Civil and Environmental Engineering Researchers to Work on Converting Biosolids into Renewable Energy Source for PWD

Villanova University Civil and Environmental Engineering Department is teaming up with the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) and Brown and Caldwell, a leading national engineering firm, to investigate novel approaches to optimize PWD’s biosolids digestion process. The Villanova team led by Dr. Metin Duran will evaluate the effects of process operating parameters and configurations on overall performance of biosolids digestion. The PWD is sponsoring the $400,000 project with the long term goal of increasing methane generation from biosolids digestion. Methane can be used as a renewable energy source. Dr. Metin Duran and his team, including two graduate students and a research assistant professor, were awarded $186,700 of the total. The results of the research will be applicable to 12 full-scale digesters, 2 million gallon capacity each, at the Northeast Water Pollution Control Plant (NWPCP) operated by the PWD.