Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What is Biofertilizer? Renewable Fertilizer Defined and Explained


What is Biofertilizer?

Biofertilizer is a product of fermentation of organic material in water which contains living microorganisms which, when applied to seeds, plant surfaces, or soil, enriches plants with foods to create a healthy biology, and supplies minerals for biological processes to digest.


Through the use of biofertilizers, healthy plants can be grown, while enhancing the sustainability and the health of the soil.

Since the microorganisms play several roles, a preferred scientific term for the beneficial bacteria in biofertilizers is "plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria".

Biofertilizers add nutrients through the natural processes of nitrogen fixation, solubilizing phosphorus, and stimulating plant growth through the synthesis of growth-promoting substances.

Biofertilizer can be made in a variety of ways, but biogas plants are the main producers, and the anaerobic digestion and biogas industry calls it 'digestate".


All biogas plants (also known as "Anaerobic Digestion Plants" or "Methane Digesters") produce digestate (renewable biofertilizer) as a by-product when making biogas.


Some Anaerobic Digestion Plants produce a digestate that is not suitable for use as a biofertiliser. In most of these cases, the digestate is usually suitable after pasteurization, in accordance with the Animal By-products Regulations.


Many digestate biofertilizer users have reported that not only is crop growth increased by correctly applied digestate, they also witness a biocide effect where a number of plant diseases are reduced.

Watch What is Biofertilizer? on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/UKpDdfbm8Vw


Visit the "Must-Have Biofertilizer Resource List" at https://anaerobic-digestion.com/biof .

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Home Biogas You Don’t Have to Be Poor or Living Off-Grid to Find This Useful

Home Biogas: New home biogas products are gaining great reviews suggesting that you don’t have to be poor or living off-grid to find it useful to make your own worthwhile biogas cooking fuel.

In the following article, Samuel Alexander a Research fellow, at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne describes his experience of one such system:

Home biogas: turning food waste into renewable energy


Image of the home biogas system which offers a zero-emissions alternative to paying for fossil gas.
The home biogas system offers a zero-emissions alternative to paying for fossil gas. Samuel Alexander, Author provided
Samuel Alexander, University of Melbourne
Last night I cooked my family a delicious pasta dinner using biogas energy. This morning we all had eggs cooked on biogas. I’m not sure what’s for dinner tonight, but I know what will provide the energy for cooking: biogas.
And not just any biogas – it’s home biogas, produced in our suburban backyard, as part of my ongoing “action research” into sustainable energy practices.

Read more: Biogas: smells like a solution to our energy and waste problems

In an age of worrying climate change and looming fossil energy decline, the benefits of biogas are obvious. It is a renewable energy source with zero net greenhouse emissions. And yet its potential has largely gone untapped, at least in the developed world.
Based on my research and experience, I contend that home-produced biogas is an extremely promising technology whose time has come. In fact, I believe it could provoke a domestic green energy revolution, if only we let it.

What is biogas?

Biogas is produced when organic matter biodegrades under anaerobic conditions (that is, in the absence of oxygen). This process produces a mixture of gases – primarily methane, some carbon dioxide and tiny portions of other gases such as hydrogen sulfide.
When the biogas is filtered to remove the hydrogen sulfide, the resulting mixture can be burned as an energy source for cooking, lighting, or heating water or space. When compressed it can be used as fuel for vehicles. On a commercial scale biogas can be used to generate electricity or even refined and fed into the gas grid.
The types of organic matter used to produce biogas include food waste, animal manure and agricultural byproducts. Some commercial systems use sewage to produce and capture biogas.

Biogas benefits

The primary benefit of biogas is that it is renewable. Whereas the production of oil and other fossil fuels will eventually peak and decline, we will always be able to make biogas as long as the sun is shining and plants can grow.
Biogas has zero net greenhouse emissions because the CO₂ that is released into the atmosphere when it burns is no more than what was drawn down from the atmosphere when the organic matter was first grown.
As already noted, when organic matter biodegrades under anaerobic conditions, methane is produced. It has been estimated that each year between 590 million and 800 million tones of methane is released into the atmosphere. This is bad news for the climate – pound for pound, methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO₂.
But in a biogas system this methane is captured and ultimately converted to CO₂ when the fuel is burned. Because that CO₂ was going to end up in the atmosphere anyway through natural degradation, biogas has zero net emissions.
There are other benefits too. The organic matter used in biogas digesters is typically a waste product. By using biogas we can reduce the amount of food waste and other organic materials being sent to landfill.
Furthermore, biogas systems produce a nutrient-rich sludge that can be watered down into a fertiliser for gardens or farms. All of this can help to develop increased energy independence, build resilience and save money.

My biogas experiment

In the spirit of scientific research, I installed one of the few home biogas systems currently available, at a cost of just over A$1,000 delivered, and have been impressed by its ease and functionality. (Please note that I have no affiliation, commercial or otherwise, with the manufacturer.)
In practical terms, I put in about 2kg of food waste each day and so far I have had enough gas to cook with, sometimes twice a day. If I ever needed more gas, I could put in more organic matter. I will continue to monitor the system as part of my research and will publish updates in due course. If interested, watch this space.
My personal motivation to explore biogas (related to my research) arises primarily from a desire to decarbonise my household’s energy use. So far, so good. We have disconnected from the conventional gas grid and now have more money to spend on projects such as expanding our solar array.
Given the alarming levels of food waste in Australia, I also like the idea of turning this waste into green energy. My neighbours kindly donate their organic matter to supplement our own inputs, increasing community engagement. When necessary I cycle to my local vegetable market and enthusiastically jump into their large food waste bin to take what I need, with permission.
They think I’m mad. But, then, I think using fossil fuels is mad.

Hurdles and hopes

Home biogas is widely produced in developing regions of the world. The World Bank and the United Nations actively encourage its use as a cheap, clean energy source. China has 27 million biogas plants.
But developed regions, including Australia, have been slow to exploit this vast potential. Given that Australia is one of the most carbon-intensive countries on Earth, this is unfortunate.
The failure to embrace home biogas is partly due to a lack of clear regulations about its use. Where is the Home Biogas Act? Almost every Australian backyard has an independent gas bottle to power the ubiquitous barbecue, so clearly storing gas in the backyard is not a problem. My biogas system came with robust safety certificates, warranties and insurance, and these systems do not feature high-pressure gas pipes.

Read more: Capturing the true wealth of Australia’s waste

Home biogas production is unusual. But I believe that state governments should draw up legislation to accommodate it, and that local councils should offer advice and assistance to householders who are interested in taking it up. Hoping for progress in this regard, I recently made a submission to the Victorian government as part of its Waste to Energy consultations.
My own carefully managed experiment demonstrates how home biogas can be used safely and successfully. Nevertheless, biogas is a combustible fuel and needs to be filtered for poisonous hydrogen sulfide. Like any fuel, it should be respected and used responsibly. But biogas need not be feared. Fossil gas is far more dangerous anyway.The Conversation
Samuel Alexander, Research fellow, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Please give us your comments on your experiences with home biogas systems, in the comments section blow this article..

Friday, September 07, 2018

Proof That Biomethane Is Cleaning-Up On The Biogas Market

Biomethane is cleaning-up on the Biogas Market. The business sector is growing rapidly with support and both political and monetary investment going forward in many countries.

This is demonstrating that building AD plants with additional equipment to produce biomethane, which is nothing more than thoroughly cleaned-up biogas, is thought to be worth the additional investment by many people.

Biomethane cleaning up on biogas market article feature image.
Biomethane Advances in popularity over raw biogas

Biogas has many uses, but the demand for biomethane which is a fuel equivalent to Natural Gas is simply insatiable!

Just consider the unimaginable amount of energy needed to run transport vehicles and the hype which is peddled daily by governments, to pollution hit city dwellers to convince us all that electric cars are the cure and are coming in just a year or two. Who truly believes that any more?

Now let's give you the PROOF that all manner of people, politicians and investors are now promoting biomethane and biogas plant projects which will produce biogas which will be upgraded to biomethane.

California Legislature Green-Lights Pair of RNG Bills

On the final day of California’s 2018 legislative session, a bill sponsored by the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) that would pave the way for a state renewable natural gas (RNG) procurement program was approved, passing 29-10 in its reconciliation in the Senate.

As approved, S.B.1440 authorizes the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), in consultation with the California Air Resources Board, to adopt a biomethane (RNG) procurement program that would benefit ratepayers, proves to be cost-effective, and advances the state’s environmental and energy policies, the coalition explains. The legislation was introduced this year by State Sen. Ben Hueso.

“A renewable natural gas procurement program would create market certainty that industry developers need to access investment capital and build new projects in California,” says Johannes Escudero, CEO of the RNG Coalition. “Nearly 30 states have [renewable portfolio standard] programs in place, requiring electric utilities to procure and use increasing proportions of renewable energy. States should set similar renewable natural gas targets for gas utilities to create new in-state jobs, decarbonize our pipeline systems, reduce emissions and improve air quality.”

The RNG Coalition’s other sponsored bill this year, A.B.3187, passed the legislature by comfortable margins, the group notes. The bill requires the CPUC to open a proceeding to consider options to promote the in-state production and distribution of biomethane, including recovery in rates of the costs of interconnection infrastructure investments, by no later than July 1, 2019. It was unanimously approved (38-0) by the Senate on Aug. 27 after having passed the Assembly earlier this year. via CaliforniaRNG

New Technologies in the Works for Onboard CNG Storage

More refuse companies are investing in compressed natural gas (CNG) sourced from cleaned biomethane (renewable natural gas), storing it on board in cylinders. For some time, storing this high-pressure fuel on trucks came with challenges for fleets, and though the industry has since taken down significant hurdles, there are new innovations in the pipeline for greater efficiency.

“Fuel storage on board gas vehicles is well proven and established. But with all industries and technologies, there is continuous improvement going on. And in coming years, there will be changes and improvements to natural gas fuel and dispensing systems,” projects Barnes. via OnboardCNGStorage

Renewable natural gas program for Minnesota customers

Centerpoint Energy filed a five-year pilot program proposal with Minnesota`s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on Thursday, which will give customers the option to purchase renewable natural gas, or biomethane, as an alternative to traditional gas.

The pilot would be the first of its kind to offer distribution of renewable gas directly to customers, although other utilities use it in a more "decentralized sense," Margaret Cherne-Hendrick, senior policy associate at Fresh Energy said in an interview with Utility Dive.

If approved, customers will be able to choose renewable gas for approximately $4 more per therm, although the price won`t be set until after the PUC approves the pilot, according to Centerpoint`s website. The state`s PUC is expected to make a final decision on the program in January of 2019.

Many in the industry will likely favor biomethane because the infrastructural transition is easier and cheaper for utilities she says. However, customers should be aware of what they`re paying for.

In a survey conducted by CenterPoint, the utility found half the approximately 1,550 customers surveyed were willing to pay $5 and $25 more per month for renewable gas, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the utility is operating under the assumption that 1% of its 800,000 customers would be willing to participate. via CenterPoint Energy

UK John Lewis cuts CO2 fumes by over 80 percent in LARGEST ever green trial

JOHN LEWIS has teamed up with green gas supplier CNG Fuels to launch the UK’s largest-ever trial aimed at showing how biomethane, a low carbon alternative to diesel, can slash HGV emissions and costs, writes Maisha Frost. via John Lewis cuts CO2 fumes

Biogas Market Size, Share - Industry Share Report 2024

Global biogas market size is anticipated to witness substantial growth owing to government led stringent regulations pivoted towards greenhouse emissions. In 2016, Singapore government had led directive pertaining to carbon emission reduction by 36% by 2030 below 2005 levels.


Rising energy security concern due to depleting conventional resources will positively steer the global biogas market. In 2017, The Asian Development Bank has funded waste to energy (WTE) projects in agreement with Dynagreen environmental protection group across China.


Renewable resource integration with demand for cost effective clean source of energy will positively drive the global biogas market share by 2024. Government initiatives pertaining to waste management will propel the global industry. In 2017, Australian government in support to waste to energy technologies have launched a USD 2 million program in Victoria.


Inconsistency of waste composition and complex facility designs will hamper global biogas market. Urbanization and economic growth are diversifying the technology pertaining to lower generation rates, improved treatment technology and waste composition techniques. via Biogas Market 2024

Biomethane on the National Gas Grid – A First for Ireland’s Bio-Economy

In 2018, Gas Networks Ireland will introduce renewable gas onto the Irish gas network for the first time writes Pádraic Ó hUiginn. Renewable gas, also known as biogas or greengas, will be introduced into the Irish market as a means of further reducing emissions. As natural gas and biomethane are interchangeable, renewable gas can be used in the same way and in the same appliances as natural gas. Customers, business and domestic, would never be aware that the gas they are using is a renewable alternative. via A First for Ireland

More Reports:

The Biomethane Market to Witness Robust Expansion by 2025 released by QYResearch provides a basic overview of the Biomethane industry, ...
Global Biomethane market is growing at a CAGR of 6.3% between 2018 and 2025 – QY Research
Business Analyst
This report studies the Biomethane market size (value and volume) by players, regions, product types and end industries, history data 2013-2017 and ...
Biogas and Biomethane Market by Manufacturers, Regions, Types and Application and Forecast to ...
Journalist Book (press release) (blog)
Biogas and Biomethane Market report provides overall insights into the crucial and Industry chain structure, Biogas and Biomethane remarkable ...
Global Biogas and Biomethane Market 2018 – Industry Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and ...
Dynamic Reporter
Global Biogas and Biomethane Market Analysis Report ponders most recent industry patterns, improvement viewpoints, advertise picks up, and ...

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Dangers of Biogas - 7 Known and 3 Unexpected AD Hazards

There are dangers of biogas just as there are dangers inherent in everything we do. The most obvious biogas dangers come from the fact that it is an explosive gas when mixed air in the right proportions.

However, there are also anticipated dangers of biogas plants which the public authorities and individuals raise during consideration of planning applications, which this article also discusses with examples, in section 2.

Finally, in section 3 below we have included three surprising unexpected dangers of biogas which few if any people have foreseen, with:

  • honey which became coloured due to an anaerobic digestion plant locally, and 
  • estrogen, antibiotics which persisted in dairy farm waste after AD treatment
  • worries about aluminium roof collapse if sulphur leaks out of the biogas.
Image - cartoon suggests the dangers of biogas.


1. Normally Accepted Biogas Hazards

The normally accepted dangers of biogas are summarized in the list of 7, below:

  1. Fire/Explosion
  2. Asphyxiation
  3. Disease
  4. Methane
  5. Carbon Dioxide
  6. Hydrogen Sulfide
  7. Ammonia.

Precautions to Limit the Normally Accepted Dangers of Biogas

Standard biogas plant safety procedures will major on the following actions to keep plant staff safe:

  • Observe All Manufacturer Warnings with Rigour, create Site Safety Policies and implement procedures to ensure all staff and each visitor is trained to avoid every biogas plant hazard which could cause injury or ill-health.
  • Conduct Safety Walk-Throughs/ Plant and Equipment Inspections Regularly
  • Use and Maintain Gas Sensors
  • Use the relevant Personal Protective Equipment via Biogas Safety

2. Dangers Raised During Biogas Plant Planning Discussions

Dangers of biogas production as an alternative energy source for rural areas

Biogas is a mixture of 55-65% Methane, 30-35% Carbon Dioxide and Moisture, Hydrogen Sulphide, Nitrogen and Hydrogen making up the balance.

Its heating value is around 600 B.T.U. per cubic feet. Biogas production is a biological process without oxygen in which organic matters are converted into biogas by bacteria, because organic matters are the food source for methane producing bacteria. About one cubic feet of biogas may be generated from one pound of cow dung at around 28°C.

This is enough to cook a day's meals for 4-6 people. In anaerobic process, the bacteria requires both Carbon and Nitrogen, but they consume Carbon roughly 30 times faster than Nitrogen.

Biogas is not poisonous, although this may be improved by filtering it through limewater to remove CO2, iron filings to absorb corrosive H2S and Ca2Cl to extract the water vapour.

The only danger is by the explosion of the plant and mixed with air and fire. Thus proper maintenance of the Biogas plant is important to prevent the leakage.

via Biogas production as an alternative energy source for rural areas

Villagers fear biogas plant in Canwick would cause ‘unnecessary danger’

February 2018: Plans for a new biogas plant in Canwick have provoked an angry response from fearful local residents, with even the Environment Agency and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue weighing in to say that the development should not be approved in its current form. via Canwick danger’

THE Energy Regulatory Commission has not licensed any of the bottled biogas products which are ... are highly explosive, hence pose a lot of danger if not well handled. "The people bottling biogas need to get safety approval first," ERC director ... via Kenya: Traders Selling Bottled Biogas Illegally - Kenya: Traders

Anaerobic digester plans stymied in Franklin - News - Milford Daily News

After hearing the pleas of several concerned residents, Town Council on Wednesday tabled zoning changes that sited an anaerobic digester plant for a Pond Street property.

... The questions about anaerobic digestion, a biological process that converts organic waste into energy, overshadowed the positives of the burgeoning technology.

With support from the Economic Development Committee, Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting and officials in the Department of Planning and Community Development had hoped to tweak the zoning to allow for an anaerobic digester facility on the former Pond Street sewer bed.

... a day after the Planning Board voted not to recommend the zoning changes, residents who live on or near Pond Street attended the council meeting ready to fight the prospect of an anaerobic digester in their backyard.

"I want you to take into consideration what anything seeping into the ground, or going into the air … could do to our community — the town we love so much," said Sandra Verhaegen. "Is the $500,000 to $1 million worth it? Probably not. Look to new businesses (to fill the property). Do we really want something in our community that isn’t tested?"

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the "biogas" or gas produced when the anaerobic digester breaks down waste is comprised of methane, hydrogen sulfide, a highly toxic and flammable gas with a distinct rotten egg smell, and carbon dioxide.

Residents worried that problems [of the dangers of biogas] with the plant, such as a fire or leak, could put them in immediate danger. And they feared the increased truck traffic that would accompany the plant.

Councilors expressed the same concerns. via Anaerobic digester plans stymied

3. Unexpected Dangers of Biogas

Waste from M&M's Candy Causes Honey to Turn Green in France

M&M candies come in every color of the rainbow – but what if honey came in the color of M&Ms?

Distraught beekeepers in Northeastern France are facing just that conundrum, as honey from their apiaries has been turning up in shades of green and blue.

After weeks of perplexing investigation, the farmers found the candy colored honey to be caused by waste from nearby Agrivalor biogas plant, which has been processing M&M’s waste.

The farmers in Ribeauville, Alsace are just 2.5 miles away from the biogas plant, a short jaunt for their bees to travel and pollinate before returning to the hive. In the past the biogas plant threatened no danger to their business, but since processing waste from the colorful shells of M&M’s, the beekeepers felt an immediate effect. Bees from around twelve apiaries have been returning to the hive with blue and green debris, which gets directly transferred to the honey they yield.

Honey appearing in colors other than amber is needless to say, unsellable. The murky blue and green sweet stuff isn’t being packaged as a new M&M flavor, but instead is being thrown in the trash.

These beekeepers are already facing adversity, with increasing bee mortality rates killing off many of their producers they can’t afford to lose the honey they do make. Coupled with the effects of harsh winters, the apiaries are already in a jam.

[The AD plant operator] has been notified and has begun cleaning up the mess, but the beekeepers are still stuck with green honey. via Honey Green

Estrogen, antibiotics persisted in dairy farm waste after advanced treatment, study finds

When University at Buffalo chemists began studying waste disposal at a dairy farm in New York State, they thought that the farm's advanced system for processing manure would help remove estrogens and antibiotics from the excrement.

Instead, the scientists found that the chemicals largely persisted in the treated materials, which are typically reused as fertilizer and animal bedding on the farm.

The waste management process—an advanced anaerobic digestion system—also converted a less harmful form of estrogen in the manure into a form that may pose a greater ecological threat.

The study underscores how far waste treatment techniques have fallen behind the times.

Hormones and antibiotics, if not removed from waste, can migrate into the environment and threaten wildlife. Estrogens, for example, can enter rivers and lakes, causing male fish to develop female traits—a phenomenon that can harm reproduction. Rogue antibiotics pose a different kind of challenge, encouraging the spread of antibiotic resistance, in which disease-causing bacteria stop responding to drugs.

... "One of the messages of our work is that even anaerobic digestion, an advanced treatment, doesn't totally remove these chemicals which may pose a danger to the environment. We need to start looking closely at additional treatment techniques to identify better practices."

The research, funded by the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, was published in two recent papers. via Estrogen, antibiotics persisted

Waste Not, Pollute Not 

This is part of IEEE Spectrum's special report: Critical Challenges 2002: Technology Takes On

Cow Power - Danger of Sulphur Precipitation to Aluminium Roof Corrosion and Potential Eventual Collapse

...each of DDI's three barns will be warmed by water pipes running under the concrete floor. The hot water, which will be heated by biogas power, will keep the manure flowing into the digester even in the dead of winter. So the electricity will keep flowing, too.

That electricity will be generated by four microturbines from Capstone Turbine Corp., Chatsworth, Calif. [see "Networking Assets," IEEE Spectrum, January 2001, p. 84]. ...DDI will still scrub the gas before it goes to the microturbines by passing it through iron-impregnated wood chips...

If the biogas is not scrubbed, the sulfur could precipitate out of the exhaust as an acid, a danger for surrounding equipment as well as the farm's 12 000 m2 of aluminum roofs.

via Waste Not, Pollute Not

Well there you have it! Biogas Dangers never imagined!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Applying Biogas Benefits Essential After Bad News for Climate Change in 2018

We consider that applying the biogas benefits in helping reduce climate change (global warming) is now more essential than ever after the bad news for climate change in 2018.

Just take a look at the trending news about climate change in the last 30 days, as summarized below:

Climate change: Our plans are in pieces as killer heat shreds records

(CNN) Deadly fires have scorched swaths of the Northern Hemisphere this summer, from California to Arctic Sweden and down to Greece on the sunny Mediterranean. Drought in Europe has turned verdant land barren, while people in Japan and Korea are dying from record-breaking heat.
Climate change is here and is affecting the entire globe -- not just the polar bears or tiny islands vulnerable to rising sea levels -- scientists say. It is on the doorsteps of everyday Americans, Europeans and Asians, and the best evidence shows it will get much worse.

This summer, 119 people in Japan died in a heat wave, while 29 were killed in South Korea, officials there say. Ninety-one people in Greece died in wildfires, and ongoing fires in California have taken at least eight lives. Spain and Portugal sweltered through an exceptionally hot weekend with a heat wave that has killed three people in Spain and pushed temperatures toward record levels. via heat shreds records

Biogas Benefits
Biogas Benefits - "Off the Chart "NCE Magazine - Warning!

Science Says: Record heat, fires worsened by climate change via Science

Record-breaking heat and fires are worsened by climate change, scientists say

Heat waves are setting all-time temperature records across the globe -- again. Europe suffered its deadliest fire in more than a century, and one of nearly 90 large fires in the U.S. West burned dozens of homes and forced the evacuation of at least 37,000 people near Redding, California. Flood-inducing downpours have pounded the U.S. East this week.
It's all part of summer -- but it's all being made worse by human-caused climate change, scientists say.
"Weirdness abounds," said Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis.
via Record-breaking heat

We think that the need to implement all possible means of reducing climate change which can be done using proven technologies, without incurring un-affordable costs, must surely now be implemented without delay.

Biogas Benefits are Now Proven - Time to Ramp Up AD Plant Construction

The global biogas industry has developed rapidly over the last 10 years, and now is the time to start ramping up anaerobic digestion plant construction.

Biogas offers a solution to helping protect our environment and meet ambitious climate change commitments. All of these critical functions – generating renewable energy, reducing solid wastes, managing nutrients, reducing GHGs and mitigating pollution risks – can be realized from a biogas facility in an economically sound and sustainable manner.

GHG Emission Reduction

The capturing and utilization of biogas is a powerful tool for reducing GHGs that are the principle cause of human-induced climate change. GHGs are reduced in two ways: first, the biogas produced is a source of renewable energy that can replace fossil fuels. Second, the capturing of biogas reduces methane, a very potent greenhouse gas that would otherwise be free to escape into the atmosphere. Biogas has the potential to reduce GHG emissions by 37.5 Mt CO2e, or 10% of the national target.

Methane Abatement

Biogas reduces two critically important greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Carbon dioxide emissions are reduced when biogas replaces fossil fuel use (i.e., coal, diesel or natural gas). This can be in the form of direct displacement in the pipeline by injecting RNG into the natural gas supply, or in transportation by replacing diesel with RNG. In addition to displacement, the biogas process is able to capture upstream methane emissions and convert it to renewable energy. Methane abatement strategies are critically important in agriculture for manure management, as well as at municipal landfills that flare their captured gas. There are multiple ways in which biogas can reduce methane emissions or displace other higher carbon intensive fuels with a lower-carbon solution.

Resource Recovery

Biogas offers a solution to waste management that ensures valuable organic material is not sent to landfill. The benefits resulting from diversion of organic materials, include the following:
  • Less food waste going to disposal means fewer GHG emissions associated with growing, manufacturing, transporting, and disposing of food;
  • Diverting organics from disposal avoids potential methane emissions from landfills;
  • Using the biogas produced from organic wastes as a source of energy reduces the need for fossil fuel energy sources, such as oil and natural gas;
  • Digestate (the product that comes from the anaerobic digestion of organic material) returns organic matter to the soil.
  • Digestate utilization reduces the extraction of peat, an important sink for CO2.
An additional societal and political benefit of organic material diversion includes preserving landfill space for “real” waste. For biogas system operators, these materials are essential for fueling their biogas systems and producing clean, green energy. via Canadian Biogas Association

Who Will Drive Accelerated AD Plant Development?

While some governments will undoubtedly raise their financial support for climate change reduction initiatives, after the heat-wave and fire events of summer 2018, many will not.

The best hope for rapid implementation of all forms of climate change mitigation will be most likely to come from big investment funds. These funds are becoming critically aware of the need for their investment funds to identify and only invest in sustainable companies, as their long-term pension funds can only prosper under a stable global climate.

How Big Investment Organisations Will Only be Able to Invest in Sustainable Businesses

“The next step for [large investment funds] will be to begin the process of identifying and quantifying the financial impacts of climate change, exploring how resilient their strategies are to different climate scenarios, and encouraging others to do the same.”
“Many of the biggest investors in infrastructure worldwide are signed up to the TCFD guidelines, requiring disclosure of the climate risks to their investments,” explains Mott MacDonald head of climate resilience Ian Allison.
“The consequence is that we will see investment diverted away from businesses or industries that are not making a positive contribution to the Paris Agreement,” Allison says.
The pace at which the financial sector is acting to understand its exposure to climate risk is fast and is beginning to make a real impact on infrastructure clients and their supply chains, says Mott MacDonald principal climate advisor Madeleine Rawlins. via NCE

Summary to Applying Biogas Benefits After the Bad News for Climate Change in 2018 

We consider that applying the biogas benefits in helping reduce climate change is now more essential than ever after the bad news for climate change in 2018. Climate change is here and is affecting the entire globe, not just the polar bears or tiny islands vulnerable to rising sea levels.

Spain and Portugal sweltered through one exceptionally hot weekend. Flood-inducing downpours have pounded the U.S. East, and terrifying fires are raging across the US. So, as we contend that the biogas benefits are now proven it's time to accelerate global AD Plant Construction.

But who will drive this accelerated AD Plant Development? Governments are unlikely to provide the needed push.

The best hope for rapid implementation of all forms of climate change mitigation will be most likely to come from big investment funds.

The pace at which the financial sector is acting to understand its exposure to climate risk is fast.

These institutions are beginning to make a real impact on infrastructure clients and their supply chains, insisting on sustainable projects such as biogas plant development for renewable energy from waste materials (not food crops).

See also our article at the AD Blog on Biogas Benefit and the Civil Engineer's Call to Action!



Friday, August 03, 2018

How the EU’s Circular Economy Package (CEP) Will Advance Anaerobic Diges...


Here is the article on which the above YouTube video is based, and we have titled the, "How the EU’s Circular Economy Package (CEP) Will Advance Anaerobic Digestion in the UK".

After many years of gestation, the legislative changes included in the EU’s Circular Economy Package (CEP) came into force last month (July 2018).

Here we explore the implications of these changes for UK Anaerobic Digestion.

One of the main headlines the sector talked about throughout negotiations on the Circular Economy Package (CEP) is the proposed increases in recycling targets.

Image showing how the EU’s Circular Economy Package will help Anaerobic Digestion development in the UK.
The final package (which came into force on 4 July 2018) does introduce new, higher targets, but, there are also many other ways it will affect UK waste collection and recycling practice.

In this video we will discuss only the affect on anaerobic digestion, and the news here is that the Circular Economy Package places a greater emphasis on waste prevention and reuse in general.

So, there will be a duty on member-states to promote food waste prevention and on the Commission to consider setting targets for reductions to this, and other waste streams.

The requirement for separate collection of waste is strengthened and the test as to whether separate collection isn’t technically, environmentally or economically practical (‘TEEP’) is made tougher.

The separate collection of bio-waste is required (by 2023), among other stipulated waste streams.

The overall targets for recycling of municipal waste are increased to 55% by 2025, 60% by 2030, and 65% by 2035.

Along with tightened ‘TEEP’ tests and the requirements on biowaste, etc, this is also likely to push more waste collectors towards separate collection in England, catching up with the direction of travel elsewhere in the UK.

For bio-waste, various changes promote the use of anaerobic digestion and in-vessel composting over incineration.

Alongside the changes to collection rules, this will push much more biowaste towards AD and IVC and, as highlighted above, strengthen the case for more UK-based reprocessing capacity.

Summary:

The overall impact of the changes in the CEP will be to make the case for separate collection of food waste far stronger for English local authorities.

Once collected separately, this waste will need to be recycled (not landfilled or incinerated), which will drive demand for Anaerobic Digestion, and IVC until and unless food waste reduction actions bite or new technologies (such as biorefineries, etc) come along.

Text condensed from CIWM Journal Online article "Read It & TEEP" (2nd August 2018):
https://ciwm-journal.co.uk/read-it-teep.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

AD Plant/ Biogas Efficiency Improvements to feature this month at global biogas expo in UK

Increasing Anaerobic Digestion plant efficiency will be a subject featured at the forthcoming ADBA global biogas expo Birmingham UK.

Biogas Efficiency Improvements


Exhibitors will not be short on cost-effective methods, on offer capable of improving biogas yields, as the following ADBA Press Release makes clear:

Water industry anaerobic digestion (AD) plants can improve efficiency from 10% to 30%, according to key exhibitors at the eagerly awaited UK AD & World Biogas Expo 2018 taking place on July 11th-12th at Birmingham’s NEC.

Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association, who are organising the expo in partnership with the World Biogas Association, said: “Based on what we’ve seen with farm-based and food-waste AD plants, even when a digester appears to be steadily ticking along, some fine-tuning or retrofit of the mixing system can produce much better gas yields.

“In addition to more gas, technologically advanced mixing systems that will be on display at the expo can drastically reduce maintenance and energy costs.

“Improved monitoring can also bring about a positive difference to a digester – and with the possibility of mixing sewage sludge with food waste in the future, UK AD & World Biogas Expo 2018 is the perfect place to learn more about enhancing digester performance”.

Paul Davies from mixer and pump manufacturer Landia agreed:

“Based on the increasing number of retrofits we carry out in the AD sector, there is clearly a demand to reach optimum levels of AD operation – especially as a mixer retrofit doesn’t have to mean draining down the tank."
“Numerous farm and food waste AD operators are already seeing the benefit of fine-tuning their equipment, so there is a real opportunity for the water industry to review its renewables/biosolids operation – which can pay back in a short time-frame. We are ever-presents at the expo, which is totally focused on biogas. It is the best place to catch up on all the latest industry news, seek out advice and talk directly to equipment suppliers”.

Davies also states that while many mixing systems may have 7.5 kW motors, in most cases these are running flat out, using 180 kW hours per day.


For what he describes as ‘complete mixing of the whole digester’, Davies suggests AD operators consider 18.5 kW motors that only have to run for 10-15 minutes per hour, using just 110 kW hours per day.

Featuring more than 200 exhibitors from all over the world and 100-plus speakers, over 3,000 attendees are expected at UK AD & World Biogas Expo 2018, now in its ninth year.

What Others are Saying About Biogas Efficiency Improvements:

Evaluation of energy efficiency of various biogas production and utilisation pathways

The energy efficiency of different biogas systems, including single and co-digestion of multiple feedstock, different biogas utilization pathways, and waste-stream management strategies was evaluated. The input data were derived from assessment of existing biogas systems, present knowledge on anaerobic digestion process management and technologies for biogas system operating conditions in Germany. The energy balance was evaluated as Primary Energy Input to Output (PEIO) ratio, to assess the process energy efficiency, hence, the potential sustainability. Results indicate that the PEIO correspond to 10.5–64.0% and 34.1–55.0% for single feedstock digestion and feedstock co-digestion, respectively. Energy balance was assessed to be negative for feedstock transportation distances in excess of 22 km and 425 km for cattle manure and for Municipal Solid Waste, respectively, which defines the operational limits for respective feedstock transportation. Energy input was highly influenced by the characteristics of feedstock used. For example, agricultural waste, in most part, did not require pre-treatment. Energy crop feedstock required the respect cultivation energy inputs, and processing of industrial waste streams included energy-demanding pre-treatment processes to meet stipulated hygiene standards. Energy balance depended on biogas yield, the utilization efficiency, and energy value of intended fossil fuel substitution.
via Evaluation of biogases

HP efficiency for biogas

Combined heat and power plant efficiency is a function of the conversion efficiency of the energy in the fuel gas to useful energy in the form of electricity and heat.
A combined heat and power (CHP) plant is typically a reciprocating gas engine that uses the energy in the gas to drive a crank shaft. The crank shaft turns an alternator to produce electricity. Heat is released during the gas combustion process. This heat can be recovered during cogeneration in order to maximise the heating value of the system. via  Clarke Energy

Anaerobic digestion


Anaerobic digestion is the man-made process of harnessing the anaerobic fermentation of wastes and other biodegradable materials. Anaerobic microbes can be harnessed to treat problematic wastes, produce a fertiliser that can be used to replace high carbon emission chemical fertilisers. It also is the process that results in the production of biogas, which can be used to provide renewable power using biogas cogeneration systems. via  CHP 

Anaerobic Digestion Community Website