BlueTech Chart of the Month – USA Municipal Wastewater Energy Flow

Posted by Andrew Crowley on Thursday, October 31st, 2013 at 2:17 pm

"Municipal Wastewater Energy Flow"

October’s BlueTech Chart of the Month features in the upcoming BlueTech® Insight Report “Sludge to Energy – Biogas Utilization: Technology Trends and Market Potential” from our Energy and Resource Recovery practice area. Authored by Research Analyst, Aoife Maloney. This chart highlights the total USA municipal wastewater energy flow. It is estimated that municipal wastewater in the US contains approximately 49 million MWh/yr of energy. Approximately 22 million MWhr/yr (45%) of that energy is in the sludge stream. While approximately 36% of that energy is converted to carbon dioxide in the activated sludge biological treatment process. The total USA municipal wastewater energy flow chart also highlights that 17% of the energy in the wastewater is converted to biogas. Thus, the annual quantity of biogas produced in the US equates to 8.3 million MWhr/yr. Of that, 17% of biogas produced, 33% is utilized for energy generation, while the remaining 67% is flared. This equates to estimates in the region of 5.5 million MWhr/yr of flared or wasted energy. This flared biogas is an untapped market opportunity for water utilities and technology companies.