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Sacramento Digester Gobbles Food, Spits Out Electricity

December 18, 2012 By Linda Hardesty

CleanWorld’s new commercial-scale, anaerobic digestion (AD) system in Sacramento, Calif., is converting 25 tons of food waste per day from area food processing companies, restaurants and supermarkets into renewable natural gas, electricity and soil-amendment products.

The Sacramento Biodigester (pictured), located at the South Area Transfer Station property in South Sacramento, will be expanded in 2013 to process 100 tons of waste per day.

California’s first AD-based Renewable Natural Gas Fueling Station is also being developed at the site by Atlas Disposal Industries and is expected to open in spring 2013. Natural gas produced by CleanWorld’s digestion system will be used to fuel Atlas clean-fuel trucks, along with clean-fuel vehicles from area jurisdictions and agencies.

Electricity to run the station also will be generated by the digester system – a first in the United States, according to CleanWorld.

When complete, the Sacramento Biodigester will replace 1 million gallons of diesel with natural gas and produce 2 million kWh of electricity, eliminating 5,800 tons of greenhouse gases per year.

Construction on the system began in June 2012. When fully constructed, it will divert nearly 37,000 tons of waste annually from landfills. It will also produce organic fertilizers and soil amendment products for distribution to area farms.

CleanWorld’s proprietary systems are based on AD technology originally developed at UC Davis to convert food waste, agricultural residue and other organic waste with up to 50 percent solid content into renewable energy, fertilizer and soil enhancements without adding water.

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