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Sanford, Florida Chooses MaxWest Environmental Systems To Turn Sludge Into Renewable Energy

MaxWest Environmental Systems designs, builds and operates cost-effective and environmentally friendly waste-to-energy systems using biomass as feedstock.
by Staff Writers
Sanford FL (SPX) Mar 27, 2008
Sanford, Florida will be the first municipality in North America to adopt the MaxWest gasification system as an efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to dispose of biosolids. MaxWest Environmental Systems of Houston Texas has developed the gasification system, which converts sludge from the municipal wastewater treatment system into renewable, green energy.

"Compared to the projected cost of natural gas, a fossil fuel, Sanford will save $9,000,000 over the 20-year life of our contract," said Paul Moore, Sanford Utility Director. "This technology has provided us with the opportunity to save money while managing our waste stream and protecting the environment."

Here's how it works: the end product of a sewer plant, wastewater sludge, also called "biosolids", will be gasified in the enclosed primary gasifier to produce syngas. In a continuous integrated process, the syngas will be oxidized in an enclosed thermal oxidizer to produce renewable thermal energy. For Sanford, the thermal energy will replace natural gas to power a new dryer.

In larger MaxWest systems, sufficient thermal energy may be produced to generate renewable, or "green" electric power.

According to Sanford Mayor Linda Kuhn, "We are thrilled to incorporate the MaxWest gasification solution at our South Wastewater Reclamation Center. Not only is the MaxWest system cost-effective and efficient, it enables Sanford to be a leader in green disposal technologies. Our hope is that the rest of the country will look to us and follow."

"Traditional disposal methods for biosolids are becoming more expensive, publicly unacceptable and potentially harmful to the environment," said Richard Heien, president of MaxWest. "Leading municipal utilities are searching for low-cost environmentally friendly solutions for biosolids disposal. Our system eliminates costly transportation and potential air and water pollution related to the current disposal practices.

For states with a Renewable Energy Credit program in place, the MaxWest system will be entitled to credits for using an alternative to fossil fuels.

The MaxWest system works well with animal, wood, and crop wastes and other carbon-based waste like plastic, making renewable "green" energy from disposal problems. MaxWest systems are presently operating at facilities converting wood, chicken and mixed wastes.

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