The Reclamation and Environmental Restoration of Laguna de Santa Rosa

Publication Type  Conference Presentation
Authors  James McElvaney
Affiliations  BioConverter International
Year  2009
Key Words  BioConverter; HMO; Reclamation; Restoration

A working hypothesis offers a plan to reduce and reverse the effects of Over-Nutrification, Chemical Contamination, and the Overgrowth of Ludwigia in the Laguna, and provides for its sustainable Reconstruction by “terra-forming” portions of the Laguna into deep cold water ponds as the sanctuary it once was, for fish, waterfowl and wildlife, alike, surrounded by easily maintained raised dry flats, achieving tangible results at a cost-savings for Laguna stakeholders.

A unique proven and patented plant harvesting system, the “HMO” Hydro-Mechanical Obliterator uses a small amount of water to cut, macerate and harvest any type of biomass including Ludwigia into a fine particulate slurry. In practice this slurry is then pumped to a tanker truck for delivery and use as feedstock to a high-rate high-solids BioConverter Facility for conversion to biomethane and biohydrogen.

The BioConverter is a proven and patented Anaerobic Digester System and Method that uses a vertically-oriented bioreactor containing a spindle of biofilm panels of a consortia of microbes acclimated to rapidly convert biomass into biogas used to produce a sustainable baseload supply of green electricity and steam on site for its operations while producing a uninterruptible supply of refined 99% pure “green” compressed natural gas a "very low carbon fuel" for use in city and county fleets reducing GHG emissions by more than 97% compared to gasoline and gasoline/ethanol blends.

The biofilm microbial consortia are robust and capable of converting all pathogens, hydrocarbons, herbicides, pesticides and fungicides that may be present in the Laguna biomass, due to over-application and runoff, into benign residues. The system produces refined concentrated extracts of bio-based nutrients including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur and iron chelated to vitamins, amino acids, long chain fatty acids, chlorophylls, enzymes and polysaccharides. When applied as biostimulants at a 10 to 20 times dilution rate to soils, roots, and plants, these extracts increase agricultural yields, soil fertility, root mass and drought resistance, while permanently sequestering all residual carbon.


James McElvaney, a biologist and bioengineer, with 27 years of experience in research and development, projects and operations management, with co-founder, Robert Hillmann, established BioConverter International to specialize in the sustainable design and development of facilities licensed to convert green wastes, food residues and a multitude of organic wastes, into very low carbon renewable energy, organic biostimulants and probiotic protein.

Conference Name  2009 State of the Laguna Conference and Science Symposium
Presentation Type: 
8_McElvaney_Wed session 3.pdf3 MB