GE Invests In Energy Neutral Wastewater Solutions

Jan. 30, 2017
GE invests $900K across demonstration projects to enable energy neutral wastewater treatment and produce pathogen-free biosolids.

The Southern Ontario Water Consortium wastewater demonstration facility is site of new GE research initiative.

GE’s Water & Process Technologies is collaborating with the University of Guelph (U of G) in Ontario, Canada, on a federal government-funded, research initiative to maximize renewable energy generation and simultaneously produce a pathogen-free biosolids fertilizer. Government, university officials and Water & Process Technologies executives gathered for the grand opening of the new pilot, located at the Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC) wastewater demonstration facility adjacent to the city of Guelph wastewater treatment plant.

The pilot is reportedly the first large-scale project to receive funding under the SOWC’s Advancing Water Technologies (AWT) program, which supports collaborative, industry-led technology development projects. SOWC is funded by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. The AWT program is supplying nearly $600,000 to collaborators for this project, according to GE. In addition, Water & Process Technologies is reportedly investing $900,000 in infrastructure and support.

Water & Process Technologies’ aspirational goal is to shift wastewater treatment from a burden to an opportunity where valuable resources can be extracted—namely renewable energy, clean water and fertilizer, according to the company. Enhancing anaerobic digestion through biological hydrolysis technology is reportedly one of the keys to realizing this goal. Biological hydrolysis technology maximizes the efficiency of existing anaerobic digestion infrastructure by increasing its throughput capacity by up to three times, according to GE. This enables plant owners to treat more sludge and other organic materials, increasing biogas production that can be converted to renewable energy. At the same time, a valuable pathogen-free fertilizer product is produced.

Member of Provincial Parliament Liz Sandals also announced $500,000 in provincial funding for SOWC on behalf of the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science. The investment will allow SOWC to build on the U of G research project and other innovative technologies developed by Ontario companies for capturing value from wastewater treatment.

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