Made in the USA

Skip to Main Content »

MadgeTech News

Project Underway to Extract Biofuel from Human Waste

3/30/17 8:47 AM

Our personal vehicles are a major contributor to global warming, with every gallon of gas burned said to release 24 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In an effort to take fossil fuel burning vehicles off the road, European carmaker SEAT is working with Aqualia, a Spanish water management company to turn human waste into a useable fuel.

The project, dubbed Life+ Methamorphosis, would extract biomethane from wastewater plants in Barcelona, Spain. That gas then must be processed a second time before it be used to power utilities or compressed natural gas cars, which would cut CO₂ emissions by up to 80%.

It's a process that is simpler than it seems. First, bacteria breaks down the solid waste, transforming it into a raw biomethane gas, through a process called anaerobic digestion. From there, the gas is then processed a second time to remove nitrogen, which can also be reclaimed. The clean, compressed biomethane is then ready to be pumped into the fuel tanks, or any natural gas distribution network.

According to SEAT and Aqualia, a medium-sized wastewater treatment plant can covert around 10,000 cubic meters of water in 24 hours, generating 1,000 cubic meters of biomethane. That's enough to fuel 150 vehicles travelling more than 60 miles a day. It's estimated that in one year's time, a single wastewater plant could produce enough biofuel for a compressed natural gas vehicle to drive nearly 3 million miles.

Funded by the European Union, SEAT will provide a line of compressed natural gas cars to test the new biofuel over a distance of 74,500 miles.

Wastewater treatment is composed of highly complex processes to ensure the water being released back into the ecosystem is both safe for the environment and public health. MadgeTech offers data logging solutions to monitor and record crucial steps throughout the treatment process. To view the data loggers for wastewater applications and compliance, click here.

Recent Posts

The sky is the limit for an architect firm striving to design innovative skyscrapers, while improving the air quality in one Chinese city. Italian architect, Stefano Boeri, believes incorporating plants into his blueprints will help tackle the intense smog that pollutes the city of Nanjing, which is home to more than eight million people.

Read More

It's a discovery that goes against the assumption that fresh produce loses its beneficial nutrients once it's picked and processed. A new study out of the University of Reading in the UK found that cancer-fighting nutrients in rocket leaves, also known as arugula, increased during post-harvest shelf life.

Read More

Every year, about 40% of vaccines are wasted due to breaks in cold chain getting the vital medicines to remote areas of the world. The main problem occurs during the last leg of the journey when those vaccines are transported in cold boxes by bicycle or horseback to their final destination. In an effort to save money and lives, researchers have developed a new technique that can preserves the quality of vaccines without the need for constant refrigeration.

Read More

Posted in: Environmental, News, Blog Posts, Diesel Emissions, Europe, By:

MadgeTech Marketing Team