Australian-first, $28 million biosolids plant opened at Loganholme


Logan City Council has opened an Australian-first biosolids treatment plant, which turns sewage into energy and biochar, a fertiliser it believes has strong commercial potential.

The $28 million facility was developed by Logan Water (the council’s water business) with project partners Pyrocal, Downer, WSP and Cardno (now Stantec.)

Disposing of human waste has always been costly and environmentally challenging,” said Logan councillor and infrastructure chair Teresa Lane in a statement on Tuesday.

“The gasifier sets a new standard in the management of waste and, as an added bonus, will create a product that benefits our farmers and builders.

As reported by @AuManufacturing, the installation was supported by a $6.2 million Australian Renewable Energy Agency grant, announced in September 2019.

City of Logan Mayor Darren Power and Federal Member for Forde Bert van Manen use the biochar to fertilise a native tree (picture:

The Logan City Biosolids Gasification project at Loganholme Wastewater Treatment Plant (LWWTP) includes two 34-tonne, 18-metre industrial-grade dryers built by Germany’s ELIQUO, as well as Toowoomba-based Pyrocal’s “Continuous Carbonisation Technology” process.

It bakes biosolid sludge at “extreme temperatures” to release biogas, which is then used to heat remaining biosolids to make phosphorous-rich biochar, a soil improver. The amount of sludge produced is cut by an estimated 90 per cent.

An estimated 6,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions are saved through the plant, which the council described as a “centrepiece” of its goal to be carbon neutral by year’s end. It says that a saving of $1 million annually will be achieved through lower operational costs and carbon credits.

According to the council, it is also currently in “advanced negotiations with a major agriculture company” for sales of biochar. Previously, sludge was used as low-grade fertiliser after being trucked from Logan to the Darling Downs. 

“We are the first local government to try something like this in Australia, so its evolution has been keenly watched,” said mayor Darren Power.

“This innovation will benefit the city and the environment for generations and is just one of many initiatives Council has pioneered to drive down carbon emissions and reuse waste.

Main picture: Pyrocal

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