The North American water and wastewater markets are worth some $150 billion a year. They offer distinct opportunities in municipal, industrial, resource management, and agricultural segments with returns across a wide range of risk profiles. Unmet demands for capital investment in this sector could add another $50-100 billion a year.
Private investment traditionally has sought to substitute for, rather than complement, public investment; that disregards industry fundamentals. Water market insiders understand that these same industry characteristics hold the keys to successful private investment in the water sector.
AIH is working closely with America's leading water and wastewater utilities in California, Washington, Illinois, and Georgia to structure and finance innovative solutions to reuse wastewater, convert biosolids to electricity and renewable energy fuels, and solve combined and sanitary sewer overflow compliance challenges with innovative smart technology saving ratepayers hundreds of million of dollars.
America's wastewater utilities generate more than 25,000 tons of biosolids every day. Most biosolids are trucked, some for a hundred miles or more, to landfills or landfarms for disposal, or they are incinerated. Either option is expensive, creates significant releases of greenhouse gases (methane and carbon dioxide), and is totally avoidable.
AIH is working with a handful of large US wastewater utilities to reprocess biosolids on-site using a combination of technologies to produce electricity and energy fuels. The AIH solution is generally half the cost of current disposal methods, eliminates trucking, and reduces carbon emissions by more than 95%.
And, the process is 100% reuse, converting wet biosolids to water, energy, and a glass-like solid that is used in roadbeds and building materials. Generally, we can fit our plant on about a half acre of land, so even in urban areas, we find ample room to site our technologies.
Demand for renewable energy – hydropower, biogas, geothermal, solar, and wind -- in the US has more than doubled from about 15 million mWh in 2010 to more than 35 million mWh in 2016. Wind accounts for about 80 percent of this total. AIH’s municipal water and wastewater utility clients represent vast untapped resources for additional renewable energy generation from solar arrays, wind generators, and generation of biogas.
According to recent industry analyses (Water Environment Research Foundation), heat and embedded energy in biosolids extracted by US wastewater utilities contain enough energy to meet up to 12% of US electricity demand.
Aside from the savings in utility energy costs and potentially, revenues from the sale of surplus energy and carbon credits, energy extraction/conversion at wastewater facilities contributes to energy independence, reduces the community’s carbon footprint, and saves ratepayers money. AIH is pioneering combined biosolids drying, pyrolisis, and conversion to ethanol to create energy-independent utilities at significant savings to their current energy costs.