EcoEngineers receives Iowa grant for waste-to-energy study

By Ron Kotrba | October 23, 2013

Known in biodiesel circles for its RIN Quality Assurance Plan, Des Moines, Iowa-based renewable energy consulting firm EcoEngineers has been awarded a grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority to conduct a feasibility study of waste-to-energy projects in Iowa. The grant will allow EcoEngineers to evaluate the economic and technical feasibility of converting biogenic waste streams from Iowa’s agricultural, livestock and industrial operations and municipal solid waste into renewable natural gas (biogas).

Under the renewable fuel standard (RFS), biogas from manure digesters and sewage treatment plants qualify for RINs if the biogas is used as transportation fuel.  Over the past three years, EcoEngineers has supplied engineering and regulatory expertise for several landfill biogas and anaerobic digester projects, connecting them with RIN markets, which can facilitate project finance.

The study will compare costs and revenues associated with generating biogas from anaerobic digestion of waste streams. It will also look at existing biogas collection systems at landfills, and it will offer an analytical tool to determine optimum end use for the biogas. The anticipated outcome of the project is to demonstrate that alternative waste treatment options, such as anaerobic digestion systems are economically feasible and financially viable. The report and tools generated from this project will be free and available for public use.

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