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Ohio plant planned to make fuel from sewage sludge


NEW FRANKLIN, Ohio (AP) - Construction is expected to start this month on a northeast Ohio facility that would turn sewage sludge into vehicle fuel by producing compressed natural gas.

The Akron Beacon Journal  reports local officials and the Ohio Environmental Protect Agency have approved the $4.5 million anaerobic digester in New Franklin, south of Akron. The process uses bacteria that don't need oxygen to consume sludge and yield a burnable gas that can fuel specially converted vehicles.

The facility will be operated by a subsidiary of Cleveland-based Quasar Energy Group, which has digesters in Columbus, Wooster and Zanesvillethat produce natural gas and one in Akron that produces electricity.

Quasar president and CEO Mel Kurtz says the new facility could produce the equivalent of 3,000 gallons of gasoline a day.