Fuel From Sewage

biocrudeThanks to research ordinary sewage can be turned into biocrude oil. Sounds like science fiction , but is a real possibility at waste water treatment plants across the USA, and maybe Canada. Hydrothermal Liquifaction is a process that mimics the geological conditions Earth uses in creating crude oil ,  high pressure and temperature  achieve in minutes what Mother Nature needs millions on yrs to do. biocrude1

From the Dept. of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory using Hydrothermal Liquifaction a biocrude has been produced that is similar to what is pumped out of the ground, with a small amount of water and oxygen mixed in. This biocrude can then be refined.

(The following videos do not show the exact process that the Pacific Northwest National Lab used , but are for information purposes only.)


Waste water treatment plants treat 34 billion gallons of sewage every day. This could produce around 30 million barrels of oil every year. it is estimated that a single person can generate 2-3 gallons of  biocrude per year.

This Hydrothermal Liquifaction process involves taking the sewage sludge and subjecting it to 3,000 lbs per square inch…then it goes into a reactor that burns at 660 degrees fahrenheit. the heat and pressure cause the cells to break down and presto…biocrude.


Interestingly for Canada , is that the city of Vancouver is interested in building a demonstration plant, start up 2018. If this emerging technology is successful Vancouver’s waste water operation may be able to meet it’s sustainability objectives of zero net energy, zero odors , and zero residuals.


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