Yesterday at an extraordinary meeting, Cowra Council approved the Development Application for the Aggregated Biomass Co-digestion trial at the Cowra Waste Water Treatment Plant.
Convened by CLEAN Cowra Inc in conjunction with council’s Infrastructure department, the intension of the ABC trial is to focus on Anaerobic Digestion as the the conversion technology, as the feedstocks will be primarily "wet and semi- dry” (green trash and Municipal Green Waste). Whilst “dry" waste is readily available, it is not suited to this technology process. CLEAN Cowra will continue discussion with a consultant around their research into the pre- treatment of ligneouscellulosic biomass in making it suitable for AD processes.
Due to the small volumes required for this trial, these will be transported to the trial site. Most are within a six kilometer radius, some literally across the fence and delivery will be by a licensed trade waste collector. As the trial explores at the potential benefits of co-digestion, about 6- 7 feedstocks will be utilised in the trial. Members of the Industry Reference Panel established by CLEAN Cowra are investigating the interrelationship of the feedstocks and how they are combined through the AD process.
Whilst this explores a solution for the municipal and other waste components at the WWTP implemented by the possible use of a Covered Anaerobic Lagoon, future expansions using additional feedstocks may be suited to different AD technology. The results of this trial will provide essential data in relation to the appropriate solutions.
As part of the broader project development CLEAN Cowra has completed a pre-feasibility study which provides an overview of the scope, benefits and model for implementation. Ongoing investigations will look to the location of plants at the source of significant biomass, minimising the requirement for transportation. On- farm biomass would have to be transported to centralised nodes and necessitates the use of backloads as a system of potential delivery.
A future exploration will look at the potential to utilise a branch arm of rail network that is currently out of operation, to transport biomass to a node potentially located near the WWTP.
The outcome of the ABC trial will form the basis of a briefing document/ scope for a Request for Quotation, as a selected tender for the implementation of a larger scale demonstration plant.
CLEAN Cowra are in the process of establishing a document to raise the capital for this component.