Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Biffa Joins the List of Existing AD Plant Operators Planning Their Second Plants

Biffa Proposes Second Anaerobic Digestion Facility

News like this must surely be a wake-up call to all those just wondering whether to consider diving in and starting their own Anaerobic Digestion project? In this LetsRecycle announcement, Biffa, one of the UK's largest, if not the largest, waste management site operator is clearly voting for AD by this move. Here is part of the LetsRecycle article:


Biffa Waste Services has announced plans to build an anaerobic digestion facility in the West Midlands capable of processing 80,000 tonnes of organic waste a year.

The High Wycombe-based waste management firm is set to submit a planning application to Staffordshire county council in the next few months to develop the facility at Cannock, in the South of the county. The plant will manage commercial and industrial waste, although there are currently no waste contracts in place.

Biffa explained that when the plant becomes operational in 2011, it would create 4 megawatts (MW) of electricity and 2MW of thermal heat a year alongside a high quality fertiliser for land restoration. It will also divert two million tonnes of waste from landfill over its 25-year operational life.

If approved, the Cannock facility will be the second anaerobic digestion facility built by Biffa after the firm's facility at Wanlip in Leicestershire and represents the company's latest move to establish itself as an energy rather than a waste disposal firm, following its takeover by private equity group WasteAcquisitionco in April 2008.

Andre Horbach, Biffa chief executive, said: "This is a step towards achieving our stated ambition to develop Biffa's energy-from-waste activities.

"It will build on the novel and unique expertise that Biffa has through the development of the UK's first operational Municipal Solid Waste AD plant in Leicester in 2003, which in itself generates 1.3MW annually," he added.

See the full Letsrecycle.com story here.

Going Green is Confusing - Defra Sets Out to Help Us All

Defra Announces Body to Help Businesses and Communities Go Green

Defra has announced a new body to help businesses and communities go green

Defra is bringing together a range of bodies under WRAP’s leadership to provide a one-stop-shop to help businesses, organisations and households become more resource efficient, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn announced today.

The decision was made following the recommendations from the Delivery Landscape Review set up in February 2008 to examine the seven organisations funded by Defra which currently work on resource efficiency. This will make it easier for businesses and households to get the advice they need on how to be more resource efficient by providing a single point of contact.

Secretary of State for the Environment, Hilary Benn said:

“All these organisations have done a great job in helping businesses and households to use resources more efficiently. But we know that some customers were confused by the myriad of services and bodies, so that is why we are making these changes.

“Now, under WRAP leadership we will provide a one stop shop for resource efficiency advice, and this should make it quicker and easier for people to get what they need.”

WRAP CEO Liz Goodwin said:

“We welcome this opportunity to lead a single organisation for resource efficiency. We believe it will help bring clarity for those seeking advice and support on resource efficiency – many of whom have already said they would prefer to deal with one organisation.”

This simplification is part of the cross-Government Business Support Simplification Programme which aims to make it easier for businesses to access Government help and advice.

More here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Events: Sharing Experiences in Anaerobic Digestion

Forthcoming Events
In response to the reader who recently asked that we provide more information on events of interest to those involved in Anaerobic Digestion, we provide below the details of the forthcoming Aqua Enviro conferences which will be of interest to biogas fans.


28th April 2009, The Hilton, Leeds

The Event will:

· describe the present environment for application of anaerobic digestion technology outlining the potential advantages whilst highlighting potential legal hurdles

· summarise Water Company experiences and operating practices gained from 100 years of sludge digestion

· summarise the more recent experiences of the waste industry applying AD technology to solid waste streams

· discuss potential common ground such as pre-treatment, co-digestion, digester design and operation, digestate treatment and nutrient recovery

· consider optimal uses for biogas

Organisations Involved:

SEPA, WRAP, Thames Water, Viridor Waste, Monsal, Shanks, HotRot Systems, Organic Waste Systems, Belgium, SLR Consulting Ltd

Aqua Enviro ask us to also please circulate these event details to colleagues and contacts that might be interested in attending.

Additional Events

OPTIMISING THE POTENTIAL OF BIOGAS – 2nd July 2009, The Hilton, Leeds

3rd EUROPEAN WATER & WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE - 22 – 23rd September 2009, ThinkTank, Birmingham

CALL FOR PAPERS DEADLINE 3rd APRIL – submit your abstract to: franceseldon@aquaenviro.co.uk


CALL FOR PAPERS DEADLINE 19th June – submit your abstract to: sarahhickinson@aquaenviro.co.uk

Frances Eldon
Aqua Enviro Technology Transfer
Unit 8, Appleton Court
Calder Business Park
Wakefield, WF2 7AR

Tel. +44 (0) 1924 257891
Fax. +44 (0) 1924 257455


Thursday, March 26, 2009

AD Plant Specialist UTS Biogastechnik Moves Offices

UTS Biogastechnik GmbH – New Headquarters, New Projects, and Enables Further Service Improvements

UTS Biogastechnik GmbH moved into a new conveniently located head office in D-85399 Hallbergmoos, next to the Munich airport. This office is easy to get to for our international customers and partners and there are many UTS plants for them to see in the immediate neighborhood.

The new premises in addition to accommodating all customer related functions such as sales, engineering and service also offers expanded facilities for training national as well as international customers and staff and it can be expanded as necessary to support the expected growth of the company.

The production with its service and spare parts warehouse in Gruentegernbach, the product development office in Herzfeld as well as the service and sales points in other locations in Germany are not affected by this move. UTS is inviting customers, potential customers, suppliers and partners to its opening party taking place on Friday, March 27.

This will give all guests the opportunity to learn more about UTS and get to know the whole team. Next to the CEO, Dr. Andrew Benedek, and the President of the German Biogas Association, Josef Pellmeyer, the mayor of Hallbergmoos, Klaus Stallmeister, will welcome all attendants. Pastor Stefan Menzel will consecrate the new company building afterwards.

Despite the global economy crises, UTS has announced that it is continuing to grow during the first quarter of 2009, and still apparently has financing available.

So far this year the company has stated that it has received four orders in Germany and two outside of Germany for Biogas systems. The orders range from 150 kW to 1 MW and there are many more in development in Germany and in our five international offices in Europe. More here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New - The Business Case for Anaerobic Digestion Page

I always like to see well written and new pages about AD. Here is an extract from a new web page which foots that bill, and below I have placed the contents list which those that subscribe to this blog will probably find interesting and well worth a visit:

A third of UK food goes to waste

Supermarkets are trialling anaerobic digestion as a way to generate energy and minimise their waste, and soon the biological process could have a far wider reaching application

With a spate of announcements on anaerobic digestion (AD) – from supermarkets using the biological process to handle their organic waste to the building of a national AD biogas network - something seems to be exercising decision makers. Are those bacteria that digest food waste at last going to be harnessed to their full potential? Dr Michael Gell examines the potential for AD to kick-start the building of an integrated biowaste infrastructure and to become one of the star technologies feeding energy into a renewables supergrid.

- What is Anaerobic Digestion?
- How does AD work?
- AD as a production process
- How widely is AD being used?
- Recognising the potential for AD
- Turning waste into useful products
- What are the environmental benefits of AD?
- Economic opportunities with AD
- What is driving the surge in interest in AD?
- Who are the key stakeholders for a national AD infrastructure?
- Carbon footprints in the food waste chain
- What are the supermarkets doing?
- Is AD commercially feasible?
- What are the prospects for a renewable gas network?
- What innovations might we expect with AD technology?

Go to ClimatChangeCorp for the full article.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Californian Dairy Farm AD Project Trialblazes US Net Metering

After finding this delightful farm web site I just had to tell you all about it! To be honest I don't know how recent or how newsworthy this is, but this site puts the argument perfectly for installing fairly low-tech tarped lagoon type AD Plants on farms very well. It also seems that issues had to be resolved before the power supply out into the local grid was obtained.

Here is an introduction from their site to explain what this farm did to become more sustainable:

No Greenhouse Gases Here!!

We Power The Dairy With Methane From Our Cows

It’s true!

After a 5-year process, we’re now creating electricity with our methane digester. The digester captures naturally occurring gas from manure and converts it into electricity. With this new system, we’re generating up to 300,000 kilowatt-hours per year. That is about $40,000 a year!

More importantly, tarping manure ponds eliminates the release of methane (a natural by-product of manure) into the air. According to the 2003 U.S. Department of Energy Report on Greenhouse Gases, agricultural sources, primarily animal waste, account for approximately three percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

A dairy cow can generate 120 lbs. of waste each day, totalling about 40,000 lbs. per year!

Solids separated from the waste are composted and reused as fertilizer, providing additional, far-reaching benefits.

The project received a 50 percent grant from the California Energy Commission. Ours is the first system to take advantage of regulations of “net metering”. Net metering allows Straus to run meters in reverse and also offset other electrical usage from other meters at the farm and the creamery.

More at The Straus Family Creamery web site.

Plans for £45m West Yorkshire Waste-to-Biofuel Plant Announced

Plans to develop a £45 million waste-to-ethanol facility in West Yorkshire have been unveiled by Leeds-based waste management company, Mytum and Selby.

The company has teamed up biomass-to-ethanol technology provider AqueGen to develop the Maltings Organic Treatment Plant at South Milford, with the eventual aim of converting 400,000 tonnes of waste as biomass into at least 100 million litres of the biofuel ethanol a year.

Operating through a subsidiary, The Maltings Organics Treatment Company, which it has set up in a joint venture with AqueGen, Mytum & Selby said that it hopes to have the plant up-and-running by 2011.

The company was granted a certificate of lawful use to allow it to treat waste on the site of a former brewery in March 2008 and says that, when built, the biomass-to-ethanol plant would be the first of its kind in the UK.

Mr Carrie said: "Our planning permission on site makes the plant the only one of its kind in the UK and enables us to handle huge quantities of food waste, ABP and liquids.

"Initially this will provide compost for agricultural and horticultural use and on completion the plant will convert the bulk of the biomass to the biofuel ethanol.

"This new initiative means we will be the first biomass to ethanol plant in the UK utilising biomass recovered from waste sources. The facility will meet increasing demand for environmentally-friendly fuel across the country,"
he added.

Speaking to letsrecycle.com on March 12, Mr Carrie explained that Mytum & Selby has just invested £500,000 in the site to allow it to develop a 25,000 tonne-a-year capacity in-vessel composting (IVC) plant , which it hoped to have operational by October 2009.

Phase two of The Maltings project, which the company hopes to complete by the end of 2010, would see the IVC facility's capacity increased to 75,000 tonnes-a-year, involving a total investment of around £1 million from the parent company. More.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Making Electricity from a Methane Digester

How is electricity produced using biogas, is a common question being asked by our visitors. In fact over 150 per week are seeking the answer to that question.

To answer the question I have written a new page at the Anaerobic Digestion web site, and I have tried to keep the article accessible as possible to all readers.

For my blog and email readers I have summarised the article as follows:

It is possible to generate electricity from the natural gas or biogas from an Anaerobic Digestion Plant (Biogas Digester) using a number of systems. The two types used are by an internal combustion gas engine, and a gas turbine.

A gas engine is similar to a automobile car engine, and a gas turbine is similar to a jet engine.

The first stage is to produce mechanical energy from the chemical energy released in the expansion produced by the heat rise of the burning gas. The mechanical energy in a rotating drive shaft is then coupled into an electrical generator.

The mechanical energy is utilized to drive the AC (alternating current) in magnetic windings in the generator giving us electricity. A turbine acts similarly.

It may seem a little strange to us at first, to use gas in an engine, but the principle is actually very old and goes back to the first days of engine development. Early automobile engines used methane and coal gas.

However, the person deciding to start a digester project must always consider the cost of connection into the local power grid when planning to build a biogas digester to produce electricity.

Another plus can be that carbon dioxide emission credit is available. Credits may be given reflecting the difference in greenhouse effect index between releasing landfill methane gas to the atmosphere and releasing the methane gas to the atmosphere after burning it to form carbon dioxide. In some cicumstances this can be registered on emission credit markets.

Biogas digesters are already producing electrical power in many countries, and the number is growing.

A Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system is always worth considering for all AD Plants.

Without the "cooling" provided by CHP, this heat goes into the atmosphere without serving any purpose.

CHP is a good way to gain better efficiency of power use, and usually it should bring in further income to fund the biogas digester operation.

For the full article visit the Anaerobic Digestion web site and the Making Electricity from a Methane Digester page.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Another AD First - NationalGrid Announces the Merits of Biomethane as an Energy Source

National Grid presents biogas report to UK government

(First posted 02/02/2009)
Half Britain's homes could be heated by renewable gas, says National Grid in a report it has presented to the UK Government.

The report looks at how all the biodegradable waste streams such as sewage, food and wood could be turned into biogas and injected into the gas distribution system.

Biogas is produced by two main processes. Anaerobic digestion which turns wet waste such as sewage and animal manure into biomethane and gasification which is better suited to drier wastes and energy crops. Biomethane is already being produced and injected into the gas grids in Europe.

It is estimated that biogas would be a similar price to other renewable energy sources. However because the country already has an extensive gas grid, there would be little need for disruptive infrastructure development or any major inconvenience to consumers in their homes or streets.

The report concludes that there are no insurmountable technical difficulties to delivering biogas. The main hurdle will be about getting the right commercial incentives in place so waste can be turned into biomethane for gas grid injection rather than electricity. This needs to be allied with a comprehensive waste management policy.

A copy of the report can be found in the Publications section of the National Grid web site.

Steve - This is one BIG and welcome turnaround! for the UK gas suppliers to, for the first time, welcome biomethane from Anaerobic Digestion Plants into the natural gas distribution system