Global infrastructure consulting company AECOM has partnered with renewable fuel technology firm Genifuel to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from algae and wastewater solids, AECOM announced.

The partnership used a patent-pending process developed by AECOM to harvest wild algae and a patented process developed by Genifuel and the US Department of Energy to convert algae and wastewater bio-solids into renewable oil and gas, the company said.

“This strategic partnership with Genifuel provides a new platform for AECOM to advance… the positive use of waste material,” AECOM vice president and director of algae programmes Dan Levy said in the 23 March statement.

An over-abundance of nutrients in water could lead to the production of harmful algal blooms (HABs), the company said, which could then produce toxins that could be harmful to human health, aquatic ecosystems and drinking water.

AECOM said its Algae Harvesting Hydro-nucleation Flotation Technology (HFT) removed HABs, cyanotoxins, nutrients and carbon from water, allowing recovered algae to be converted into commercial products, such as biofuel.

Genifuel’s Hydrothermal Processing (HTP) used heat and pressure to convert algae and biosolids into carbon neutral bio-crude oil and natural gas, AECOM said.

“Both algae and wastewater solids have been proven as suitable feedstocks for SAF. Our system allows for… fast conversion of the wet organic content. The output is bio-crude oil or natural gas that is nearly identical to natural fossil equivalents, except they release no net new carbon dioxide,” Genifuel president James Oyler said.

AECOM is active in the transportation, construction, water, new energy and environmental sectors.

According to its website, Genifuel Corporation produces equipment to convert wet organic waste into renewable fuels and other by-products.