Across the San Francisco Bay Area, agencies have implemented programs to capture methane gas through anaerobic digestion. However, energy value still remains in the biosolids after digestion. Nineteen Bay Area agencies have formed a Coalition to create a local sustainable solution to biosolids management by utilizing the remaining energy. Identified as the Bay Area Biosolids to Energy (BAB2E) project, most of the participating agencies presently utilize a combination of hauling biosolids for land application and/or alternative daily cover at landfills and would like to see these beneficial uses preserved. However, increasingly restrictive regulations and diminishing landfill capacity have been the impetus to seek a long term sustainable alternative.
The agencies are currently exploring opportunities to diversify biosolids management options with the development of a regional facility or facilities that will use biosolids and possibly other renewable feedstocks to generate renewable energy. Locating a regional facility(ies) within the Bay Area would have the added benefit of reducing vehicle miles, currently estimated to exceed one million miles per year, and the associated greenhouse gas emissions associated with hauling.
While open to the use of any of the available technologies, the BAB2E project is seeking to exceed air regulations and to maximize net energy production with state of art equipment.
The current Coalition members are: Central Marin Sanitation Agency; City of Burlingame; City of Livermore; City of Millbrae; City of Richmond; City of San Jose; City of Santa Rosa; Delta Diablo; Dublin San Ramon Services District; Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District; Ironhouse Sanitary District; North San Mateo County Sanitation District; Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant; San Francisco Public Utilities Commission; Sausalito Marin City Sanitary District; Silicon Valley Clean Water; Union Sanitary District; Vallejo Sanitation & Flood Control District; and, West County Wastewater District. The Coalition may increase or decrease in membership as the project develops.