Biosolids Management Through Deep Well Injection

The Need:

Millions of tons of sewage sludge (biosolids) are generated each year by municipal sanitation agencies around the world. In the United States and elsewhere most biosolids are currently trucked long distances and applied to land surface. But the ratio of rural land to urban development is decreasing, while the volume and costs associated with biosolids trucking and disposal are steadily increasing. With increasing urban development and population growth, environmentally sustainable alternatives are desperately needed.

The Solution:

GeoEnvironment Technologies has developed and successfully demonstrated an innovative new technology to manage municipal sludge with significant environmental benefits. Through appropriate geological formation selection, well design, and advanced geophysical monitoring, the biomass can be injected into soft, porous, sand formations in the deep subsurface (on the order of 5000ft or more).

Deep underground the earth’s natural geothermal heat sterilizes the biomass quickly (within 24 hours), and then through continuing anaerobic biodegradation converts the organic mass to methane and carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 is preferentially absorbed by formation waters (due to its high solubility in water) while relatively pure methane collects and may be stored long-term, or eventually produced for beneficial use.