Designing the World's Largest Dry Fermentation Anaerobic Digestion Plant

JRMA's Architectural and Structural Design Groups Complete the Facility that will Impact the Future of Solid Waste.
By: J.R. Miller & Associates | JRMA
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Jan. 9, 2014 - PRLog -- (January 2014) J.R. Miller & Associates | JRMA (, a national architecture, planning, and engineering firm designed the recently completed Anaerobic Digestion / Renewable Energy Plant for Zero Waste Energy Development Company, LLC (ZWEDC), the largest plant of this type in the world. The new facility has set the stage for future facilities of this type in North America and will revolutionize the way organics from Municipal Solid Waste are processed.

The pioneering project called for the integration of patented High-Solids Dry Fermentation type Anaerobic Digestion technology, exclusively licensed to Zero Waste Energy, LLC (ZWE), being implemented in the United Stated for the first time. JRMA worked closely with ZWEDC and ZWE to successfully design the facility incorporating the patented technology from Europe.

JRMA provided site and integrated facility layouts based on the European technology.  JRMA’s design solution focused on material receiving, staging/ processing options, vehicle/traffic flow, as well as planning and zoning requirements and Building Code compliance.

Additional design considerations included stringent Bay Area Air Quality Management District requirements, high-seismicity structural design, and considerations for settlement and gas mitigation due to the construction being on a closed landfill site.

The San Jose facility is designed to receive and process 90,000 tons per year (TPY) of green and food waste.  The new development is located on a 23.11 acre portion of the Nine-Par Landfill site in San Jose, CA. The facility consists of 16 anaerobic digesters, four in-vessel composting units, and will produce 1.6 Mega-watts of renewable power. The power will go to PG&E for use in the community, powering surrounding neighborhoods.

About J.R. Miller & Associates | JRMA ( (

Founded in 1982, JRMA ( an Engineering and Architectural design firm offering comprehensive services to commercial, industrial and institutional clients in the United States and abroad. Our Architectural, Structural, Civil, and LEED/Sustainable design departments ensure we generate well-coordinated, creative and value-based solutions. JRMA focuses on achieving our Client’s project goals and providing cost effective designs. The firm is headquartered in Brea, CA has additional offices in Houston, Texas; Lexington, KY; and Portland, Oregon.

Claudia Miranda, Marketing
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Tags:Anaerobic Digestion, AD Facility Design, AD Engineering, Alternative Tech, Compost Architect
Industry:Energy, Engineering
Location:San Jose - California - United States
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