(FOX40.COM) — This month Tracy, Lodi and Roseville saw major movements in their mission towards improving the region’s and the world’s environment with the completion and development of three major projects.
On Thursday, Tracy made national headlines as Heirloom Carbon Technologies held the grand opening ceremony of the nation’s first Direct Air Capture facility, which pulls C02 directly out of the atmosphere.
On Wednesday, Lodi and the Northern California Power Authority announced plans for the Lodi Energy Center Hydrogen Project.
On Tuesday, the City of Roseville announced the completion of its $110 million Pleasant Grove Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion that added the ability for the facility to generate renewable natural gas and energy.
Capturing CO2 with Limestone in Tracy
Bay Area-based Heirloom has been developing its concept of using limestone to capture CO2 directly from the atmosphere over the last two years.
On Thursday, the company shared its state-of-the-art facility with the world that will capture an estimated 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year to be stored underground or mineralized and placed into concrete.
“This first commercial direct air capture facility is the closest thing on Earth that we have to a time machine, because it can turn back the clock on climate change by removing carbon dioxide that has already been emitted into our atmosphere,” said Heirloom’s CEO and Co-Founder, Shashank Samala.
The process for capturing the CO2 includes using a limestone mineral powder that is spread onto stacked trays.
This powder absorbs the CO2 and is then brought into a renewable-energy kiln to extract the CO2 in order to reuse the powder again.
The captured CO2 can then be stored underground or embedded into concrete.
Producing the Universe’s Most Abundant Gas in Lodi
During their 2023 State of the City address, Northern California Power Authority showcased their plans to build a hydrogen production plant next to the Lodi Energy Center (LEC).
The project is in partnership with Lodi, Northern California Power Authority and Pacific Gas & Electric to produce low-carbon hydrogen to power the 300 mega-watt LEC.
The LEC was recently developed to operate using a 45% hydrogen blend.
The hydrogen plant will operate when there is excess renewable energy to produce clean energy as its production declines later into the day.
According to GHD, an energy and resources consulting firm, the plant will generate 24 metric tons of low-carbon hydrogen per day by using recycled water from the neighboring wastewater treatment facility.
“The City of Lodi remains committed to providing the community with affordable, reliable, clean energy,” the City of Lodi wrote in a news release. “Along with its carbon‐free geothermal and hydroelectric power resources, blending hydrogen at the LEC for power generation will allow for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by up to one‐third.”
From Wastewater to Natural Gas and into Garbage Trucks
For the last three years, Roseville has been expanding its Pleasant Grove Wastewater Facility plant to meet the growing needs of its population, but it also used the growth opportunity to include renewable energy.
The natural gas produced at the plant will be used to power the city’s 47 garbage trucks, which will only use about 10% of the plant’s total energy consumption.
This facility will also reduce carbon emissions equal to what could be stored in 2,100 acres of forest, according to the city.
Waste that would have been sent to landfills will instead be used to generate enough energy to power 740 homes.
“Overall, this wastewater treatment plant expansion represents a significant step towards enhancing the region’s wastewater treatment capacity, improving sustainability, and delivering environmental and financial benefits to the community,” the city of Roseville wrote in a news release.