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Biomass

Where Waste Meets Waste: EcoSponge Encourages Stewardship

Confluence Energy, based in Kremmling, Colorado, is manufacturing a line of effective bioremediation products, such as EcoSponge, used in and around oil fields to absorb spills. The material contains micro-organisms that neutralize the hazardous material, so it doesn’t have to be collected and removed once the drilling operation ends.

Confluence Energy a-wood_pellets_branches

As much as we like to celebrate new forms of renewable energy, the massive line of products derived from hydrocarbons will be here for some time to come. Thus, when companies such as Confluence Energy introduce viable and disruptive lines of products to oil and gas producers, there is good reason for praise.

Think about it. Producers and manufacturers of energy supplies are notorious for the messes they create. This is true whether the mess-maker happens to be an oil or natural gas drilling rig, a wind turbine assembly line, or most anything else. In an era of technically smart machinery, hydrocarbons are generally necessary for greasing gears, cogs, and wheels, as well as manufacturing plastics, of which the supply chain is massive.

Simply look around a neighborhood and start counting the number of businesses leaving behind a contaminated bunch of debris, from gas stations to machinery repair shops, from asphalt producers to golf ball makers.

Based near the Steamboat Springs ski area, Confluence Energy  has specialized in making a line of products that make a huge difference in mitigating negative environmental impacts.

From wood pellets to water recycling to waste treatment

Confluence Energy logoConfluence Energy is the largest wood pellet manufacturer in the western United States. The company began operations in 2008 harvesting stands of timber from the mountain pine beetle infestation that could be productively used in other ways.

As stated in the company website;

“Since our launch producing wood pellets for residential and commercial heating use, we’ve expanded to provide multiple types of products using biomass materials for a variety of purposes:  oil field waste treatment and water recycling, automotive maintenance and repair operations, equestrian, domestic farm and other pet bedding, cat litter and still, wood pellets for heating.”

One product, EcoSonge, is a bioremediation, solidification, stabilization, and absorbent product in virtually any industrial application, such as spills or leaks. The product can be spread or added with soils or fluids that contain hydrocarbons and other contamination. According to the company, the product contains microorganisms and “immediately begins to encapsulate unwanted contaminants,” which are then considered to be biodegradable.

EcoSponge has been featured in local paper Steamboat Today  and The Denver Post.

Last spring The Denver Post reporter Jason Blevins wrote:

“…Eco-Sponge aims to end the reign of clay-based absorbents in environmental cleanup work with its simplicity. Where those clay bits need to be removed once they absorb oil, gas or benzene spills, Eco-Sponge’s patented army of microorganisms consume the hydrocarbons and can be left on site as an inert material.”

EcoSponge is just one of the company’s leading products. Other products are EcoChar, EcoPondSweep, and EcoSeal. All of these products are designed to provide solutions. Whether for low or no-haul options for produced waste, contaminated water filtering and reclamation, drilling fluid recycling, or any of the myriad challenges faced in oil and gas waste stream treatment and reclamation at drilling rig sites. Bottom line, this waste-to-waste product line targets oil field site remediation.

Photo credit: Biomass materials via Confluence Energy

 
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Written By

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.

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