PHOENIXVILLE, PA – The Borough of Phoenixville recently unveiled plans to build the first hydrothermal carbonization (HCT) system at a wastewater treatment plant in North America. On Thursday, this project – the installation and the technology – was given a name: PXVNEO.
The borough also revealed an updated schedule on the project, which suggests construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2022.
Selected from a group of candidates presented by a naming and branding consultant, PXVNEO is also accompanied by a logo representing a phoenix, the mythical bird, according to district officials.
Officials said HTC’s factories have been successful in Europe and Asia since 2016, but anaerobic digestion is the de facto standard for wastewater treatment in the United States.
In April 2019, during the feasibility and design stages of the HTC, the borough council decided that its system deserved special recognition in the form of a name and a logo.
“We believe this plant could be a model for municipalities across the country,” said Jon Ewald, chairman of the Phoenixville Borough Council. “It is possible that what we are doing here today has far-reaching positive implications, and we need to make sure that the borough, which has taken the risk, is credited as much as the technology is.”
According to the district, the HTC is faster, safer, more efficient and more ecological than anaerobic digestion. In fact, HTC has the power to offset the carbon consumption of every driver residing in Phoenixville, officials said.
Additionally, HTC has the potential to produce beneficial bioproducts including biochar, building sand, synthetic gas, and improved fertilizers.
Phoenixville previously announced its partnership with Spring City’s SoMax BioEnergy, to upgrade the borough’s existing wastewater treatment facilities.
The wastewater treatment plant is Phoenixville’s largest user of energy, and it will soon have the capacity to create enough energy to “not only feed itself, but to feed the community or send energy back to the home. network, ”officials said.
Phoenixville officials also said they hope the brand has the potential to be extended, in a modular fashion, to other utilities in the borough. Or, that PXVNEO will be reused for other municipalities, who will look to Phoenixville and SoMax for advice on improving their own wastewater treatment systems.
According to the Borough of Phoenixville, the updated schedule for the PXVNEO project is as follows:
2017: The Borough of Phoenixville commits to 100% clean energy
(operations and vehicles) by 2035
2019: SoMax HTC proposal adopted
2021 Q2: Improvements to the plant structure – new slab and roof
2021 Q3: Equipment purchases
Q4 2021: Arrival of equipment
2022 Q1: Installation and construction, commissioning of the HTC process
2022 Q2: Full-time transition from anaerobic digestion to HTC
2022 Q3: Request prolonged use from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
2023: Increase HTC’s capacity and explore waste supply, potentially from
2024: Carbon neutral electricity production