ZWE Introduces Dry AD System in California

ZWE Introduces Dry AD System in California

Company says its Zero Waste Energy system is the first of its kind installed in the United States.

February 7, 2013
REW Staff

The Monterey Regional Waste Management District (MRWMD), Marina, Calif., and Zero Waste Energy LLC (ZWE), Lafayette, Calif., recently held an open house to introduce what the two entities consider to be the first dry anaerobic digester (AD) in the United States using the Smartferm technology for use in processing organic waste.

The Smartferm technology, developed in Germany, is able to turn organic waste such as food scraps into electricity and compost for agriculture use. In an announcement, ZWE says, “This state-of-the-art processing system represents the next generation of organic waste management strategies to maximize energy and compost production.”

Smartferm’s 21-day batch process diverts more than 99 percent of organic waste, reduces greenhouse gases, reduces reliance on landfills and produces a clean, green energy, according to ZWE. The technology is semi-mobile, space efficient, prefabricated and scalable up to 30,000 tons of waste per year, the company adds. MRWMD’s Smartferm is built to process as much as 5,000 tons of material per year, creating 100 (kilowatts) kW of electricity or as much as 3,200 btu per ton of biogas with 58 to 60 percent methane content.

The Smartferm technology will be manufactured in the United States by Dover ESG.

Considered a pilot program, the Smartferm installation is designed to help MRWMD determine the role of AD in the future of organics management. The energy created from the dry AD project will be sold to the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency.

“We are grateful for the MRWMD, which has taken an innovate leadership role and helped bring this valuable, viable technology to the industry and the country”, says Eric Herbert, ZWE CEO. “We are confident that this will be the first of many Smartferm plants installed in the U.S. over the next several years.”

The installation at the MRWMD location is the first dry AD project in the United States for ZWE; the company has three other dry AD projects under construction in California. Additionally, more than 30 traditional wet AD systems are underway in California.