Thursday, February 23, 2017

What is the Difference Between Biogas and Biomethane?

Biogas is the name given to the gas produced by a process called anaerobic digestion, where microorganisms convert biomass, plant and animal material, to biogas in the absence of oxygen.

The biogas when it emerges from a digester is roughly 60% methane and 29% carbon dioxide, with trace elements of hydrogen sulphide. It is not high quality enough to be used as fuel gas for anything other than simply gas stoves, and specially corrosion protected machinery. The corrosive nature of hydrogen sulphide alone is enough to destroy the internals of all normal gas burning equipment.

Watch the video version of this video below:

The biogas produced by landfills has usually been used to fuel reciprocating gas engines and generate electricity, but even when specially designed gas engines are used the impurities in raw biogas tend to result in high maintenance costs.

The solution is the use of biogas "upgrading", which is another word for using purification processes which produce very nearly pure methane, which is clean enough to inject into national natural gas grids, or use as a substitute for compressed natural gas as a "clean" transport fuel.

Biomethane is simply biogas which has been cleaned up, or "upgraded".

During upgrading the contaminants in the raw biogas stream are absorbed or scrubbed, leaving substantially more methane per unit volume of gas.

Traditionally there were four main methods of upgrading: water washing, pressure swing adsorption, selexol adsorbtion, and amine gas treating. Nowadays, there is increasing use of gas separation membrane technology to perform this function.

There is a little more to it than that, but in a nutshell that is the difference between biogas and biomethane.

Before gas grid injection, or transport vehicle fuel use can occur the biomethane must be compressed. In addition the nature of the biomethane may need to be further adapted to the corresponding qualities of natural gas.

Biogas is considered to be a renewable resource because its production-and-use cycle is continuous, and in theory it generates no net carbon dioxide.

In reality, inefficiencies of the biogas process and energy expended during upgrading, means that some carbon net emissions do occur.

Nevertheless, its use produces far lower carbon emissions than almost any other process and biomethane is a renewable fuel with more uses than we could possibly list here, and an inexhaustible market.

Unlike solar, wind, and wave energy biomethane provides 24/7 energy availability.

Biomethane can even be used as a raw material to produce all the plastics which are currently manufactured from petroleum products.

We hope we answered you question about the difference between biogas and biomethane.

Much more about this subject can be found at our website

Fascinating Biomethane Facts from Around the Web:

Biomethane is a naturally occurring gas which is produced by the so-called anaerobic digestion of organic matter such as dead animal and plant material, manure, sewage, organic waste, etc. Chemically, it is identical to natural gas which is stored deep in the ground and is also produced from dead animal and plant material. However, there are several important differences between biomethane and fossil fuel derived methane despite the fact that both are produced from organic matter.

Natural gas is classified as fossil fuel, whereas biomethane is defined as a green source of energy. Like its name suggests, fossil fuel derived methane is produced from thousands or millions of years old fossil remains of organic matter that lies buried deep in the ground. Production of fossil fuel derived methane, however, depends exclusively on its natural reserves which vary greatly from one country to another and are not available in limitless amounts. Biomethane, on the other hand, is produced from “fresh” organic matter which makes it a renewable source of energy that can be produced worldwide. via

Heavy-duty Sanitation Truck Runs on Biomethane

This heavy-duty sanitation truck runs on renewable natural gas made from converted landfill gas. Renewable natural gas (RNG), or biomethane, is a pipeline-quality gas that is fully interchangeable with conventional natural gas and thus can be used in natural gas vehicles. RNG is essentially biogas (the gaseous product of the decomposition of organic matter) that has been processed to purity standards. Like conventional natural gas, RNG can be used as a transportation fuel in the form of compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). RNG qualifies as an advanced biofuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Biogas is produced from various biomass sources through a biochemical process, such as anaerobic digestion, or through thermochemical means, such as gasification. With minor cleanup, biogas can be used to generate electricity and heat. To fuel vehicles, biogas must be processed to a higher purity standard. This process is called conditioning or upgrading, and involves the removal of water, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and other trace elements. The resulting RNG, or biomethane, has a higher content of methane than raw biogas, which makes it comparable to conventional natural gas and thus a suitable energy source in applications that require pipeline-quality gas. via

Biogas can be Compressed, as can Natural gas be Compressed to CNG

Biogas typically refers to a mixture of different gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Biogas can be produced from raw materials such as agricultural waste, manure, municipal waste, plant material, sewage, green waste or food waste. Biogas is a renewable energy source and in many cases exerts a very small carbon footprint.

Biogas can be compressed, the same way natural gas is compressed to CNG, and used to power motor vehicles. In the UK, for example, biogas is estimated to have the potential to replace around 17% of vehicle fuel.[3] It qualifies for renewable energy subsidies in some parts of the world. Biogas can be cleaned and upgraded to natural gas standards, when it becomes bio-methane. Biogas is considered to be a renewable resource because its production-and-use cycle is continuous, and it generates no net carbon dioxide. Organic material grows, is converted and used and then regrows in a continually repeating cycle. From a carbon perspective, as much carbon dioxide is absorbed from the atmosphere in the growth of the primary bio-resource as is released when the material is ultimately converted to energy. via

Biomethane Can be Made from a Pile of Garbage

Amazingly, natural gas can be produced from a variety of sources, including a pile of garbage. The process from trash to gas makes natural gas a renewable fuel. Biogas is the term used for the methane that is developed from the breakdown of organic material in the absence of oxygen from sources such as sewage, municipal solid waste, and farm waste. Biomethane is the fuel that is produced by refining and removing any impurities from the biogas. And unlike fossil fuels, which are considered a finite resource, the natural gas produced from these sources is a renewable resource.

Compressed biogas (CBG) and CNG can be used interchangeably as a fuel in CNG vehicles. While pipeline gas is CNG-ready, biogas requires conditioning (cleaning) before compression. The conditioning process removes moisture (H2O), increases methane (CH4) content by removing carbon dioxide (CO2), and cleans the gas by removing hydrogen sulfide (H2S), siloxanes, and other trace elements. Although CBG is currently cheaper to produce than CNG—because the methane source is free—higher capital costs associated with CBG—due to conditioning—have the potential to offset this difference. One potential advantage of direct use of biomethane as opposed to those who inject gas back into the pipeline is that natural gas vehicles can tolerate somewhat higher levels of CO2, which can have a significant impact on gas cleanup costs. For injection into the pipeline, the biogas must be purified to about 98 to 99 percent methane. For direct use as a vehicle fuel, biogas may be cleaned to around 90 percent methane. via

In 2012 the UK had not Completed any Biomethane Projects But Now There are 100+

At the time of the first REA UK Biomethane Day in 2012 the UK had not completed any Biomethane projects. In 2013 there was one, Rainbarrow Farm, joined by two more in 2014. By the end of 2015 there will be fifty one completed Biomethane projects and by 1st April 2016 there will be sixty one operational Biomethane to Grid projects, with the UK having the fastest growing, most innovative and diverse Biomethane market in Europe.

We are expecting over 300 delegates, with exhibition stands from all of the major suppliers of Biomethane related plant. If you are considering Biomethane to Grid this is the one industry event you cannot afford to miss. via

Making Biomethane Doesn’t Need the Sun to Shine or the Wind to Blow

Unlike other sources of renewable energy—such as solar and wind—biomethane doesn’t need the sun to shine or the wind to blow. Waste material can be converted into deliverable, renewable energy 24/7!

SoCalGas has compiled a list of suppliers that includes project developers, consultants, equipment manufacturers, installers and others that may prove helpful to you in this process. Non-utility service providers may offer services that are the same or similar to the SoCalGas Biogas Conditioning/Upgrading Services Tariff and customers are encouraged to explore these service options. via

Thursday, February 02, 2017

New Report Predicts UK Anaerobic Digestion & Biogas Market Opportunities in 2017

IPPTS Associates Releases Free Biogas Report on the UK Anaerobic Digestion Market 2017, - likely developments and opportunities

Hey! Thanks for reading this article. I promise it’ll be worth the few minutes.
Steve Last here. I’m the founder of IPPTS Associates, and an experienced environmental consultant currently completing a number of projects in the UK anaerobic digestion industry.
I’ve been in business for 10 years now, and I’ve stumbled upon some powerful indications of the way the UK AD industry will produce great business opportunities in 2017.
But first…
I’ve got some great news I’d like to share with you.

I've just published my book entitled IPPTS Associates Biogas Report titled: UK Anaerobic Digestion Market 2017.
In my report, I reveal everything about making the agonising decision of, do I commit many hours and multiple thousands of pounds on a new Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Plant facility when the UK government's subsidy levels are falling?.
Readers have already started calling my ebook report a very useful "pointer toward what might happen during 2017".
See, I’ve worked tirelessly over the past 10 years to find ways to help others appreciate the value of the anaerobic digestion process to their farm businesses.
After some grueling, "trial and error" experiences over the years, I’ve managed to mold all of this useful information into something that can be shared with the world.
In the past, there was only a small number of people who had access to the secrets of the type given in this book.
And, it was usually the people who were already aware of the many benefits of anaerobic digestion  to UK businesses.
But now, I’ve long thought that this is something that needs to be passed on. And I want you to have all of my secrets and strategies!
Now, you might be wondering if this is the right selection for you.
Well, let me ask you a few questions…
  • Are you a dairy farmer always losing money due to poor milk prices?
  • Are you an arable farmer always losing money due to poor agricultural crop sales in poor growing seasons, or finding the prices for a good crop fall due to over production in the good years?
  • Are you tired of having an over-reliance on highly variable agricultural incomes from year to year, and a lack of the resilience seen in other businesses which gain income from a variety of sources.
  • Maybe you just can’t seem to figure out whether anaerobic digestion will remain a profitable option after UK government subsidies drop further, as they have been announced to do in April this year?
Do any of the above sound like you?
If you answered yes to at least one, then you’ll want to pay very close attention.
Because the secrets in this book will show you how to weigh up the opportunity to invest in anaerobic digestion in 2017, like never before.
Now that you have a better idea about whether or not this book is for you… I’d like you to imagine the future.
Consider these 4 things:
  • What if you never had to worry about losing money due to low milk prices
  • What if you never had to worry about losing money due to poor agricultural crop sales in poor growing seasons, or finding the prices for a good crop fall due to over-production in the good years?
  • What if you could never suffer from an over-reliance on highly variable agricultural incomes from year to year and a lack of the resilience seen in other businesses which gain income from a variety of sources. available at any time?
  • What if you could generate your own power, and use it in your business, anytime you want?
  • What if you could produce your own fertiliser and actually charge people to take their organic waste to make that fertiliser?
Well, that's exactly what anaerobic digestion is doing for thousands of farmer around the world already.
If you download this ebook and apply all that you see in it, I guarantee a new awareness which if grabbed and acted upon everything mentioned above can happen for you.
I say this because I designed this book in such a way that anyone, regardless of their skill level, can easily understand its contents and immediately apply them.
If this is something that interests you, here’s what you need to do next.
First, this is optional but highly recommended, fill out the newsletter subscription form above right to be sent notification of future ebooks and articles.
The reason you need to fill out this form is becauseI will be creating more articles, and offering more ebooks for download, which I am sure you will not want to miss out on.
And I need to know where to send them.
Finally, the last thing you have to do is click the link below to get started.
Remember this is free!
But before you click the link, here’s something I need you to know.
There isn’t a never-ending supply of this book.
We can only give away one hundred copies.
And once they’re gone, they’re gone forever, and I will have to start charging. So it’s safe to say this won’t be around for long.
If you want these secrets, you want to make sure you get your copy and act fast before they’re all gone.
I’ve put my everything I know into this book.
All my experience, ideas, and predictions for 2017 are wrapped up inside each and every page.
I know that if you take note of everything I show can get further in reaching whatever AD plant development goal for you set for yourself...and...your business.
So what are you waiting for?
Go ahead and click the button on this page to download today!
I promise you won’t regret it.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

10 Ways to Make Money from Biogas Plants

The anaerobic digestion process provides at least 10 ways to make money from Biogas Plant, that's why it is such an amazing asset to the owners and operators of biogas plants. Once a farmer, for example, gets his or her own biogas plant up and running they soon realise that a digester is so much more than just a producer of renewable energy.

There is a great danger that in this age of decarbonisation progress, the humble AD process is being overlooked by many who seek to reduce their carbon footprint, and that it fails to get the publicity it deserves.

That's why we compiled a list of them, published the video provided below, and wrote this article.


Each of the following different income streams provided below, can contribute to the economics of individual digester projects, including farm digesters.

Some income methods apply to all digester installations, while others are a matter of choice, or determined by the size or location, of the farm. Some may not be possible for certain waste types, and as this list is for the United Kingdom, some of these income streams may not be available in your country. The ways in which financial benefit is possible, fall essentially into two categories.

Income Created from the By-products of Anaerobic Digestion

First, there are the savings or direct income created by the by-products, including:
1) savings, on the cost of artificial fertilisers for the farm itself, when a farm uses its own digestate as a fertiliser on their own land
2) sales of digested materials, for use as fertiliser, by other nearby farms
3) sale of fibre or finished compost, either through a regional marketing organisation, or by distribution locally
4) savings in on-farm energy costs, through the use of gas for heating and cooking
5) the sale of electricity, or biogas, either locally or through the national grids, and
6) the sale of spare heat, from CHP units for use in heating buildings or greenhouses, for example.

Income Created from Payments and Subsidies for Reducing Environmental Problems

Second, there are payments and subsidies, of one kind or another, for reducing environmental problems which affect the whole community. These payments could include:
1) gate fees for processing other organic wastes, such as source-separated domestic food waste or garden waste or possibly sludge from small sewage works
2) incentives for producing renewable energy, either through the Renewable Heat Initiative or Feed-in-Tariffs, (also known as FiTs), for electricity generation, and
3) payments for overall reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
4) sometimes there may even be payments made by governments to encourage farmers to use anaerobic digestion as a way to reduce the burden of farmyard contamination on local watercourses, in areas of intensive dairy farming.

Anaerobic Digestion Cleans Up Bathing Beaches

In the early 2000s there were even AD project grants given to some farmers close to bathing beaches in Scotland’s Solway Firth, so that biogas plants were built in an area where dairy farmyard, summer storm-water slurry run-off, was jeopardising the tourist industry.
 On those local beaches, EU bathing beach water quality in the period after after heavy summer storms, was significantly improved, by installing anaerobic digestion plants. 

Our conclusion is that: 

Establishing effective ways of using all the by-products of a biogas plant, and marketing them in the best manner for maximised income, can raise the income from biogas plants substantially.

A number of forms of government funding (subsidies) are available to help ensure a robust economic viability for not only farm biogas plants, but also community biogas projects, and municipal waste-collection authority involvement in the industry.

Governments have been subsidising biogas production, but generally they need to focus the provision of this money more directly on the environmental benefits of each AD Facility.

By doing that, the contribution of public funds can be best used, to help encourage use of the biogas process in ways which meet the needs of small, as well as larger farms.

In particular, it is important to bring together as many as possible of these income streams, for each anaerobic digestion plant.

Good News for Anaerobic Digestion

The good news is that, if this is done, many more farmers, on many more farms, should be able to find it possible to profitably install many more biogas digesters.

Thank you for watching our video presentation (above), and reading this article, we hope you found it useful. You may like to also watch our video on how to raise biogas yield, as another way to improve the income from existing anaerobic digestion plants. via

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

How to Make Compost Using the Digested Fibre from Biogas Plants

A Guide to Making Compost from the Digested Fibre from Biogas Plants

Farms that make biogas using anaerobic digesters, can gain additional income from making and marketing their own compost products.

They can do this by using simple, but effective production methods based on their existing resources.

The simplest method is to use the windrow composting method.

Watch our video of this article below:

Click here watch this Digestor Fibre compost video on YouTube

The Windrow Composting Method

To do this the biogas plant operator simply heaps digested anaerobic digestion plant fibre in rows either out in the open, or under cover, for better water content control in hot countries.

It is turned over regularly with the shovel on a tractor, or with dedicated windrow turning machines.

This usually takes several months during which the water content and activity is measured for every batch, and until it becomes stable enough for bagging.

This process can be accelerated if the digested fibre for compost making is placed in a composting tunnel, and subjected to processing at a higher controlled temperature in a forced-air batch system.

Effectively, the digester output of fibre is loaded into large purpose-built bins, or compost tunnels, which have floors with perforated concrete slats inserted into them.

Biogas Digestate Maturation in a "Composting Tunnel"

Pre-warmed air is blown by a compressor into a chamber below the slatted floor, and up through the compost.

The warm conditions, and abundant airflow speeds up the work of the bacteria and other organisms, which perform the composting process.

Later, once the compost is no longer active, it cools down cool from the high level of bacterial activity when earlier-on the aerobic bacteria create a considerable amount of heat.

In the compost tunnel, or bin method, the digestate fibre is ready to be taken out within a few weeks, and is again heaped up for a further few weeks, to mature.

The composted tilth, is then passed through a soil-shredder, to make it more friable, and for retail sales, it is usually bagged.

Worthwhile Additional Biogas Plant Income

This can often achieve a worthwhile added biogas plant income.

Sales are often made by selling this compost at the farm gate or through local garden centres.

However, experts have pointed out that a problem would occur if large numbers of individual farmers with digesters were to begin making and selling compost in the same area.

The Problem of Local Compost Market Saturation

In that area, local markets would soon become glutted.

There is no doubt that major retailers, or landscaping contractors, could become large buyers for this compost.

Unfortunately, the scale at which major retailers, or landscaping contractors wish to work, to do this at an economic price, is so large that few individual farmers are able to meet the quantity requirements.

Biogas expert Jonathan Letcher, in his Farm Digesters Book, and others have therefore proposed that to avoid this problem compost producers should work together to market their fibre compost.

That way they could produce enough composted fibre material, to meet the demands of major retailers, and landscaping contractors.

Unfortunately, many UK farmers who operate their own digesters reportedly feel they have neither the experience, the capital, nor time to set up their own compost-making business at all.

Digested fibre, could be a very useful resource, if fully used and composted.

Making Compost from the Digested Fibre from Biogas Plants Improves Anaerobic Digestion System Sustainability

By processing and using it,  the sustainability of the anaerobic digestion systems it would markedly raised.

Large-scale use of aerobic-composting, to finish converting the biogas digestate fibre, into a high quality product, would make it the great soil-enhancing material, it could be used throughout many countries.

Nevertheless, if digested fibre is to achieve its full potential, both in helping many more farms to afford a digester,

Local production by individual farms will never be big enough producers enough to break into this market.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

UK Biomethane Production Doubles in 1 Year in the UK

Advances in UK biomethane production during 2016 have been phenomenally good. Although many in the AD industry are concerned that the growth in 2017 and future years may be far lower, due to subsidy rate reductions and withdrawals.

Although there has been much talk of the UK anaerobic digestion industry being halted in its tracks in 2017, due to the rapidity and unpredictability, of the UK government's recent renewable energy subsidy reductions. Let us not forget to celebrate what has been achieved.

The UK now has almost 90 plants injecting green biomethane into the gas grid, double the number this time last year, according to a new report published by the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA).

UK Biomethane production doubled in 2016 says ADBA

ADBA’s December 2016 Market Report investigates and explores the growth, developments and market changes in the AD industry to date. The report was launched yesterday [Thursday 8th  December] at the ADBA National Conference in Westminster.

The report shows that the total number of AD plants in live operation has risen from 424 a year ago to 540 today, giving the UK more capacity to recycle food waste, more sustainable farming and wastewater treatment, more low-carbon baseload electricity, and more green gas in our grid. AD has also already reduced UK greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 1 percent annually.

The growth has come despite policy uncertainty around the future of low carbon energy support, which ADBA warns is stifling future growth.

“In 2015 and 2016 green gas has gone mainstream, with biomethane now heating around 170,000 homes in the UK without the householder needing to do anything differently themselves, ” said Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of ADBA. “Biomethane to the grid is a real success story for the Renewable Heat Incentive, and we look forward to the government setting out its plans for the next phase of the support scheme.”

Ms Morton added that incentives for renewable electricity are currently heavily restricted, which is a huge missed opportunity. However, with the right support, the biogas industry could deliver 250 MW of new generation capacity over the next two years – enough to add 10 percent to the UK’s tight winter 2018 capacity margin and bring benefits to farming, recycling, and the economy. The UK Governments Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) should therefore urgently address the Feed-in Tariff budget to boost investment in this vital infrastructure for reliable baseload power. via

The results of the UK-wide consultation process which went ahead this year (2016) have now been published, and in some areas, there is room for cautious optimism that a reasonable scheme which is both supportive of the AD and biomethane sectors, and of the sustainable use of biomass, may emerge.

What UK Government RHI subsidy policy becomes after the anticipated further changes to be made in 2017, is a hot topic for the UK AD plant industry. The future of anaerobic digestion is seen by many as being crucial to the continuation of AD Plant schemes across the nation. It comes at a time when the added advantages of production biomethane are being better appreciated, and uptake of the process to produce CNG (Compressed Renewable Natural Gas) is rising fast so the RHI Scheme will be central to most decisions whether to proceed with biomethane producing AD projects. via

The UK has not been the only country in which biomethane production has grown throughout 2016. The number of biomethane facilities has risen rapidly in the US as well, and the following example project is breaking ground this month:

Biomethane Installation Advances in the US

Carbon Cycle Energy Breaks Ground on $100-Million Biogas Facility in North Carolina

Nation's largest utility-scale biogas plant will turn agricultural and food waste into pipeline-grade biomethane for Duke Energy

The largest utility-scale biogas facility in the U.S., capable of transforming animal and food waste into enough clean energy to power 32,000 homes annually, will break ground on Dec. 15 near Warsaw, N.C.

The $100-million facility, located on 82 acres in southeastern North Carolina, is the first in a pipeline of large-scale anaerobic digestion and biogas treatment facilities planned by Carbon Cycle Energy (C2e), the renewable energy development company based in Boulder, Colo.

Upon completion in late 2017, the biogas facility, known as C2e Renewables NC, will process in excess of 750,000 tons of organic waste per year. It will produce enough fuel annually to generate approximately 290,000 MWH of electricity, far surpassing the capacity of any other standalone facility in the U.S., according to C2e CEO James Powell.

C2e has already signed contracts to supply 100 percent of the plant's output of biomethane to the utility giant Duke Energy and a second, unnamed Fortune 500 company.

At full capacity, the plant will generate 6,500 dekatherms of biomethane per day, equivalent to roughly 50,000 gallons of diesel fuel. Biogas (also called renewable natural gas) is a clean-burning, "carbon-neutral" alternative to fossil fuels.

"The sheer size of this project means that it will have a huge environmental impact both by addressing the major pollution problem caused by greenhouse gas emissions from decomposing food and animal waste and by producing an alternative to fossil fuels in commercially significant volumes," Powell said. via carbon-cycle-energy-breaks-ground-on-100-million-biogas-facility-in-north-carolina

Air Liquide to Build Landfill Gas Purification Plant in Walnut, Mississippi

French industrial gasses firm, Air Liquide, is to construct and operate a landfill gas (LFG) to renewable natural gas (RNG) purification plant in Walnut, Mississippi.

French industrial gasses firm, Air Liquide, is to construct and operate a landfill gas (LFG) to renewable natural gas (RNG) purification plant in Walnut, Mississippi.

The company said that the plant will enable the conversion of the methane emitted by waste into enough RNG to heat an estimated 4500 homes per year

The site, owned by the Northeast Mississippi Solid Waste Management Authority, is operated by the national solid waste company, Waste Connections, Inc and receives approximately 350,000 tons (317,500 tonnes) of waste per year.

Using Air Liquide's gas separation membrane technology, the plant will have the capability to purify the methane emitted by waste decay and make it suitable for use.

The plant is expected to break ground in Q1 of 2017 and has an initial production capacity of 1300 mmBTU/day, with plans to expand.

Air Liquide said that its purification modules are able to separate methane and carbon dioxide using an innovative process involving patented polymeric membranes manufactured by Air Liquide Advanced Separations (ALaS). This efficient system generates high-quality biomethane with methane content between 95% and 99%.

"The new biogas project will enable us to transform waste and unused energy resources into renewable, carbon-reducing energy for the community and surrounding cities,” commented Chet Benham, VP of Air Liquide Advanced Technologies U.S. LLC.

“Air Liquide is actively working to continue our growth in biogas purification plants in the U.S., and to provide clean energy for sustainable communities," he added. via hAir-liquide-to-build-landfill-gas-purification-plant-in-walnut-mississippi

Saturday, November 26, 2016

UK Food Waste Recycling Action Plan and Sainsbury's

Earlier this year the UK government provided a welcome initiative in the form of the Food Waste Recycling Action Plan, for the promotion of food waste anaerobic digestion in the UK.

There are reported to be over 100 AD plants in the pipeline for instruction in the UK currently, but unfortunately, most of those will be plants which will use mostly maize and other crops to provide their feedstock.

To encourage food waste digestion development makes a lot of sense.

A far more environmentally sustainable use of AD technology is the production of biogas from food waste, especially since that waste would otherwise usually be sent to landfills.

Food waste is also the best of all the wastes to digest anaerobically is because it would be highly damaging to the environment if food waste, ever escaped from a landfill into the underlying groundwater.

Also, food waste produces more biogas per unit weight than any other waste type.
The food waste action plan was reported by ADBA in July 2016, as follows:

Food Waste Recycling Action Plan shows welcome government commitment ADBA

Responding to the launch of the Food Waste Recycling Action Plan at UK AD & Biogas 2016, Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), said:

“The Food Waste Recycling Action Plan has been a positive, collaborative process between government, WRAP, trade associations, AD operators and local authorities. It sets out a series of practical actions which will help increase the capture and recycling of food waste which cannot be eaten.

“The AD industry is delighted that Defra Minister Rory Steward has engaged in the plan, and welcomes his wider recognition that food waste policy is important for the UK’s economy and carbon budgets.

“ADBA is pleased to have been part of the steering group which has produced the FWRAP, and looks forward to continuing to work with partners to deliver the actions it has set out.”

The Food Waste Recycling Action Plan is available via the WRAP website,

Defra Minister Rory Stewart MP welcomed the Action Plan, saying:
The growth of the food waste recycling in the UK is a real success story, but more can be done.  I welcome the Action Plan, showing how by working together, industry, government, businesses and local authorities can drive up the amount of unavoidable, inedible food waste that is recycled, helping our environment and boosting our economy.

The Food Waste Recycling Action Plan has been welcomed by many businesses which produce food waste, but have been unable so far to dispose of their food waste to suitable AD plants. The problem has been for them to find sufficient local biogas plants to send their food waste to.

UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's has been experiencing that problem, but as food waste digesters have been opening across the UK, its ability to use them is now proving more successful as described below:

J Sainsbury plc / Sainsbury's becomes largest retail user of anaerobic digestion

Supermarket signs three year deal with Biffa.

Sainsbury's has become the UK's largest anaerobic digestion (AD) retailer after signing a ground breaking deal with Biffa. The three year deal means all food waste from Sainsbury's will be sent to AD plants around the country.

The deal will see food waste collected from Sainsbury's distribution centres across the UK, then processed to produce renewable energy to power homes and businesses. None of the food waste from Sainsbury's supermarkets is sent to landfill, but some of it goes to other waste from energy processes. This new deal will ensure all of it is sent for AD.

Neil Sachdev, Sainsbury's property director, said: "Anaerobic digestion is the most efficient way to create energy from waste, so this new contract means our food waste is being put to the best possible use.

"It has taken quite some time for us to get into a position where we are able to send all of our food waste to AD due to a lack of facilities in the UK. However, I am pleased to see that the waste industry is catching up with demand for this green technology.

"This new contract builds on our existing leadership position on AD, making us the largest retail user of AD in the country."

Food waste produces plenty of power when digested. The following article confirms just how useful, that power in the form of electricity can be:

Local Food Waste Anaerobic Digestion Plant Produces Enough to Provide 80% of the Energy to the Nearby Town

When Resourceful Earth Limited announced it would be building a facility to convert 35,000 tons of the local food waste to power each year—enough to provide 80 percent of the energy to the nearby town of Keynsham, U.K—the company became the latest to employ anaerobic digestion to reduce waste, generate energy and cut down on carbon emissions. It’s localism taken to its conclusion, not just what a community buys, but what it gets rid of, too.

“That’s our ideal plan, to make … a system where we’re actually a closed loop,” 

says Jo Downes, brand manager for Resourceful Earth.

“It’s all self contained. Food waste is produced by a community, it’s converted to electricity, and it goes back to that community again. It’s self-sustaining.”

Anaerobic digestion, as a way of converting biomass to energy, has been practiced for hundreds of years, but the effort in Keynsham is one indicator of the technology’s maturation.

As focus around the world has turned to renewable energy, anaerobic digestion has started to become an economically viable energy source that capitalizes on humans at our most wasteful—and most creative. Local municipalities, including wastewater facilities, as well as private companies and even the Department of Energy are fine-tuning the tech to make it more efficient and practical.

“Anaerobic digestion is fascinating because it’s a relatively easy, natural way of turning a broad variety of complex waste into a simple fuel gas,” 

says David Babson, a technology manager at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office.

“Closing waste loops and recovering energy from waste presents a profound opportunity to simultaneously improve waste management and address climate change.”

The technology itself is rather simple. Enclose a mixture of moist, organic material like kitchen waste, or waste from humans or farms or food processing facilities, in an oxygen-free container with naturally occurring anaerobic bacteria.

The waste breaks down through four different consecutive processes, ultimately releasing carbon dioxide, water, methane, and a dark slurry of organic material and nutrients called digestate.

The methane is siphoned off, and refined for use as a fuel, or burned to power turbines. via Why Anaerobic Digestion Is Becoming the Next Big Renewable Energy Source

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Life After the UK FiT Scheme Ends: Selling Biomethane to European Corporates

Many UK anaerobic digestion plant owners must be concerned that the profitability of their biogas plants is destined to fall as the UK FiT scheme ends, and the premium income from electricity fed into the UK national grid disappears. In addition, many potential newcomers hoping to invest in AD Plants in the UK will be seeking alternative ways to market the energy from AD plants.

That is why we were so impressed by the following article that we decided to republish a large part of it here for our readers.

The Move to Biomethane

Adding a final stage of purification, to achieve the high purity necessary to inject the gas into the gas grid, is an additional cost, but can be an alternative to the investment in electricity generator units (gas engines) for new plants.

is this the way ahead for the UK's farm biogas plants and for other waste source fed, AD plants? We welcome comments from you, our readers.

Farmers with anaerobic digestion urged to tap into growing demand for green energy in Europe

Farmers and rural businesses with an anaerobic digestion plant could secure a 10-20% premium on the gas they produce by tapping into growing demand for green energy across Europe.

Currently, most AD plants burn the gas they produce to generate electricity and heat.
But there is an emerging market for bio-methane, which can be injected directly into the gas main, says Richard Palmer, Energy Consultant at Butler Sherborn Energy.

"Although consumers in the UK are reluctant to pay a premium for this green energy, corporate energy customers across Europe are increasingly keen to demonstrate their energy credentials," he says.

"We have secured an agreement with a major energy company, which can pipe green gas through the interconnected gas mains to European customers, so can now offer British producers a share of this premium market."

The development comes at a critical time for the British renewable energy industry, which is looking increasingly unstable as a result of Government spending reviews and Brexit.

"Historically, biogas has been used primarily to generate electricity, supported by the Renewables Obligation and Feed-in Tariffs (FiT)," says Mr Palmer.

"However, in 2011 the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) helped to kick-start the market for bio-methane injection in to the mains gas grid.

"So far this has yielded two income streams: the RHI and the wholesale gas price. Now there is a third source of revenue, offering a 10-20% premium over current wholesale gas returns."

Tariff reductions

Lucy Hopwood, Director at bio-economy consultant NNFCC, says that gaining added value for green gas is very timely in light of recent tariff reductions.

"It’s no longer possible to add additional capacity under the FiT scheme and the same is soon likely to be true of the RHI.

"So for many plants expansion isn’t an option – they must make better use of what they have," she explains.

"Developers are also starting to look at how they can increase productivity, without the expense of capital outlay."

Existing plants can be converted to purify the gas by removing carbon dioxide and trace gases, after which the bio-methane is injected into the gas main and sold as renewable fuel, tracked via international trading schemes.

"Until now, Green Gas Certificates have represented little added value to the producer, as British consumers are reluctant to pay more for renewable fuel.

"Developers are also starting to look at how they can increase productivity, without the expense of capital outlay"

Tapping into European market

"Only now that we can tap into the European market can the opportunity be realised in the short-term," says Mr Palmer.

"That said, this is still an immature market in the UK and it may be that in the longer term British companies will be put under pressure to cut their carbon output, leading to premiums being available here."

Gas producers will have to register and meet the sustainability criteria of the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification body.

"Most farmers’ AD feedstock will meet these criteria and the costs of any audit required will be covered by the energy company," says Mr Palmer.

"The gas premium will depend on the carbon level of the feedstock, and as power purchase agreements can be made in advance it does not matter if the renewal on any existing gas contract, or commissioning of a new bio-methane plant, is over 12 months from now."