Jun 21, 2010

Wastewater resource recovery to be a $45 billion industry

As technologies designed to help extract energy and other valuable products from wastewater sludge mature, the market opportunity for resource recovery will grow from $25 billion today to $45 billion in 2020, according to a recently released Lux Research report titled "Technologies Turn Waste into Profit

LUX's Graphic (below) focuses on methods for recovering energy from sludge, mostly in the form of biogas or alternative fuels. The technologies in this category show the most promise, and are on track to capture 64% of the overall market in 2020.
Although recovering energy from sludge is relatively new as a business proposition, the basic technology has long been available in the form of anaerobic digesters. Notably, technologies that help improve production of biogas by enhancing anaerobic digestion offer the strongest value proposition... Deriving alternative fuels from sludge also shows promise, with caveats. Technologies, like gasification, pyrolysis, and supercritical water oxidation help to derive alternative fuels like syngas and biodiesel from sludge.

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Source: Lux Research report "Technologies Turn Waste into Profit