Cambridge-based Lystek International Inc. recently announced that it has been awarded a grant worth more than US $1.5 million through the California Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program. The mandate of the EPIC program focuses on funding for the creation of new energy solutions, fostering regional innovation, and bringing clean energy ideas to the marketplace.
Approved through unanimous vote on November 8, 2017, the project sees Lystek partnering with Goleta Sanitary District and the University of California in Santa Barbara to deploy an environmentally and economically sustainable organics-to-energy system. The project will demonstrate that source separated food waste, and potentially other organic waste streams, can be pre-treated and processed to produce a high-quality biogas, which can ultimately be used as a fuel source for electrical energy generation. In addition, the resulting by-product of the treatment (biosolids) can be treated with the Lystek Thermal Hydrolysis Process and converted into LysteGro® biofertilizer for the agricultural market.
“Lystek has a proven track record of bringing advanced technology to the wastewater service sector and this proven experience was important to the California Energy Commission in its granting of the award,” says Jim Dunbar, General Manager, Lystek OMRC-FSSD. “Our partnership with Goleta Sanitary District and the University of California is an ideal opportunity to show the opportunities for resource recovery from existing organic waste material and the conversion into a sustainable and renewable energy source.”
Each of the partners have a specific role and bring critical value to this unique project. Lystek will construct and operate the demonstration unit; Goleta will be the host site and provide logistical support; and, the University will be the source of the feedstock (food waste from school cafeterias) and, potentially volunteer participation from students and faculty. The pretreatment technology will be constructed as skid-mounted, mobile units for processing source-separated organics and biosolids and will have cogeneration capabilities thereby further increasing the energy generation from the wastewater treatment system.
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