The demonstration-scale project is a collaboration with the cities of Reno and Sparks, operators of the wastewater plant. The city councils signed an interlocal agreement recently to allow the research to integrate into their operation, providing space for the experiments, the dewatered sludge and other resources to help make the project a success.
"Economically, this makes sense," Coronella said. "Treatment plants have to get rid of the sludge, and what better way than to process it on-site and use the renewable energy to lower operating costs. This demonstration gives the University an opportunity to involve students in development of waste-to-energy technology, which ultimately will benefit the community. It's a win-win for everyone involved."
"Our next step is to do exactly what this dryer is doing on a much larger scale," he added. "We plan to demonstrate the technology at a scale 100 times larger, to convince investors and plant operators of the technology's viability."
The University's Technology Transfer Office, with assistance from the College of Business, is supporting the project with plans to make the system available to hundreds of communities around the country that operate water-treatment plants.
For example, there are approximately 700,000 metric tons of dried sludge produced annually in California municipalities, which would sustainably generate as much as 10 million kilowatt-hours per day.
The project is funded through the Energy Innovations Small Grant Program, the California Energy Commission and the Department of Energy. This phase of the project was selected for funding by the University's Tech Transfer Office under a DOE grant to support transferring technologies from the lab to practical application.
The project is one
|Contact: Mike Wolterbeek|
University of Nevada, Reno