Revolutionary Waste Water Energy Conversion Technology

It seems reasonable to suggest that SoMax Bioenergy waste conversion technology is a paradigm-shifting invention of Dan Spracklin, CEO of Gray Brothers Septic Services, Spring City, PA, developed in collaboration with Villanova University’s College of Engineering in Philadelphia. SoMax will soon begin to transform subsegments the liquid and solid waste disposal and treatment markets, the energy sector, and the farming and ranching industries in ways that discontinue and even rapidly begin to reverse the effects of industrialized civilization on the global environment.
SoMax redirects waste disposal of septic, food, agricultural, green, and other organic waste away from wastewater treatment facilities and landfills, and instead utilizes those waste materials for conversion into exceptionally efficient fuel sources and bio-products. The bio-products, in turn, have their transformative impacts in a range of industries. This extraordinary technology works in a rapid and supremely simple process, inside an astonishingly compact treatment unit, to convert both solid and liquid waste into green energy!
Why SoMax Technology is Critically Important Now
Most people recognize that, with the warming climate and increasing global population, the world needs to reduce emissions while increasing food production. That is a challenge that we humans have been up to now failing to find viable solutions to meet, until now. Up to this point, our farm soil has become more and more degraded and the earth’s water has become polluted to an alarming degree.
A staggering number of tons of raw sewage, which include shocking amounts of pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, and an ever-increasing bulk of synthetic fertilizers, and other dangerous pollutants have been going into the world’s water supply every day for many years. Altogether, we’ve seemed to be in a losing battle against our own need to dispose of waste from growing food crops and feed for livestock, and from countless other sources of serious pollutants caused by the service of our species’ needs.
Around 1.3 billion tons, or 40% of all food produced in the world, is ultimately thrown away in trash cans and dumpsters, ultimately going into landfills. The rotting food waste releases massive quantities of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2), which pollute the atmosphere and accelerates climatic change.
Spracklin has established SoMax Bioenergy (the new sister company of Gray Brothers Septic Services), currently consisting of five engineers working with him to wrap up the final development phase and transition into the ramp-up for SoMax production. He expects to roll out the new SoMax waste conversion units next year and bring it to municipalities and industrial markets in the United States.
How SoMax Energy Conversion Technology Works
Spracklin’s SoMax technology uses organic waste as a resource. It converts the waste to renewable energy, using a sustainable waste transformation process that is spectacularly compact, clean, convenient, and relatively very economical.
SoMax is a Carbon Reduction Platform (CRP). In the case of SoMax, that means the CRP sets up a symbiotic relationship between entire industries, in which one’s waste is another’s resource. The former provides needed resources for the latter to operate, and the latter provides an ideal solution for waste disposal for the former. It’s a closed macro-management model with manufacturing, agriculture, and sanitation functioning as a trio of mutually sustaining environmental and economic appendages in a regenerative and self-cleaning system.
Astounding Applications of SoMax Byproducts
Spracklin and his team have spent years researching and testing technology for waste conversion and exploring many applications for the SoMax process. Now, SoMax process will soon begin to generate renewable energy, produce highly-effective soil nutrients to replace synthetic farm fertilizers, and in the process, contribute to rapid global air and water clean-up.
The SoMax CRP process, as explained by Spracklin in the simplest terms, dehydrates carbohydrates in water, by applying moderate temperature and pressure increases. In other words, the CRP uses wet bio-mass (saturated to more than 20% moisture content) as its raw materials. The process essentially speeds up the material decomposition and reordering that happens naturally over many millions of years when the same kinds of bio-waste go into the earth. SoMax executes the same conversion process within hours.
The bio-material is chopped up into bits, saturated with water, and pumped into a reactor, which Dan suggests visualizing as an “industrial-sized pressure cooker.” The material is then dehydrated, by heating it to around 450 degrees (the same temperature used to bake cookies or pizza).
Because the water is under pressure, it doesn’t convert to a gas during the dehydration process. Instead, it facilitates break down of the cellular walls of the bio-material and disintegration of the biomass’s chemical bonds, converting the carbon-containing molecules into a pure carbon char-like material.
After the carbon is filtered from the water and dried, it can then can be pressed into briquettes or pellets to power CHP systems (Combined Heat and Power). The remaining nutrient-rich water is then ready to use as-is, for liquid fertilizer. It contains similar concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) as currently used liquid fertilizers.
The only waste product from the SoMax process is distilled water, out of that waterside, get ammonium sulfide, get a nutrient pellet. The water can just be fed back to cows if you’re on a farm. The pellets byproduct can be taken into the store and sold.
The gross energy content of the product is 23.8Mj/kg, which is higher than that of the coal used in U.S. power plants. That means SoMax will be able to replace the approximately one billion tons of coal used annually with its renewable replacement while reducing CO2 emissions, and eliminating the need to extract more fossil fuels from the ground.
Incomprehensible Benefits of SoMax Technology
The economic and practical benefits of the SoMax technology have staggering implications for cities, agro-businesses, and for industries that generate large amounts of waste. Adopting the technology will deliver nearly unfathomable environmental and economic benefits — reaching far beyond the waste hauling and waste treatment industries and their direct customers. This includes helping bring an incomparably practical solution to the 2.4 billion people worldwide who still do not have access to sanitation.
The SoMax Bioenergy technology works through a reaction called hydrothermal carbonization (HTC). As Dan describes the process in layman’s terms. In addition to heat, the pressure of 290 PSI is applied during the process. This puts water in the subcritical state. The water acts as a catalyst, reducing the matter into smaller chain hydrocarbons and some newly formed water.
Designing the process to be done wet gives us an important advantage over using dry conversion. Other processes require 100% dry material. This approach saves a tremendous amount of energy. If you gasified at the back end of the process, you’d have a significant amount of excess energy. This takes bio-solids, or any organic matter that would normally go to a landfill, even forestry waste, and converts it. The process generates zero net carbon emissions, because it’s already in the cycle, utilizing carbon that’s already in the atmosphere.
Astounding Applications of SoMax Technology
Dan recognizes that energy-generation is the low-hanging fruit for SoMax. Looking at the energy market, he notes that there’s an inexhaustible amount, 4.2 trillion tons that can be converted into fuel this way. He’s even more interested in turning the byproduct of the SoMax process into advanced materials. For example, converting food waste to “hydrochar” means it can be used for water and gas filtration. So, instead of sending food waste to a landfill, food garbage can be used to filter drinking water!
The SoMax conversion process does other fascinating and highly useful tricks. For example, it can also take leftover dust from marijuana and process it to produce a Nanosheet. Dan explains that a __ x __ inch Nano layer made this way can be used for storing energy, more than a ___volt lithium battery in one layer. It can also be used to strengthen concrete. It repels water. It increases microbial activity in the soil, which stimulates organism growth. It’s jaw-dropping to behold the vision of what the technology can do. On humble observation, it seems like Dan Spracklin and his team have realized a Nobel Prize-worthy level of planet-saving creative scientific achievement.
The opportunities for developing countries and for out-of-control developed countries who are major polluters are real, comparatively very easily attainable. Working units will soon be ready to roll out of the new 110,000 square-feet SoMax facilities and be brought online for municipalities and industrial farm users, from the largest to the smallest in size. The process must merely obey the laws of thermodynamics, of course. So, how much carbon it can create simply depends on how much carbon is available in feed material on a farm, for example.
SoMax Environmental Revolution
Everything the SoMax process does creates a carbon sink, i.e., an action to absorb carbon dioxide, similarly to the role that natural carbon sinks like plants and soil play in the environment by converting carbon dioxide for other natural processes. Dan explains that currently carbon pollutants in the earth’s atmosphere are around 420ppm, and humans need to bring that number down to 350 ppm, to survive as a species.
Currently, about 160 million tons of food waste are generated every year. (Last year it was 240 million tons.) About 95% of that goes to landfills. Much is feedstock, due to animal farming. Dan sees three markets that make sense for SoMax to target at this point — municipal wastewater treatment, manure from agro-industry, and urban market food waste. One beauty of SoMax is that it can be used for processing anywhere, in any environment and climate, in any city. It doesn’t require vast concentrations of material to make a worthwhile positive impact in an area.
Dan explains the launch plans for SoMax. We’re under contract to develop and implement the technology. We’re currently nearing the close of the engineering and design phase. The proposal will then go out to the municipality. We will implement the first commercial-scale HTC unit in Phoenixville Pennsylvania, Q3 2020, less than a year from now.
Game-Changing SoMax Green Energy Technology!
For each 100K tons of food waste SoMax-made equipment processes 30K tons of hydrochar, which produces over 5,000 kWh of energy, and 25 million gallons of liquid fertilizer as a byproduct. Hydrochar combustion is CO2 neutral, meaning the CO2 generated by the process is already active in the environment. So, again, it’s not being added to the atmosphere by extracting more fossil fuels from underground.
The SoMax byproduct contains no heavy metals, no contaminants. It’s a pure form of nitrogen, which allows users to avoid the normal process for synthetic fertilizers. Synthetic nitrogen fertilizer planta are huge facilities. By extracting organic nitrogen, we can reduce emissions from synthetic fertilizer productions for a 140% carbon footprint reduction from your food waste.
Including the ancillary equipment, pumps, etc. the system has very few moving parts. It’s a very simple machine. Essentially, it’s the size of three shipping containers. That means you can put it in places you couldn’t normally locate an organic process facility.
Normally, you need hundreds of acres, and it takes 12 weeks to convert carbon material into fuel and using the normal process, a great amount of methane is released into the atmosphere. Another alternative to SoMax technology is anaerobic digestion, which takes a big tank — a multimillion gallon tank. It works by allowing bacteria to break it down, to get bio-methane, which is the same way natural gas occurs underground. It takes about 30 days, and you generate about 50% carbon dioxide to get 50% bio-methane. With that system, you have to be close to a pipeline, and you have to flair it, or use another ecologically undesirable method of venting off the residual. So, you’re not getting any energy recovery out of it.
By contrast, the SoMax process takes 30 minutes to fully convert bio-solids and manure, about two hours for food waste, and about 4 hours for forest waste. The carbon efficiency is 90%. That means only 10% becomes carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide as a result of the processing.
Clean and Compact Bioenergy Conversion System
SoMax Bioenergy technology represents a huge leap forward in reducing processing time and the amount of square footage necessary to execute a bioenergy conversion process. In addition to bringing the technology online for cities and towns, Dan Spracklin’s vision is to put it behind supermarkets, and potentially have enough energy to power a Walmart, for example.
After you convert the hydrochar, the process in which you combust the material in a low-oxygen environment, one effect is that it has created a singas, which is a mix of carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and methane. That mixture then gets cleaned and scrubbed, and other emissions are scrubbed out so that a pure stream of CO2 remains.
Using a Genset, such as an engine and alternator combination, a gas engine, takes in the singas then it’s combustible, and it goes through an engine to produce energy for electricity. So, we’re able to produce 24/7/365. Whether sunny or not, it’s always processing. Dan explains that the energy density in bioenergy is 19 megajoules per kilogram from hydrochar produced from bio-solids. Food energy is very dense. You get 25-30 megajoules per kilogram. So, the amount of waste from a Walmart may be enough to power the entire store.
As power companies face stricter emissions controls, some look to capture emissions from stacks and pump it into the ground, which pushes up more oil and gas, for enhanced recovery. It’s a poor concept, Spracklin explains because it defeats the purpose of pumping the emissions into the ground in the first place to pump up deeper fossil fuels in the process. Instead, power producers can mix the hydrochar with their charcoal. They can even put SoMax technology right at their plants.
SoMax Solution to the Looming Landfill Crisis
Dan further explains that we are facing a situation in which existing landfills are running out of space and that we’re not building any more landfills. In 2029 everything north of Virginia on the east coast will be at capacity. Landfills in many eastern states have been closed recently, because they’ve reached capacity, or because of emissions violations. We have only 28 years left in the entire US until virtually all landfills nationwide reach capacity.
With 100 million people in northeast, that’s one-third of the US population that won’t have access to a landfill. That means all the waste generated in that region will all have to be transported to the south. Then, after those in the south quickly fill up, it will be shipped to the Midwest, then just keep moving farther west.
Dan notes that it costs about $62.50 to dispose of a ton of waste. That amount will increase to $125, then it will triple to over $200 per ton. Then, people will dump in fields or the ocean. SoMax represents an option that acts in place of a landfill, but one that takes nominal space and does not have any adverse environmental impact.
Food waste is a single largest stream of waste going into landfills. Over 30% is food, bio-solids, manures, grass, etc.. That’s what causes groundwater issues. It all breaks down over the years. Methane is more dangerous. Leachate goes into groundwater wells. It becomes 86 times more dangerous than Co2.
Bio-solids in wastewater treatment is a growing hazard. Indwelling spaces, the pipe you flush the toilet through is the same one for the shower. Chemicals go down, including shampoos, medications, like antidepressants, hormones, etc. The human body is ineffective at absorbing such chemicals. So, these dangerous agents go through feces into wastewater treatment plants, which are less than efficient in treating all the pharmaceuticals. The water then moves on for use in watering fields to grow crops, and to water animals.
The SoMax process destroys a much higher percentage of the pharmaceuticals, about 80% to 90%, and the resulting hydrochar contains no parasites. There’s no bacteria on it. You can eat it! Some implications of this are that, for example, when you have outbreaks of something like Mad Cow disease, Swine Flu, strains of other pathogens, HTC kills the virus. SoMax can trailer in equipment and begin processing in areas with outbreaks.
Going Forward with Transformative SoMax Technology
Just when you might think the SoMax technology couldn’t possibly do one more thing, we learn from Dan Spracklin that the system has a de-packaging process that spits out the plastics. Other non-biodegradable items such as glass and metal material must be separated in advance, by usual recycling methods.
One of the arguably most brilliant features of the SoMax technology is its scalability. A SoMax facility the size of a shipping container will do 15K tons per conversion. Dan explains that for larger volumes, you can simply add more containers. For a city like New York, with 10 million people, the cost comparison and the enormous results compared to existing methods make the choice to implement this technology a simple decision.
SoMax’s short- and long-range growth projections on distribution are very aggressive. The environmental, human health, and economic significance of this technology cannot be overstated. The impending advent of the age of SoMax is certainly going to be the beginning of something that will benefit us all.
So, we’re honored to be allowed to introduce SoMax to the liquid waste industry here in ALW at this pivotal time. It appears clear enough that the world inside and outside our industry is going to be hearing a lot about SoMax and experiencing its almost incomprehensible range of sweeping benefits to mankind over the coming years and decades.

For more information about the revolutionary SoMax Bioenergy technology, visit

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