Douglas, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 12/22/2014 --Modern plumbing has become such a standard feature of life that it's easy for us to forget that, with each flush of the toilet, we're contributing to an environmental problem that becomes increasingly expensive to solve. Toilet output is an out of sight, out of mind proposition for most of us. Except that the disposal of the waste water sludge that crowds our landfills costs taxpayers millions of dollars annually. You flush it, you fund it.
BioEnergy Spectrum Solutions, or BESS, has a plan based on technology developed by Mississippi State University that can take the sludge from waste water facilities and use it to make fuel that can be used to power the vehicles that we drive. The cost savings to the nation's cash-strapped cities would be dramatic; the estimate is that cities would spend half of what they currently budget for waste disposal. Imagine what municipalities could do if so much of taxpayer money was no longer going down the drain.
In order to bring this $750,000 project to fruition, BESS and Indiegogo have begun a crowdfunding campaign. BESS needs to complete a site specific feasibility study; these studies are very costly, but are an essential part of the funding process. Multiple cities and private entities have shown an interest in hosting the world's first biocrude facility in their location. Who can blame them? Imagine the delight of city planners and managers as they envision, with each flush of each toilet in their towns, money coming into the coffers. After reviewing the candidates, the selection process by BESS has narrowed the choices down to just a couple of sites. After the crowdfunding money has been raised---the deadline is January 29—BESS will complete a site specific study for the selected area, move to close on a permanent construction loan, and begin building. Any excess funds raised by the campaign will be used to develop other sites that have demonstrated the potential to be viable candidates.
Most of the biodiesel that's currently produced uses soybean oil for its feedstock. But what's the sense of taking a viable food product and turning it into fuel? Another disadvantage of this practice is that the plants that produce biodiesel are only profitable because of tax subsidies. Guess who foots the bill for tax subsidies? That's right, you and me. By contrast, the BESS bioenergy process utilizes waste to introduce a larger fuel supply that can help reduce prices, as well as relieving the demand on a popular food product that has its own market.
The biocrude that results from the Mississippi State University process is essentially vegetable oil that can be used to make biodiesel, renewable diesel, and bio-jet fuel. Biocrude has a pleasant odor and tastes like hazelnut. Yes, you read that correctly: biocrude that's made from certain industrial wastewaters can be used in food or as cooking oil.
Mississippi State University's Dr. Todd French has spent the last nine years researching ways to transform the process by which municipal and industrial sewage is disposed. Not everyone has the stamina or the insights to dedicate nearly a decade of his life to the contents of the toilet bowl, but Dr. French has managed more than five million dollars in research grants dedicated to finding a solution for the problem. A biorefinery that can produce a diesel feedstock is the answer. Dr. French has a crew of more than 20 undergraduate, graduate, staff, and faculty partners involved in this research field. Dr. Rafael Hernandez, formerly with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is presently at the University of Louisiana, where his research activities are focused on the transformation of wastewater treatment.
About BioEnergy Spectrum Solutions
BioEnergy Spectrum Solutions (http://www.bioenergyusa.com) has the technology to turn the waste from local water treatment plants into biodiesel. The patented process, developed by Mississippi State University, takes the sludge from the waste water treatment facilitures and turns it into a product called biocrude, which can be used in a number of ways, including feedstock for biodiesel and bio-jet fuel. Biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement made from agricultural oils, recycled cooking oils, and animal fats. BESS technology is an opportunity to benefit the world's food and energy programs. As an alternative to commercial biodiesel's current practice of using soybean oil for its feedstock, the BESS process can lower the cost of waste disposal.
For more information, visit the campaign at: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bioenergy-spectrum-solutions-turning-waste-to-fuel