Get updates on COVID-19 research at COVID-19 Resource
Crop Biotech Update

Pennsylvanian Wastewater Plant Cuts its Energy Bill through Food Waste Co-Digestion

October 19, 2016

The $32 million upgrade to the Hermitage Municipal Authority Wastewater Treatment Plant in Pennsylvania, which allowed it to co-digest food waste, has significantly cut its energy bill.

The plant has performed as expected, processing food waste from commercial sources to meet some of the plant's power requirements. The waste is passed through a digester, operating at about 135 degrees Fahrenheit. The waste then travels to a second digester, heating the waste to about 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Both digesters generate biogas.

Opened in May 2014, the plant was designed in part by Jason Wert of RETTEW, a water technology firm, and uses advanced anaerobic digestion to produce biogas. The plant then uses the produced biogas to generate electricity and heating for the plant. The plant keeps more than 15,000 gallons of waste per week from going to landfills. The facility's operations also separate waste from liquid, purifying it and releasing it to local waterways.