Metro Vancouver Close Up – Surrey Biofuel Facility to Generate Energy from Food Scraps

Surrey Biofuel Facility MVCU from Metro Vancouver on Vimeo.

The City of Surrey Organic Waste Biofuel Processing Facility will process food scraps into renewable natural gas. The gas will fuel the City’s natural gas fleet, fuel a District Energy System, and reduce Surrey’s carbon footprint. 

Surrey Biofuel Facility siteBiofuels made from feathers, wastewater, wood, microbes, and algae – these are some of the materials being globally researched as feedstock for biofuel. Here in the Metro Vancouver region, The City of Surrey is constructing a facility that will use food scraps to generate fuel for municipal vehicles and feature a district energy system.

Closed Loop System Unique to North America

Robert ConstanzoRobert Costanzo is the Engineering Operations Manager at the City of Surrey, overseeing the project. “This will be North America’s largest organic waste processing facility. Once completed, it will be able to handle 115 thousand metric tonnes a year.” When the facility starts operating in early 2017, it will produce high quality compost. Pipes will collect biomethane, also known as renewable natural gas. It’s a closed loop system, commonplace in Europe, but unique in North America.

organics smithrite binOrganic waste created by Surrey residents will supply raw material to create compost and methane. Surrey Councillor Mike Starchuk explains. “A truck picks it up to put it in a giant digester, the end result is methane gas that will be captured, that will go into a filling station that will fill the vehicle with methane, or natural gas.”

Biofuel Facility will help meet Climate Targets

Mike StarchukThe plant will eventually result in a cost savings to the City and will help it achieve an important goal. “By the year 2020 our objective is to reduce our carbon emissions derived from our corporate operations by 20 per cent,” said Starchuk. “With the operation of this facility, we will reduce our carbon emissions by up to 25 per cent after the first year of production.”

Surrey’s Biofuel Facility is a public-private partnership being built by a company called Orgaworld. The City of Surrey provided the land and Orgaworld is building the plant and will operate it once complete. Orgaworld will also collect organics from the commercial sector.  The City will own the fuel, and the company will own the compost.

Surrey Biofuel Facility http://www.surrey.ca/city-services/13015.aspx

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