Global solution for sewage Sludge Disposal
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The BioPetrol Solution

The treatment process includes three main stages:

  1. Drying/evaporation of water from the sewage sludge to about 10% water. This process is based on known technologies and existing drying facilities.

  2. A combined process to liquefy the dry sludge and produce synthetic oil, gas and solid residue. This process will be based primarily on the proprietary technology and R&D of BioPetrol.

  3. The production of all the energy that is required for the stages of sludge drying and liquefaction come from the process products themselves (Gas, solid residue and, if needed, some of the synthetic oil).

  • At the end of stages 1-3, 94% of the sludge is converted to treated water and synthetic oil. The remaining 6% is mineral ash a dry powder (does not contain reaction water) that holds heavy metals in locked molecular form and does not pose environmental hazard.  The ash material has a number of industrial applications. Any emitted gas is effectively treated.


BioPetrol, Ltd. has been awarded a grant of $300,000 by Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist and a $400,000 (not used) grant from the Israel Water Authority to conduct advanced R&D. The company has proven in a three year Pilot Plant operation, the viability of the process and is now on the verge of constructing a Demonstration Pilot Plant for a commercial semi-continuous process.

BioPetrol seeks $2MM investment, or a $1 MM industrial partner qualified for a matching fund by the BIRD* Foundation for construction of a Commercial Demonstration Plant. A business plan is available.

* BIRD – Bi-national Industrial R&D cooperation between Israel & US governments.

BioPetrol’s Strategy - Three Potential Products/Services

  1. Disposal of Sewage Sludge – Costs for disposal of sewage sludge comprise over 30% of wastewater treatment plants’ budget. Customers of this service are local communities, and some private contractors. They have no choice but to pay for the disposal of their sludge. In-State tipping fees averaged $65/ton and out-of state $94/ton and more (Commission to study methods and cost of sewage sludge disposal- Final Report 2008). The US alone produces 29 million tons of sludge annually (2009).  The cost savings from BioPetrol Ltd.’s technology are estimated to have a return on investment under three years, depending on the current costs of sludge disposal.

  2. Synthetic Crude Oil – in the BioPetrol process, 1 ton of dry sludge produces 425 Kg of oil, a drop-in fuel for heavy industry. Oil energy = 5,850Kcal/Kg. The amount of oil available for external use depends on the method used to dry the averaged 26% D.S (dry solids) feedstock to 85% D.S. The production of a liquid fuel product is easier to handle, store and transport, than alternatives. References in professional literature document numerous valuable chemicals in significant concentration that are present in bio-oil from sewage sludge.

  3. Selling the Technology - With the completion of the commercial Demonstration Plant, BioPetrol. Ltd. technology will be available to sell to world markets. Potential markets include: water authorities, municipalities, wastewater treatment plants, entrepreneurs, sewage sludge disposal contractors, and sludge drying operators.

The technology, vastly improved by BioPetrol Ltd. (US patent 7276148) over the original Fischer-Tropsh technology, is capable of processing carbon wastes, in addition to sewage sludge, including agri-wastes, bagasse, pulp and paper residues, tannery sludge and other end-of-life products such as plastics, tires and the organics in municipal solid waste.

The process of low temperature thermo-chemical conversion of municipal sewage sludge to oil is a new technology in developed countries. The amount of investment is significantly less than the amount invested in the sewage sludge incineration process, and the operational economy of the process is obviously superior to incineration and other alternatives

BioPetrol Ltd.

Semi-Finalist in Cleantech Open 2012: Business Description:

BioPetrol Ltd. technology produces oil and bio-chemicals recovery from direct liquefaction of municipal sewage sludge. This budget enhancing and environmentally sound sludge management process for waste water treatment plants is now in demand, with about 17,000 U.S. publicly owned WWTPs. Traditional sludge disposal methods require high energy inputs, with negative environmental impacts at high cost to facilities and taxpayers. Pressure on municipalities and companies to increase energy and economic efficiency in their sludge management builds, while public and regulatory acceptance of traditional disposal methods and risks is rapidly diminishing. "Management of sludge is $11.6 billion per year with 4-5% growth annually" (Synagro Technologies Annual Report).

Category: Air / Water / Waste

  • Date of patented technology: Oct 2007
  • Amount/Type of Financing Sought: $2M Equity / Debt
  • Funding Stage: Seed
  • Use of Funds: Semi-Commercial Demonstration

BioPetrol’s patented process u>combines the benefits of proven thermal extraction and pyrolysis with recirculation of the heavy oil fraction product as solvent medium (Hydrogen Donor) to convert 70+% of the energy stored in the sludge to synthetic oil.  Depending on the sludge drying process selected, BioPetrol Ltd. utilizes the resulting gas and char, with only a minority (or none) of the oil generated during the process, leaving most or all of the oil available for sale.

Laboratory R&D is completed, and a semi-commercial facility is designed and is ready for construction of a semi-industrial demonstration pilot plant. On-site reduction of sewage sludge volume from 100% to 5% ash, by innovative, environmentally sound and budget enhancing sludge management and conversion to valuable energy products is now available.