Biosolids-to-fuel system starting up in Philadelphia

Public tour displays Synagro Technologies' drying and pelletizing system.

May 15, 2014
REW Staff

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Synagro Technologies President and CEO Eric Zimmer were among the cohosts at a public opening and tour of the Philadelphia Renewable Bio-Fuels Facility in early May.
Synagro Technologies, Baltimore, was selected by the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) as a partner after the department chose to upgrade its biosolids management program. The new facility features a heat drying and pelletization system that produces biosolids pellets for sale in organic fertilizer and renewable fuel markets. These outlets “will ensure consistent recycling of PWD biosolids for many years to come,” says the PWD in a press release.
 “I’m proud to participate in the public opening and tour of this modern, eco-friendly facility,” says Mayor Nutter. “The city of Philadelphia’s partnership with Synagro, one of the nation’s leading biosolids management companies, has led to the successful creation and management of the Philadelphia Renewable Bio-Fuels Facility. The processes within this plant turn waste into quality biosolids pellets for organic fertilizer and renewable fuel – an environmentally friendly solution for managing the PWD’s biosolid waste,” adds the mayor.
 “We’re proud of the achievements that our team, working with the city and local community, have made to make this center a reality.” says Synagro President and CEO Eric Zimmer, “Together we are creating an environmentally and economically sustainable solution to the ongoing challenges of recycling organic wastes.”
The city of Philadelphia says it will reap many benefits from the project, including more than $200 million in savings over the 20-year contract, production of a “Class A biosolids product,” elimination of off-site odors, improvement of site aesthetics, minimized noise and traffic impacts and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, according to the PWD.
Synagro Technologies, founded in 1986, describes itself as “the largest recycler of organic byproducts in the United States.” The company says its processes range from beneficial reuse to renewable energy and are designed “to provide sustainable solutions for communities across the nation.” The company currently works with more than 600 municipal and industrial water and wastewater facilities in the U.S.