. But when the gas comes from fracturing bedrock with about five million gallons of toxic water per well, the word “clean” takes on a disturbingly Orwellian tone.” Opinion piece against fracking by Sean Lennon. Yes, that Sean Lennon. NYT, August 27, 2012

A Natural Solution

“It wasn’t until January 2008 when the Marcellus Shale potential became really interesting to gas explorers. Professor of Geosciences Terry Engelder at Penn State University and Professor of Geosciences Gary Lash at State University College, Fredonia, N.Y., published a paper contradicting the USGS lowball estimate and predicting that the Marcellus could produce 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.” Brief overview of the inordinate need for water in fracking, and of the possible use of acid mine drainage (AMD). This really seems to me like a classic confrontation between an immovable object (the need to keep groundwater clean) and an irresistible force (the desire for cheap domestic energy). We’ll see what happens, I guess. Energy & Infrastructure 

Tennessee city to implement PHG Energy’s innovative waste-to-energy system

“PHG’s biomass gasification waste-to-energy system will be built adjacent to the wastewater treatment plant on city-owned property, converting approximately 12 tons of waste per day, primarily composed of woody biomass, into energy.” Brief look, with some numbers, at a biomass project partially funded by grants. Public Works, July 26, 2012

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