San Antonio, Texas is making use of its 140,000 tons of sewage generated each year to capture methane gas. The city’s utility board of trustees approved a contract this week to sell 900,000 cubic feet of natural gas derived from the sewage each day to Ameresco, a Massachusetts energy services company.
Though methane is a potent greenhouse gas, it has a variety of uses. The substance can be used for fuel in gas turbines or steam boilers, and it is also used as vehicle fuel in the form of compressed natural gas. Additionally, NASA is researching methane as a potential rocket fuel.
According to Steve Claus, the chief operating officer of the water system, San Antonio’s sewage generates 1.5 million cubic feet of gas each day—enough to fill seven commercial blimps or 1,250 tanker trucks. The facilities needed for the project will be ready in about two years.
San Antonio will get $250,000 a year for the methane—a sum that I hope will go towards more renewable energy efforts in the area.
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