The plant is capable of turning sewage into clean drinking water, ash and electricity and it could be the long-awaited solution for sanitation problems in developing countries.
“The Janicki Bioenergy Omni Processor – Model S100 started as a proof-of-concept project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2013. It was originally designed to take in sewer sludge and primarily output electrical power. During the development, it became clear that making clean drinking water made the processor more economically viable, and a water treatment system was added,” it says on the official webpage of Janicki Bioenergy.
Sewage contains 80% water and 20% biomass that has enough energy in it to sterilise and boil the water. The sewage sludge is heated until it boils. Water leaves the dryer as steam and all the pathogens are killed. In this so-called vapour-phase, the water is filtered to remove particles and is then condensed to water again. The water treatment phase is during which the pH is adjusted and multiple filters are used in order to ensure the end result: safe and clear water which tastes even better than bottled water.
The Omni Processor can produce up to 86,000 litres of water and 250kw of electricity from the waste of 100,000 on a daily basis and can be deployed anywhere in the world.
Seattle-based engineering firm Janicki Bioenergy plans to take the Omni processor to Dakar, Senegal this February for a pilot project in order to smooth out any remaining issues with the system and to test remote operation of the unit.
“We are very dedicated to making sure that the Omni Processor works reliably in all locations, and Dakar provides us with an opportunity to establish our support channels, supply chain, and logistics in Africa,” the developers state.
The company is currently working on the Omni Processor – Model S200 which is set to have significantly larger capacity than the S100 model while maintaining a similar compact footprint.
This model can produce up to 86,000 litres of clean drinking water per day – which is nearly eight times the output of Model S100 – because it can process over 92 cubic meters of sludge per day.
The S200 will be ready in the beginning of 2016.