Syngas, which is a common product of waste-to-energy gasification systems, can also be used for the production of synthetic petroleum. However, the poo project will use the syngas to run fuel cells for electricity generation.
If the project is successful it is hoped that some of California's and other states and countries waste disposal problems will be solved as the bio solids produced when organic matter is removed from wastewater are difficult to dispose of. Generally, they are dropped into landfill sites and have to be transported there, which creates a transportation burden.
In California alone there are 268 waste water treatment plants which have a discharge capacity of one million gallons per day or more.The US EPA estimates that sewage contains 10 times the energy needed to treat it and can therefore provide a rich source of renewable energy. Plus there is also a strong financial argument for investing in waste-to-energy technology at waste water plants as the handling of solids accounts for almost a third of a waste water treatment facility's costs.