FWEA West Coast Chapter First Quarter 2022 Winter Luncheon
1/20/2022 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Come join the West Coast Chapter as we kick off the 2022 year with great food, great company and a great topic of discussion:
Topic: Pinellas County Regional Resource Recovery Facility Feasibility using "Trash-to-Cash" Technology
Speaker: Mike Engelmann (Pinellas County) and Devin Walker (T2C-Energy)
Pinellas County’s South Cross Bayou Advanced Water Treatment Facility (SCBAWRF) is permitted for 33 MGD and receives an ADF of 22 MGD. This facility has (2) anaerobic egg-shaped digesters (ESDs) and is also the location of the County’s sludge pelletizing system which receives, via truck, dewatered sludge cake from the County’s W.E Dunn Water Treatment Facility (WEDWRF). This is mixed with on-site generated SCBAWRF sludge cake and the combination is sent to the pelletizing system which produces 30 dry tons/day of Class AA fertilizer pellets. The pelletizing system is fueled by a combination of natural and digester gas. The two ESDs continually produce a total of 150 to 300 scfm of digester gas. The County’s sludge pelletizing system can use this gas as-is in the air heater/furnace, as the pelletizing process only requires ‘hot air’ to transfer its heat to the evaporated water. Therefore, 100% of the digester gas energy value is used directly instead of expending a parasitic amount, upwards of 33%, in a ‘clean-up’ process.
The County is proposing a ‘Regional Resource Recovery Facility’ (RRRF) that may entail moving the pelletizing operation from SCB to the RRRF. That will free-up the digester gas for other uses, leading into the investigation of the T2C technology. T2C-Energy has developed and patented a novel catalytic technology trademarked as TRIFTS® for the direct conversion of biogas to drop-in transport fuels. One of the unique aspects of the process is that it utilizes both the carbon dioxide and methane portions of biogas and incorporate them into the hydrocarbon backbone of the final product of the process (renewable drop-in diesel). By utilizing essentially 100% of the biogas, a major improvement to existing process efficiencies are realized. This renewable source of diesel resembles its petroleum counterpart both physically and chemically and can be used in current day engines with no engine modifications necessary. The TRIFTS® technology platform is applicable to a diverse range of biogas feedstocks derived from wastewater, animal waste, food waste, crop residues, and MSW into high quality renewable, drop-in diesel fuel. The TRIFTS® process converts a broad range of biogas compositions efficiently into middle distillate hydrocarbons in a profitable manner and at scales that were traditionally not thought economically feasible.
Mike Engelmann graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1974 and has been turning “One person’s Trash into another person’s Treasure” ever since. His first employer was the Heil Company, a heavy equipment manufacturer in Milwaukee, where he eventually became the Chief Engineer for the Dehydration Systems Division, designing and constructing custom process equipment that converted a wide variety of what most people considered waste materials into those that had significant value to others. It was a great opportunity and personally rewarding to be able to provide ‘Serial # 1 Systems’ to these various industries. After spending 16 years at Heil, he went to work for one of his customers, with headquarters in Florida, designing the world’s largest (at the time) municipal sludge pelletizing system for the (14) New York City boroughs, producing 300 dry tons/day of Class A pellets. That company eventually became part of Waste Management, where their Wheelabrator Division recruited him as a traveling engineer for their (22) Waste-to-Energy plants. One of those projects included the Pinellas WTE, installing the Air Pollution Retrofit into the (3) units there. When that project ended in 2001, he took a position as Senior Engineer with Pinellas County. His first projects included negotiating the construction and operating contracts for the sludge pelletizer, monitoring the construction and operation of the new Egg-Shaped Digesters at the South Cross Bayou facility, and overseeing the design of the FOG facility. Currently he’s working on helping to develop the County’s proposed ‘Regional Resource Recovery Facility’, interfacing with their Solid Waste Department to extract the best of the synergies between the two divisions and providing opportunities for neighboring municipalities to participate as stakeholders in this major venture.
Devin Walker is the CEO and Co-founder of the US based company T2C-Energy. His background includes over 15 years industrial experience processing hydrocarbon fuels from biomass, bio oils, landfill gas, biogas, and natural gas to create commercial and military grade fuels such as gasoline, diesel, JP-8, and navy distillate. After graduating from University of Florida in 2007 with a bachelor’s in biochemistry, Devin began his career as a scientist researching and designing advanced alternative fuels in the private sector. In 2012 he earned his MS in chemical engineering from University of South Florida. Over the years, Devin developed a passion for energy and fuels, specifically the research involved in finding efficient, novel, and feasible solutions to the worlds energy problems. He was recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the top “30 under 30” in Energy and Industry for 2014. In 2016 he joined T2C-Energy full time as the CEO with a focus on developing T2C-Energy’s Biogas to Drop-in Diesel Fuel technology (TRIFTS). The company has successfully converted raw biogas from landfills, wastewater AD’s, and farm based AD’s to drop in diesel fuel that meet fuel specifications per ASTM D975 and EN 590 standards.