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The city of Calgary to transform sewage into renewable oil

  • The city of Calgary to transform sewage into renewable oil

About the entity

Steeper Energy
Steeper Energy is a world leader in the development of advanced biofuels from low-value biomass, such as residues and wastes from the agriculture and forest industries.
Schneider Electric
Idrica

Themes

The City of Calgary “The City” and Steeper Energy Canada Ltd. (“Steeper Energy”) are pleased to announce a new cooperation agreement, by way of an MoU, regarding the future transformation of The City’s sewage sludge and other urban generated bio-organic wastes for the production of sustainable biofuels such as renewable diesel or jet fuel.

The MoU formalizes the intent of The City and Steeper Energy to see the development of a demonstration plant at the Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in South-East Calgary. The City has agreed to host Steeper Energy at its state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant, as well as to supply a small portion of Calgary’s primary and secondary sewage sludge to produce advanced biofuels, such as renewable diesel or jet fuel, via Steeper’s proprietary Hydrofaction® technology.

The proposed project will be a collaborative effort towards sustainable practices, the elimination of contaminants contained in sewage sludge, such as spent pharmaceuticals and microplastics, as well as advancing cleantech in Calgary. Upon concluding final arrangements with The City and the approval from Steeper’s board of directors, the project could break ground in early 2021.

The City and Steeper Energy have the shared objective of serving the public interest through:

  • Accelerating the transition to a Circular Economy – building economic, natural, and social capital
  • The production of renewable transportation fuels by recovering the inherent energy in wastewater and household green-bin wastes via Hydrofaction®
  • Addressing the complex land and water pollution issues associated with spent biosolids, while recovering valuable minerals such as phosphorus and nitrogen
  • Increasing investment in sustainable transport fuels in/for the City of Calgary while leveraging local expertise and creating employment opportunities

Currently, development is ongoing at Steeper’s pilot plant in Denmark. The new plant will be North America’s first demonstration of Steeper’s proven Hydrofaction® technology – a patented thermo-chemical process that converts bio-organic wastes (including sewage sludge, food, or forestry wastes) into renewable biofuels. In addition to biofuel production, the process converts and eliminates wastewater contaminants such as microplastics and pharmaceuticals and isolates heavy metals. Hydrofaction® allows for the captur of beneficial nutrients from sewage such as phosphorus and nitrogen, which can later be made available as fertilizer for farmers who currently accept the City’s post-treatment biosolids.

City of Calgary, Councillor Ward Sutherland said: “This innovative venture highlights how the City of Calgary is partnering with business to lower costs, help the environment, and jumpstart diversification of our economy.”

Mary Moran, President and CEO of Calgary Economic Development, said: “Steeper Energy is an example of an innovative Calgary start-up that is an emerging force in our cleantech ecosystem by applying innovative thinking and advanced technology to turn municipal wastewater into advanced biofuels. When we talk about Calgary being a centre of excellence in all things energy, Steeper is doing the type of ground-breaking work that expands our horizons to the future of our energy sources.”  

Perry Toms, CEO of Steeper Energy, said: “The Calgary Urban-Waste Demonstration Project at Pine Creek represents the next phase of Steeper’s commercialization of Hydrofaction® and will open exciting new market opportunities for Steeper globally. The transformation of sewage sludge and other urban generated biomass wastes to sustainable transport fuels delivers multiple environmental and social benefits and takes advantage of Calgary’s reputation as a global energy innovator.”