Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Swedish Biogas International Plant Begins Construction

Construction started on the Swedish Biogas International plant Aug. 9. The plant will be built at the City of Flint wastewater treatment facility in Flint Township and will use human waste and food waste to create biogas as an alternative energy source.

Waste treated at the plant will create biogas that will generate “green” electricity. Kettering University researchers are working on a process to refine the biogas into bio-methane for possible use fueling vehicles.

The Swedish Biogas project is a partnership between Kettering University, the City of Flint, the state of Michigan and Swedish Biogas International, of Linkoping, Sweden. Consulate General from Sweden Lennart Johansson explained Linkoping’s energy production systems as “making energy out of waste that cannot be recycled.”

At the start of construction ceremony Tom Guise, CEO of Swedish Biogas International in Flint, said of the project “We want to be the Silicon Valley of Biogas.” He said he and his team are working with people throughout the state to bring people to Flint to work on the Biogas project. Guise said they expect construction of first step to cost between $4 million to $5 million, and to be completed in early 2011.

“The key to sustainability,” said Guise, “is making a profit. Using waste to make energy is profitable. We’re bullish on the idea that we will be able to replicate this project in other sites in Michigan,” he added.

Guise cited the research, which is being conducted by Dr. Jennifer Aurandt, assistant professor of Chemistry/Biochemistry, as an important part of the project, saying it has the potential to facilitate a waste energy technology center in Flint.

Flint mayor Dayne Walling said Walling said the Swedish Biogas project “can help Flint move toward a sustainable economy – a more green and diverse economy.” Senator Debbie Stabenow echoed Walling’s statements about jobs in Green Energy and praised the partnership.

Source : Kettering University News

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