EPA recognizes Kansas for renewable natural gas wastewater project

November 26, 2018. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized 30 clean water infrastructure projects for excellence and innovation within the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program. Of those projects, the Kansas – Dodge City Biogas Reuse to Motor Fuel Project was selected as an exceptional project.

   “The Clean Water State Revolving Fund plays an integral role in advancing the president’s infrastructure agenda, providing communities with low-interest loans so that they can modernize aging infrastructure, create local jobs, and better protect public health and the environment,” said EPA Office of Water Assistant Administrator Dave Ross. “The scale and complexity of the 2018 PISCES-recognized projects represent the determination, coordination, and creativity our partners put forth to achieve their water quality goals.”

   Dodge City adopted an innovative approach to processing their wastewater byproducts. In recent years, the Dodge City South Wastewater Treatment Plant received an EPA grant toward a project to reuse 100 percent of its 1.7 billion gallons a year of treated effluent as irrigation for over 3,000 acres of agricultural fields, conserving groundwater for the public water supply. This treatment process produced a significant amount of carbon dioxide and methane gas, which were then burned off in a flare.

   This new project plans to clean and pressurize the biogas to high-quality natural gas that can be used as fuel. This process will occur by removing water from the gas and using pressure swing adsorption molecular sieves to separate the gasses. A more purified methane biogas will then be pumped to a nearby gas line and entered into the commercial market as a renewal resource. The methane will be sold by the city as motor vehicle fuel across the Midwest. The project costs are expected to be less than $10 million and the city expects to receive about $2.5 million a year in revenue from methane sales. The annual amount of methane fuel produced is estimated to be the equivalent of 3.5 million gallons of gasoline per year.