San Antonio, Texas will be the first city in the United States to produce natural gas from the methane that comes from the poop of its residents on a large, profitable scale. Our excrement is being more technically referred to as “biosolids” by the companies and agencies involved in the project. And the project is by no means a joke.
San Antonio signed a deal with a Massachusetts company that will make the city’s waste into natural gas. According to the principal operator of the city’s water system, Steve Clouse, “the private vendor will come onto the facility, construct some gas cleaning systems, remove the moisture, remove the carbon dioxide content, and then sell that gas on the open market.” The gas will then be sold to companies who can use it in power plants and fuel furnaces.
The most impressive thing of all about this decision is that more than 90% of the city’s toilet and sink water will be recycled. Some of San Antonio’s waste water is already used for irrigation. Some of the solids are used for compost.
The company that will make the plan a reality is called Ameresco, who’s website uses the slogan: “Connect to smarter energy solutions.” The company won a prestigious award from the government of Massachusetts earlier this year for a project that saves Bridgewater State College $1 million annually in energy costs. The project involved upgrades to numerous college facilities as well as the college’s air conditioning system. It also utilizes a water conservation initiative.