Australia opens facility that will blast human waste and turn

Australia opens facility that will ‘blast’ human waste and turn it into fertilizer

A sewage treatment plant. The idea of ​​reusing organic matter or waste in industrial processes and other initiatives is not new and a number of interesting projects have emerged in recent years.

Thomas Imo | photo library | Getty Images

An Australian plant that turns human waste into fertilizer and energy has opened and project stakeholders hope it will reduce carbon emissions and save money.

The biosolids gasification plant, located at the Loganholme Wastewater Treatment Plant in Logan City, Queensland, was developed by Logan Water, the water company of Logan City Council.

According to the council, “the A$28 million (about $20 million) facility “blasts sewage with extremely high heat.” The Australian Renewable Energy Agency funded the project with $6 million.

The end product of the process is an odorless biochar that can be used, among other things, as fertilizer in agriculture. In a statement Tuesday, the council described the facility as “the first of its kind in Australia”.

Logan Water worked with a number of partners to supply the gasifier for the project. A key component of the project was the installation of two industrial dryers built in Germany by ELIQUO, a Dutch company. The dryers each weigh 34 tons and are 18 meters long.

“In gasification, biosolids (sewage sludge) are dewatered, dried and treated at high temperatures,” the council said. “The heat resulting from the process is then captured and used in the drying phase.”

Before the plant opened, trucks had taken the sewage sludge to another site, where it was reused as a low-grade fertilizer.

“Operating cost savings and carbon credits will return nearly $1 million annually to the City of Logan while a new revenue stream is created through the sale of biochar,” the council said. CO2 emissions would be reduced by about 6,000 tons per year, she added.

Read more about clean energy from CNBC Pro