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Portland looks to turn more solids into biogas at Columbia plant

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  • Portland looks to turn more solids into biogas at Columbia plant

    More of Portland’s wastewater soon may be converted to compressed natural-gas vehicle fuel, which would reduce the use of diesel fuel and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Read More

  • #2
    Environmental Services has received approval from Portland City Council for its $12M biogas project at the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment plant in Portland Oregon. With plans to sell the RNG from a fueling station for use in its own trucks and city trucks, what is left out of the remarks is that the Portland metro area still does not have a single public CNG station. At least there are no tolls on the bridges to adjacent Vancouver Washington where public CNG has been available next to a Frito-Lay plant since the spring of 2016.


    • #3
      April 19, 2017 - The bureau says it can produce enough natural gas in a year to power the equivalent of 154 garbage trucks.


      • #4
        At July 13 2017 Clean Cities meeting, the details were summarized for the Portland Wastewater Treatment CNG station. The gas utility, NW Natural, will be providing the station which will have HDR provide the gas processing apparatus and TechStar CNG Systems, LLC of Oregon City provide the Bauer compressor, tanks and dispensers.

        Transcript of Chris Galati, of NW Natural, remarks from the meeting:

        As the electric industry has been greening up its energy mix with solar and wind, the gas utilities feel compelled to do the same with molecules. Renewable natural gas gives us an opportunity to do that.

        Our first project we will be interconnecting next year will be the Portland OR Wastewater Treatment Plant where they will produce, initially, 1M therms/year and, quite possibly, 8M therms per year. Which would come to about 0.1 percent of our overall supply.

        The stated purpose of the CNG station in the Apr 19 2017 press release was:

        The City of Portland will be on Schedule H, a tariff approved by the Public Utility Commission of Oregon which allows the utility to install and maintain compression facilities for customers who need on-site fueling. The fueling station is projected to be online as early as the end of 2017 and be used for Environmental Services and other city trucks.

        The new project is expected to significantly reduce the city s carbon footprint, said Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Director Susan Anderson. From an environmental point of view, it s not just about our local air quality, Anderson said. It s about reducing carbon emissions. We need to walk our talk.

        Biogas is currently being captured for heat and electric power at the plant and a neighboring process plant. In 2009, Environmental Services installed two 850 kilowatt GE/Jenbacher engine-generators with a total generating capacity of 1.7 megawatts. A pretreatment system removes hydrogen sulfide, siloxane and moisture to prepare the biogas to be used as fuel.

        The plant recovers heat from water and engine exhaust to use in its anaerobic digesters. The engine-generators supply about 40 percent of the plant's electrical needs.

        The plant is now designing a facility to convert some of that biogas into compressed natural gas vehicle fuel. Environmental Services found that the vehicle fuel option is the most economical and environmentally sound re-use option of several studied. It will reduce diesel fuel use and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

        Environmental Services is exploring several possible uses for the fuel including selling it to a utility company, selling to Portland area garbage haulers to fuel trucks, fueling city vehicles, or fueling trucks that haul biosolids for land application. The project will cost nearly $11 million. Environmental Services is exploring grants and financial incentives to help reduce project costs. Construction could start early next year and the facility could be operational by 2017.

        The city plans to sell the product for credits they will be awarded based on the volume of natural gas they sell to oil companies and other obligated parties required to invest in renewable energy or purchase carbon offsets under The Clean Air Act, said Paul Suto, supervising engineer at Portland s environmental services bureau.

        Portland is negotiating a contract with Midwest energy assessment company Clean Energy Renewables to help make its plan work. The firm will find potential buyers, value the volume of natural gas and ultimately help monetize the city s energy credits, Suto said.



        • #5
          In July 1998, Portland OR installed a 200-kilowatt fuel cell in its wastewater treatment plant that uses methane produced by the plant to generate power to run the plant. The methane had been used to heat boilers in the wastewater plant, and some was sold to a neighboring asphalt roofing company. But the plant still produced more methane than the City could use.

          Fuel cell power plants (FCPP) offered a viable solution. Fuel cells use an electric generation technology that converts methane into electricity, water, CO2 and usable heat. They also can be powered by other fuel sources such as hydrogen. With local policies to support sustainable practices and utilization of anaerobic digester gas (ADG), Portland has begun to power a fuel cell with methane from its wastewater treatment plant to generate electricity and heat to the facility.

          The project had to meet environmental and renewable energy requirements. Unlike combustion generators that produce oxides of nitrogen (NOx), oxides of sulphur (SOx) and particulates, the FCPP process produces only water, heat and CO2 emissions. Also, by using a renewable biogas, the electricity is defined as renewable generation, or "green power," by U.S. definition.



          • #6
            Bauer compressor being set this week at Columbia Wastewater Treatment Plant 5001 N Columbia Blvd, Portland, Oregon. Compressor and dispensers are 100 feet from the Columbia Slough Trail bike trail bridge approach, directly at the end of the N Fiske Ave entry road to the facility. (all of this easily seen on maps dot google dot com Satellite view-imagery is, in fact, from aerial photos, not satellites.)

            As with the private CNG stations at Pride Disposal (Sherwood OR), Helberg Disposal (Portland OR), and Gresham Disposal (Gresham OR), the agency has not informed afdc dot energy dot gov of the Columbia planned CNG station. So CNG growth in Oregon is not being documented.

            Plans are to have the station dispensing CNG to several Altech-Eco bi-fuel Ford van conversions by year end. Pipeline gas, not wastewater treatment gas, will be used. Station is not located next to a nearby perimeter road to allow a public dispenser outside the fence as is done at countless facilities nationwide.

            CNG_Altecheco_f.jpg CNG_Thomas2.JPG CNG_AustinCityTX_1.JPG


            • #7
              Completiion was slated for end of 2017. C26 X-Fill Series can now be seen on site with on-board storage of 98 or 196 usable gge s. Accommodates line pressures of 10-215 psig. No gas pre-treatment equipment has been installed to handle the methane produced by the waste water plant (Bauer has been hooked into gas utility supply line.)

              Photos show Bauer installed at Columbia wastewater treatment plant; public access prohibited (Bauer to left of yellow backhoe); Bauer on trailer; and waste gas pre-treatment apparatus from Refuel in Sacramento, CA.

              CNG_Columbia_b.jpg CNG_Columbia_d.jpg CNG_Bauer_large.jpg RNG_refuel_m.jpg


              • #8
                Columbia Wastewater station began dispensing CNG the week of Feb 19 2018 - ten months after a press release mentioned the project in an Apr 2017 Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) link. Oregon s newest CNG (private) station is among a dozen of the 29 CNG stations in Oregon that have never informed for inclusion in the nationwide database - somewhat odd given that it is getting a lot of recognition from the area Clean Cities Coalition.


                • #9
                  April 19, 2017 City of Portland website - Portland Oregon moves to 100 percent waste water treatment plant methane recovery

                  The project is the latest step Environmental Services is taking at the treatment plant to recover and reuse as many resources as possible. About half of the plant s waste methane, in the form of raw biogas (a mixture of methane, carbon dioxide and trace components) is already reclaimed to heat and power the treatment plant. Some has been sold to a local roofing company. The rest, about 23 percent, has been flared (burned and released as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere). This project will move the plant to 100 percent methane recovery for both on-site use and sale, and eliminate regular flaring.


                  Pete Danko for Portland Business Journal Mar 8 2018 - Portland unveils CNG station Mar 8 2018

                  The Bureau of Environmental Services has six vehicles that can use natural gas. The number will rise to 13 before the end of the year. The station, developed with NW Natural at the Columbia Boulevard Waste Treatment Plant, will also be open to contractors who serve the facility. This renewable natural gas will be used in vehicles but will also be sold into NW Natural s gas grid. That key part of the project will be completed next year, Bill Edmonds, NW Natural Dir of Environmental Policy, said. Total project cost $15M.



                  • #10
                    Adam Redling for WasteToday March 27,2018 - Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill into law March 22 designed to result in the increased development and use of renewable natural gas in Washington.

                    Inslee said, As we transition to a clean-energy future, this will help us promote production of renewable natural gas from landfills, wastewater treatment plants, food processing and agriculture, while also helping create jobs and promote rural economic development across our state.

                    By supporting renewable natural gas project development, Washington s leaders are supporting the creation of clean energy sector jobs, improved air quality and public health, Johannes Escudero, CEO of the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition), says.

                    Proponents of the bill also include regional renewable energy companies Promus Energy, Seattle, and Regenis, Ferndale, WA.

                    To spur development of RNG in Washington, the bill will:

                    Require the Washington State University Extension Energy Program and the Department of Commerce, in consultation with the Utilities and Transportation Commission, to submit recommendations on how to promote the sustainable development of RNG to the governor and the energy committees of the legislature by September 1, 2018;
                    Require the Department of Commerce, in consultation with natural gas utilities and other state agencies, to explore the development of voluntary gas quality standards for the injection of RNG into the state’s natural gas pipeline system; and
                    Reinstate and expand incentives in order to stimulate investment in biogas capture and conditioning, compression, nutrient recovery, and use of RNG for heating, electricity generation and transportation fuel.

                    Dan Kirschner, executive director of Northwest Gas Association, said,This measure promises to stimulate more RNG production in Washington State, allowing natural gas consumers there to make productive use of a resource that would otherwise be discarded.


                    • #11
                      Link to Redling article, prior post, about Washington State RNG law:



                      • #12
                        BioCNG s patent-pending biogas conditioning system produces biogas-based fuel to power CNG vehicles from the wastewater digester gas at the wastewater treatment plant, in Janesville, WI.

                        The BioCNG 50 system went online in February 2012 and now fuels 8 city vehicles, with the goal of fueling more than 40 vehicles within the next 5-10 years.

                        Janesville is an integrated BioCNG and CHP system. Total skid capacity is 140 cfm of which 60cfm (30gge/hr) can be directed to BioCNG. Tail-gas from the BioCNG is captured and recycled back to capture 100 percent of the available methane.



                        • #13
                          Sarah Ray for Middlebury College News November 16, 2017 -

                          MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The facility at Goodrich Family Farm will combine cow manure and food waste to produce RNG. Gas from the anaerobic digester will travel in a five mile long pipeline to Middlebury College’s main power plant. Located on more than 2,200 acres, the Goodrich Family Farm is a generational dairy farm with 900 milking cows.

                          The College is partnering with the Goodrich Family Farm, Vermont Gas, and Vanguard Renewables, a national leader in its field, which owns and operates three anaerobic digesters located in Massachusetts.

                          It will process 100 tons of manure from the farm and 165 tons of organic food waste per day. Vanguard plans to source the organic food waste from local and Vermont-based food manufacturers including Cabot Creamery.

                          The Goodrich Farm digester will produce 140,000 Mcf per year. (A Mcf is 1,000 cubic feet of Renewable Natural Gas.) The College will buy 100,000 Mcf of the gas from Vanguard and Vermont Gas will purchase the remainder.



                          • #14
                            FortisBC installed a biogas upgrading plant that uses gas from the Glenmore Landfill in Kelowna. In cooperation with the City of Kelowna, this project is the second in Canada with a purification plant at a landfill capable of meeting strict pipeline standards for gas quality.

                            The Surrey Biofuel Facility (planning stages) will produce approximately 100,000 gigajoules of Renewable Natural Gas, which is enough energy to heat more than 1,100 homes for a year.

                            ​At the Salmon Arm Landfill, FortisBC is working with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District to upgrade biogas derived from landfill gas so it can be injected into the local natural gas distribution system. By owning and operating the biogas upgrading plant, FortisBC is playing an active role in the success of this project.

                            ​Seabreeze Dairy Farm in Delta (Vancouver) B.C.
                            The byproducts created as a result of this process includes hygienic bedding for the cows and a nutrient rich digestate which becomes fertilizer for growing crops to feed the cows, creating a sustainable loop of food, waste and energy.

                            Fraser Valley Biogas combines anaerobic digestion (breaking down organic matter in an oxygen-free environment) and a biogas upgrading plant to produce high-quality biomethane RNG. Annual production: 90,000 gigajoules of Renewable Natural Gas, which is enough to heat more than 1,000 homes for a year. BEST RNG VIDEO YOU'LL EVER SEE:





                            • #15
                              Tracy Loew for Salem Statesman Journal March 31, 2019 - Oregon s largest dairy is investing millions in technology to power trucks and buses with cow manure.

                              Boardman s Threemile Canyon Farms is partnering with a Portland investment fund in a $55 million project to convert methane from the waste produced by its 70,000 cows into natural gas, which will be sold to power buses and garbage trucks in Southern California. The manure-produced biogas sells for 10 times more than fossil fuel natural gas, Threemile general manager Marty Myers told a state Department of Treasury panel last summer.

                              Threemile Canyon Farms already is home to the largest cow manure digester in the western United States, producing electricity, not natural gas. It started in 2009 with a small digester demonstration project. In 2012, Threemile added a larger digester, which feeds a 4.8-megawatt electric generation facility. The digester cost $31 million to build. Threemile received about $7 million in federal grants for construction under the 2009 American Recovery Act, and an additional $2 million from Oregon s Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) program.

                              Oregon Legislature provided a tax credit of about $70 per cow per year for dairy manure digesters. Between 2014 and 2018, while the program was administered by the Oregon Department of Energy, Threemile received $10.9 million in biomass tax credits. Threemile also has sold more than 200,000 metric tons of carbon offset credits to The Climate Trust, worth at least $2.7 million: