‘Our city fathers looked out for our best interests, and now we’re looking out for what is going to happen 200 years from now.’
— Councilman Johnny Kolakowski
By BROOKE STEVENSON
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE — A new sewage processing plant that would create “clean energy” in the city is being studied.
The City Council recently approved a lease for American BioEnergy at 4200 Eighth to help determine the feasibility of constructing a bioenergy plant. The plant would process sewage sludge in an anaerobic digester that produces biomethane, which then is used to generate electricity.
BioEnergy will be working with Wayne County and city officials to take sludge, digest it and turn it into energy.
Digestion is induced by heating the sludge at 100 degrees for over 20 days. The process ties up the nutrients so they can be used as energy. It also will minimize the smell and turn the sludge into fertilizer, which then can be transported easily.
The digestion process also will cut down on the smell created by trucks hauling the now-unprocessed product.
American BioEnergy will try to use grass clippings, wood shavings and anything else the city produces that currently goes to a landfill.
Mayor James DeSana said BioEnergy will sell the electricity it generates to the municipal power plant.
“It would be green energy for the city and help with all the things we’re working on to create cleaner energy,” he said.
Councilman Johnny Kolakowski believes the project will aid in the city’s efforts to create green energy.
“This is going to put Wyandotte in front of everyone else, because we are that kind of city,” he said.
Food wastes, oils, waste from restaurants and homes all can be used to create energy. The liquid in the sludge helps dilute the waste and make it more usable. “Our city fathers looked out for our best interests, and now we’re looking out for what is going to happen 200 years from now,” Kolakowski said. “The green thing is the way this has got to work.”
American BioEnergy has six months to report back to the council with its findings.
“I sure hope that they come back with a nice report and it’s going to be a go,” Kolakowski said.