As part of an effort to erect what is described as the first-of-its-kind, wastewater-to-renewable-energy project, Oldcastle Precast has supplied wastewater holding tanks to Algaewheel Technologies' facility in Reynolds, Ind. The six, 20,000-gallon vessels serve Phase 1 of the now-active operation, with an additional three tanks slated for Phase 2 later this year. The project is co-built by Thieneman Construction.
Similar to a nutrient-removal pilot facility Û also constructed by Thieneman and Algaewheel Û for the Town of Hopewell, Va., in 2009, the algae-based wastewater technology used by the Reynolds plant (also known as Bio-Town) is identical to that used in Oldcastle Precast's green line of packaged plants and decentralized treatment systems, according to Steven Kingsland, national sales-Marketing & Engineering Group. The Bio-Town facility is replacing an aging lagoon wastewater-treatment system.
Algae biomass from the facility will be thermally processed on site to generate energy for powering the wastewater plant. Using a combination of wave-surging and light-pulsing, the system promotes significant algal growth on a patented wheel, designed to be buoyant in water and require no mechanical drive device as it is constantly rotated using air flow. Each wheel Û made of reprocessed plastics, as are all components Û is supported using a modular plastic grid system and is lightweight, easily assembled in the field and corrosion proof. Carbon dioxide can be added to the air supply to increase algae growth. In 2008, Algaewheel licensed this technology to Oldcastle Precast, which has incorporated it into its onsite wastewater system package.