Southern California Gas Co. announced Thursday it was awarded a $3 million grant from the California Energy Commission to help fund the next phase of development of a new technology that doubles the amount of renewable energy created from the decomposition of organic material at wastewater treatment plants.
Hydrothermal Processing, or HTP, “reduces greenhouse gas emissions by three times that of traditional anaerobic digestion and costs about half,” according to SoCalGas, which said the process uses heat and pressure to capture 86 percent of the energy in the waste and using only 14 percent to process it.
The pilot project, which is being funded in part by the CEC, SoCalGas and other private parties, will be located at the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District Wastewater Treatment Plant in the East Bay city of Martinez.
“Technological advances, like hydrothermal processing, are an important part of SoCalGas’ vision to be the cleanest natural gas utility in North America and will help us meet our commitment of to deliver renewable natural gas to homes and businesses,” said Ron Kent, Technology Development Manager at SoCalGas. “This new technology holds the potential to convert not only wastewater, but landfill, forestry and food waste into carbon-neutral renewable energy that displaces fossil fuels and helps California meet its climate goals.”
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