Here in Akron, the Water Reclamation Facility is the water treatment plant. They send the sewage to the Renewable Energy Facility for further processing. KB BioEnergy, Inc. operates and maintains the Renewable Energy Facility for the City of Akron.
There are many types of anaerobic digestion systems available. The type of digester chosen often is based upon the type of organic waste that will be processed. Akron’s feedstock is municipal solid waste. The facility is fueled by digester gas, which offsets the operational costs. The City of Akron produces an average of 70 million gallons of biosolids each year. When KB BioEnergy receives the biosolids to process, the biosolids average just under 5% solid.
Currently, our EQ product is used in soil blending. By working with a local company to use the dried biosolids, we are reducing the amount of trucking needed, and in turn, reducing our carbon footprint.
Historically, Akron composted their biosolids. In 2005, anaerobic digestion was considered. The Schmack ™ technology had worked wonderfully for many European farmers. We decided to try it with municipal waste and built a Pilot study (referred to as Phase I). We treated 1/3 of the waste stream utilizing the new technology successfully! Phase I provided some unique challenges, but we learned from them and knew that we would need to make some adjustments. We then built Phase II, a full-scale system that would process 100% of the waste stream utilizing Anaerobic Digestion. We have been operating this way since Phase II was commissioned in 2013!
Consistent with the Kurtz Bros., Inc. recycling efforts and leadership in the “Green” movement, KB BioEnergy’s entire operation is focused on turning waste into resource. Here, 100% of the waste stream from the city of Akron is treated through anaerobic digestion – a biological process that can be used to treat biosolids. The system breaks down sewage sludge and eliminates the pathogens in the wastewater stream. With no oxygen present, microorganisms, or bacteria, break down biodegradable material. Anaerobic digestion results in two end products: biogas, which can be used to general electricity or heat, and a pellet-like organic material, which can be used for land application. The gas is used to power the system, making the operations self-sufficient.
Anaerobic digestion benefits the environment, too! We can reduce our oil and natural gas consumption, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are created in transporting wastewater solids to a landfill. Unlike other renewable energy sources that require favorable weather conditions to function, biomass energy is consistently available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year!
Support. Transform. Sustain.
KB BioEnergy works to be the example of preserving the Environment in which we live by creating an invaluable, sustainable renewable resource for The City of Akron and beyond.