Application of Slurry Injection Technology in Biowaste Management – A New Discipline in Managing Bio-Waste in Economic and Environmentally Friendly Manner

Yashesh Panchal; Nihal Mounir; Mehdi Loloi; Ibrahim Mohamed; Omar Abou-Sayed; Ahmed Abou-Sayed
Paper presented at the SPE Western Regional Meeting, Virtual, April 2021.
Paper Number: SPE-200836-MS


Carbon offset describes the environmental benefit from an initiative that avoids, reduces or removes greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the atmosphere. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N2O) as major constituent of the GHGs. Wastewater Treatment Facilities (WWTFs) among several other sectors is a neglected source for GHG emission. Considering the risk of rise in GHGs, United States along with other countries signed the Paris Agreement to respond to the global climate change threat in 2016. It is assessing projects to cut GHGs in exchange for emission credits that can be used to comply with goals they set under the United Nations pact.

In order to curb the GHG emission by WWTFs, an innovative approach “Bioslurry Injection” (BSI) can be implemented to reduce the emission of the GHGs produced during the course of biological and chemical treatment of wastewater. The technology is inherited from the traditional drill cutting injection and Carbon sequestration technology implemented by the Oil and Gas industry since 1980’s. The BSI operation has the ability to accept the feed from different treatment stages after the initial screening process to prepare the injection slurry and help in controlling the GHG emission at respective treatment stage along with managing the intake volume.

The slurry can be prepared by mixing the treated biosolids with wastewater and injected into a pre-selected underground earth formation, where biosolids undergo anaerobic digestion and decompose into CO2 and CH4. An injection formation with sufficient capacity to accept the slurry is selected by conducting a detailed geomechanical and fracture simulation analyses. Along with the injection feasibility, the calculations of the amount of Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) sequestrated underground by implementing BSI technique is presented in this paper.

The sequestration of decomposed GHGs is an environmentally friendly activity that has proved to be economically beneficial due to its ability to earn carbon offsets. According to the new carbon law in the state of California the amount of CO2e eliminated from the atmosphere can be traded to earn carbon credits. TIRE facility through its ability to sequester and thus eliminate emission of the GHGs from the atmosphere can gain up to $1.5M worth of carbon credits per year providing both environmental and economic benefit. Also, low capital and operating cost for the BSI facility due to its compact surface requirement is an additional advantage along with reduced risk of spillage hazard when BSI facility is incorporated within the WWTF boundaries.