Wisconsin Energy exec touts sludge-to-energy technology to European leaders

MILWAUKEE, Wisc., April 9, 2001 à‚– Transforming sludge into marketable products and renewable energy was the subject of Wisconsin Energy Chairman, President and CEO Dick Abdoo’s presentation last Friday in Cologne, Germany, at the Third International Leadership Issues Conference conducted by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation of Europe.

Abdoo discussed Minergy’s glass aggregate technology and how it could provide a solution to the problem of sludge disposal from wastewater treatment processes. Traditional approaches, such as landfills and land application, are raising concerns about land and water contamination. Incineration raises issues about ash, which contains heavy metals. Increasing environmental restrictions are prompting European countries to seek alternatives to traditional disposal approaches.

Minergy technology recovers the minerals and energy contained in wastewater and creates two marketable products à‚– glass aggregate and renewable energy. The glass aggregate à‚– a granular and glassy material à‚– is produced by melting sludge minerals. The high temperatures of the process destroy dioxins and other organic compounds. The minerals à‚– including the heavy metals à‚– are chemically transformed into the permanently stabilized glass aggregate, which can be used in the manufacture of roofing shingles, floor tile, asphalt and more. The renewable energy is produced by recovering the energy in the glass-making process.

Installations at Neenah and Winnecone, Wis., were highlighted as examples of Minergy’s proven technology for the European leaders.

“Minergy technology results in fewer emissions, cleaner water and fewer solids at less cost than other sludge disposal options,” said Abdoo. “Together, we can develop the technologies, practices and policies to increase use of recycling and renewables.”

Wisconsin Energy Corporation is a Milwaukee-based holding company with subsidiaries in utility and non-utility businesses. The company serves more than 1 million electric and 957,000 natural gas customers in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula through its utility subsidiaries – Wisconsin Electric, Wisconsin Gas and Edison Sault Electric. Its non-utility subsidiaries include energy services and development, pump manufacturing, waste-to-energy and real estate businesses. Visit the company’s Web site at www.WisconsinEnergy.com.

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