Monday, May 25, 2009

Swedish Co. Helps S Korea Convert Food Waste Into Biogas


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The South Korean city of Ulsan lets water generated from processing food waste run off into the ocean, which can generate methane gas harmful to the environment.

Now, with the help of a Swedish company, it is going to start converting that waste water into biogas, a type of clean fuel that can be used as power to heat buildings and even power vehicles.

South Korea is looking for ways to increase the use of biogas and other clean energy alternatives amid a push by the government of President Lee Myung-bak to embark on a new development model that emphasizes so-called green growth.

Ulsan, a brawny industrial center of about 1 million people on the country's southeastern coast, saw biogas as an attractive way to deal with a burgeoning waste problem as well as coming tighter government regulations.

"Ulsan is running out of waste disposal sites to cover all the garbage that comes out from the city," municipal official Park In-muk said Thursday. "When garbage is processed into compost, it creates waste water," he said, which the city has been letting it flow into the ocean.

The dumping of waste water generated by the processing of leftover food into the sea, however, will be banned from 2013, according to the Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime affairs.

The Ministry of Environment, meanwhile, has increased its budget this year for waste energy, including biogas plants, by five times to 178 billion won ($143 million), according to ministry official Choi Byung-chul.

The government's impending ban on the practice spurred Ulsan, home to big corporations Hyundai Motor Corp. and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., helped push Ulsan to look for alternatives. It found a partner in Scandinavian Biogas Fuels AB.

The company is based in Sweden, which has been a pioneer in biogas development.

Scandinavian Biogas is investing about 10 million euros to upgrade a wastewater treatment plant in Ulsan and will soon start accepting food and other waste for processing into biogas, said Scandinavian Biogas President and CEO Thomas Davidsson.

"Producing biogas is a very effective way of taking care of the waste" as it can be used for heat, electricity and vehicle fuel, Davidsson said in an interview Wednesday. He was in Seoul to participate in the Seoul Climate Change Expo held in conjunction with the third C40 Large Cities Climate Summit.

Turning food waste into biogas can also contribute to efforts to stop global warming.

Read the rest of this article at The Associated Press.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

UK Specification for Compost BSI PAS 100

Bsi Pas 100 Consultation 2009

The nationally recognised UK specification for compost, BSI PAS 100, is being reviewed to ensure that its contents - from product preparation to monitoring and traceability - are fully up-to-date and reflect recent changes in the fast-moving recycling industry.

For anyone that has not heard of the BSI Pas 100 specification let me just explain that the idea behind it (and it is a very successful one too) is that by providing a very high quality standard the market will be strengthened and sellers and users will gain confidence in waste industry compost products.

The idea has been working very well in my view. I believe that AD Composts are being included now for the first time.

If you have views on how this specification should be developed this is a chance to get involved in the development of this standard.

All comments must be in with WRAP before the close of consultation on 30th June 2009. (Wrap consultation)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Anaerobic Digestion Can Be Best Overall Including Being Cheapest Overall

I guess that if you are a long term subscriber this headline will not be a surprise, but it is good to report that others think so too! Read on and find out why.

Processing food waste using anaerobic digestion technology is not necessarily as expensive in relative terms as some councils may think, consultancy Eunomia has claimed.

Speaking at the AD In the City event held in the UK by BiogenGreenfinch last month, senior consultant, Dr Adrian Gibbs, said that using AD to process food waste collected separately could work out cheaper than processing commingled food and green waste together in an in vessel composting plant.

Dr Gibbs explained that a report by Eunomia had found that sending food waste to AD and green waste to windrow composting cost UK councils £9.50 in gate fees per household per year, whereas sending commingled green and food waste to IVC cost £10.80 per household. He also said that just collecting food waste alone and sending it to AD cost £5.50 per household over the same period.

Dr Gibbs admitted that average gate fees for AD facilities - around £55 per tonne - were higher than IVC - which, he quoted as £45 per tonne, but said that "overall AD is cheaper". He also claimed that separate food waste collections also worked out cheaper than mixed collections and said that the number of local authorities which were implementing separate collections had risen from 11 in 2007 to 54 in 2008.

He told the London borough council officers who attended the event, which was set up to explore ways to introduce more AD capacity in London, that - "AD is better than IVC, it's the way to go and it is the one I would watch."

Anaerobic digestion treats food waste in an oxygen-free environment and produces biogas - which can be converted into energy - and a nutrient rich digestate which can be used on farmland. It also has the potential to provide combined heat and power (CHP).

IVC treats green and/or food waste and sometimes card in an enclosed but oxygenated and aerated environment and produces compost. It does not generate energy.

A number of strengths and weaknesses were highlighted for both separate and mixed collection. The plus side to mixed collections included - only needing to use one vehicle, only one bin required and quick and cheap collections.

However, Dr Gibbs explained that the seasons significantly affected what was collected, with garden waste levels dropping significantly in the winter, meaning that feedstock was inconsistent. He also said that the waste had to be processed in an enclosed environment due to Animal By-Product Regulations and this ups the cost of green waste.

Dr Gibbs also pointed out that green waste and food wastes required different collection frequencies. In addition, not all homes have gardens and collecting green and food waste together prevented councils charging for green waste collection. He claimed that separate AD collection reduced net costs for councils and allowed local authorities to charge for garden waste. He added that there is a large quantity of food waste which could potentially be picked up.

Dr Gibbs said AD had a number of strengths, including -

* Internationally proven technology
* Anaerobic Digestion has strong government support in the form of ROCs, a Task Group and feed-in tariffs
* It is a carbon positive technology
* Valuable outputs - biogas and digestate - and
* Leaves green waste to go through the cheaper windrow process.

He said Anaerobic Digestion's only weakness was the lack of facilities in the UK, adding - "AD wins hands-down for organic waste."

Saturday, May 16, 2009

US Environmental Power and Xergi Collaboration Extended

Environmental Power, the US a developer which is an owner and operator of clean energy production facilities, which currently through their facilities generates significant quantities of tradeable carbon offset credits, has announced a new deal with Swedish renewables/ anaerobic digestion company Xergi.

The company is dedicated to producing energy that is clean, reliable and secure. Energy that uses waste materials instead of precious resources. Energy that is cost-effective, and available today. Energy that transcends conventional notions of what is possible, and that is for example - anaerobic digestion and biogas.

In their press release they tell us:

Environmental Power Announces Investment by Technology Provider Xergi A/S and New Cooperation Agreement

TARRYTOWN, N.Y., April 28, 2009 – Environmental Power Corporation, a leader in the renewable bioenergy industry, today announced that Xergi A/S of Denmark has entered into a new technology and financial agreement with them better reflecting EPG’s build / own / operate business model.

Under the terms of the new agreement, EPG and its wholly owned subsidiary, Microgy, Inc., will continue to have exclusive licensing rights for Xergi’s anaerobic digester technology in North America, while reducing the license fees on Microgy’s current and future projects. In addition, EPG and Xergi will continue to collaborate on development and use of other technologies and techniques such as the use of micro-organisms and enzymes, which enhance the production of biogas from manure and other organic substrates.

“This investment and agreement demonstrate Xergi’s continued confidence in Environmental Power’s business model and its commitment to support the company’s growth in the renewable energy market in North America. Together with Xergi, they will continue our work on technological advancements that will increase energy production from existing feed stocks, while lowering capital and operating costs for large-scale renewable energy projects,” said Rich Kessel, President and CEO of Environmental Power.

“We look forward to developing innovative solutions that maximize renewable energy from agricultural and other waste organic feed stock.”

“Environmental Power and its subsidiary Microgy have established themselves as the leader in development and commercialization of RNG® projects in North America,” said Frank Rosager, President and CEO of Xergi.

“We look forward to learning more about how to produce the equivalent of Environmental Power’s RNG® product in Europe while supporting Environmental Power’s continued growth in North America. This is truly a mutually beneficial relationship.”


Friday, May 15, 2009

Croatia Goes Big on Biogas with Largest Anaerobic Digestion Plant

Croatia to build largest biogas production plant in Europe

VUKOVAR, May 14. (Hina). A cornerstone laying ceremony was held on Wednesday at Ovcara farm outside the eastern Croatian town of Vukovar for the construction of the future largest biogas production plant in Europe.

The 30 million EUR project has been initiated by the Vukovar-based "Bionergija" company, established by the local Vupik agribusiness and several Croatian and foreign entrepreneurs.

The future plant, which should be built by the end of 2010, is expected to produce 10 megawatts of electrical energy and 11 megawatts of thermal energy daily.

According to a consultant of the Bienergija company, about 700 tonnes of biomass should be ensured daily from agricultural crops on Vupik-owned arable land for the production in the biogas plant.

The factory is to employ some 200 people.

Croatia is expected to raise the biofuels' share in transport fuels to 5.75 percent by 2012 and to 20 percent by 2020, parliamentary deputy Petar Mlinaric said at the ceremony.


Biogas is the New Racing Fuel with Biomethane Powered Sciroccos

Only last weekend a guy told me that he thought biogas was a "cranky" subject! Well, I think not, and what could be better than this announcement to show such people just how wrong they are!

Biogas-Powered VW Sciroccos Debut at STCC

Source: NGV Global

VW Scirocco has successful STCC debut


E.ON, a German producer of biogas and provider of biogas refuelling equipment, has partnered with Volkswagen Motorsport to enter two 100% biomethane powered Sciroccos in the Swedish Touring Car Championship (STCC) for 2009.

The team celebrated a successful race debut for its season-opening event, held at Mantorp racetrack in Mjölby, on May 2nd, in what is reputedly the toughest racing event for standard cars in Sweden. In the first of the two races the best Scirocco was in the 11th position, in the second race in the 9th position -- in both races 16 seconds behind the winner after a 14 lap race at the 3.1 km long circuit.

With further work on the new VW cars the biogas team is confident of performance improvements throughout the nine event season, held across venues in Sweden with one race in Norway. "The purpose of our effort is to demonstrate the potential of biogas - the Swedish climate-smart fuel, " says Håkan Buskhe, CEO of E.ON, adding they want to show that biogas is like any other fuel -- only better.

The (almost) 280 hp, 4-cylinder, 1998 cc Scirocco reaches 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 240 km/h, with output of 310 Nm. The two vehicles were built by Volkswagen Motorsport in Hanover.

Driver Fredrik Ekblom, who has completed nine STCC seasons (three championships, three silver and a bronze), and Patrik Olsson, who has raced in the Volkswagen Polo Cup, are enthusiastic about their vehicles. Ekblom said, "For me, this is a significant challenge. After nine seasons, to start with a whole new racing concept with clean, green fuel feels new, fresh and incredibly exciting."

Click here for more information.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Using Biomass to Produce Electricity More Efficient than Transforming the Biomass into Biofuels

The following is part of a newsletter from Green Power Conferences publicising their forthcoming BioPower Generation USA conference, Chicago, USA, 8-9 July 2009.

It certainly got me thinking, as I had always assumed the opposite to be the case, and I would dearly like to be able to attend to find out more.

By the way if you are not already subscriber to their Newsletter, get over to their web site (link given below) subscribe and enter the competition for a free event pass.

According to a recent report in Science, using biomass to produce electricity is 80% more efficient than transforming the biomass into biofuels and twice as effective in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

Join leading utilities, project developers, policy makers and investors in Chicago on 8-9 July for BioPower Generation USA and learn new strategies to increase biomass power generation across the U.S.

Attendees will have the opportunity to quiz leading project developers and utility representatives as they present best practice case studies, including:

- GreenHunter
- American Renewables
- Constellation New Energy
- Alliant Energy
- Progress Energy
- NV Energy
- Intrinergy
- Central Hudson Gas & Electrical Corporation
- AgriPower

"As RPS and carbon legislation evolve, so will opportunities to develop more bio-power projects" says conference speaker William Johnson, Manager of Biofuels Development at Alliant Energy. William will address how biomass can be integrated into existing power plant structures and look at the challenges in handling, transportation and storage of biomass sources.

Register today and benefit from our early bird discount (Valid until the 15th May) and get entered for a free event pass. More at the Green Power Conferences web site here.

What are your views? - use the blog comment post below the blog!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Biogas Plant Plan - Cumbrian Farmers to Generate Own Energy

Cumbrian farmers to generate own energy through biogas plan

Farmers in Cumbria are teaming up to develop anaerobic digestion facilities to generate their own renewable energy from agricultural waste.

Community Renewable Energy North West (CoRE NW), a group based in Workington, plans to set up a number of co-operatives to develop the plants, which will produce electricity and heat from farmers' manure and silage.

The first plant is to be developed at Middle Farm in Silloth, in the north west of the county, and could secure planning permission next spring. A feasibility study is currently under way, with 10 farmers interested in getting involved.

Hopes are that the £3.5 million digester could be commissioned by the end of 2010, producing just under 1MW of power - around seven million kWh units a year, or enough electricity to supply about 2,000 homes.

Plans are to use heat produced by the facility in the farm's four large chicken sheds, as well as to the next-door cement block factory.

Social enterprise NRG NorthEast Renewables Group is to supply and install the digester, subject to planning permission, with technology expected to be supplied by German biogas company Biogas Hochreiter.

The project will see local farmers owning the new anaerobic digester along with CoRE NW itself, while NRG will be a minor stakeholder.

Core NW has set up an energy supply company (ESCo) to manage energy sales, with expectations that the facility could bring in £1.2 million a year, achieving payback in around six years. Profits from the project - around £100,000 a year - will go towards setting up three more anaerobic digestion plants in the area, as well as supporting other community renewable energy projects.

Research behind the project has suggested that farmers involved in an anaerobic digestion scheme could see an annual income of £20,000, along with up to £16,300 for supplying materials and dividends averaging £10,000 a year.

Anaerobic digestion involves bacterial feeding on organic material in large tanks, producing a methane-rich biogas that can be used to generate energy, as well as a residue that can be used as a fertiliser.

It is seen as a particularly attractive technology for north west Cumbria, since the region has a high density of dairy farms, which produce a considerable amount of manure and slurry, which is difficult to deal with under new legal controls.

CoRE NW said digestion plants could effectively double the profitability of dairy farmers.

Mike Pearson, who owns the farm where the first digester is being proposed, said: "We think this a great way forward for Cumbrian farmers. As well as increasing our income, it also means we reduce our usage of chemicals and produce renewable energy."

Initial work on the Middle Farm project was funded by West Cumbria social enterprise project The Hub, which is run by Lancashire-based industrial and provident society Co-operative and Mutual Solutions.

Feedstock for the plant is likely to inclure 20,000 tonnes of slurry, 10,000 tonnes of silage from currently unproductive land and 3,000 tonnes of chicken manure. Some 10,000 tonnes of food waste from Lakeland Creameries and other local sources could also be used in the plant.

More here...

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Forthcoming Conferences by Biogasmax on Biomethane

European Biomethane Fuel Final Conference

Book the dates! and welcome to Sweden at the Biogasmax conference on Biomethane 7-9 September 2009. Biogasmax project has for three years implemented cross-analysis, research and innovation developments on biomethane as a vehicle fuel. This conference will give a great focus on the outcomes brought from this major European Commission funded initiative.

learn more ...


Biogas to biomethane:

an ISET conference about the upgrading process
On February the 21th, 2008, our Biogasmax partner ISET organized
an event around the topic « biogas upgrading to biomethane »,
key step of the transformation of biogas into bio-methane.
Numbers of experts tackled technical, economic and legislative questions, while other ones came to present their own country experience. The porceedings of that conference is now available
on the ISET web site.

learn more ...


New development in UK: biomethane for dual-fuel vehicle

The UK delivery compagny Sainsbury’s fleet of diesel heavy
goods vehicles was entirely converted into trucks with dual fuel engines using a combination of diesel and biomethane producted
from landfill biogas. Clean Air Power, a UK technology developer, supported this « Running on Rubbish » initiative, with its new
« Genesis » Dual – Fuel” combustion technology that enables
an existing diesel engine to operate with both diesel and bio-methane.

learn more ...

New Report Available on Opportunities for Converting Biomass & Wastes into Transport Fuels

If you have been a reader of this blog for a while I will hardly need to tell you that biofuels are seen by many as the best way of reducing emissions of the greenhouse gases. In addition, they can also be looked upon as a way of energy security which stands as an alternative of fossil fuels that are becoming limited in availability.

Biofuels can be theoretically carbon neutral, only releasing CO2 recently absorbed from the atmosphere by the crops used to produce them. Gasoline and other fossil fuels add to the CO2 supply in the atmosphere by giving off CO2 absorbed and trapped in plant material millions of years ago, but biofuels should not do so if produced sustainably.

So, using biofuels, especially those produced and used within the region in which they are created, can reduce the build-up of greenhouse gases that are said to cause climate change. In fact almost all harmful emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels are reduced when biofuels are used instead.

They can be used as a direct substitute for traditional petrol and diesel and can and are readily being integrated into existing fuel supply systems, and they are now poised to become truly big business.

Whereas in the past Anaerobic Digestion plants were seen as best developed to produce electricity, that focus which has been seen in the UK, is likely to change, with large numbers of AD Plants and also hydrolysis and gasification based systems installed to produce biofuel.

So, what does an interested entrepreneur or forward thinking farm business owner/manager do to cut through all this complexity? For example, diesel, is one of the many biofuels that can be produced from a wide range of feedstocks ranging from food crops and left-over food products like vegetable oils and animal fats, to the organic fraction of Municipal solid waste (MSW) – but is it the best one to go for?

Very soon the many options available can become bewildering.

Which are the most likely paths to a successful biofuel business? We are told that recent scientific breakthroughs have sharply lowered its production cost for the leading technology providers, but how can the average businessman be sure he can cut through the hype?

I was interested to see that Juniper, the UK waste processing and strategy consultant has recently produced a report which tackles these issues, and is for sale at their web site.

The report is called “Biofuels: A Decision Maker’s Guide to Opportunities for Converting Biomass & Wastes into Transport Fuels”.

This new report from Juniper considers more than 70 different pathways for deriving a range of fuels from biomass resources.

In their words:

“The market for sustainable transport fuels is growing rapidly, yet it has already become clear that many ways of deriving these are either uneconomic or open to criticism. So which pathways are likely to be commercially attractive? Which use technologies that are already proven and which require further technical development? These and many other issues are discussed in this new Management Briefing, which provides a succinct and comprehensive guide to the bewildering array of technologies, feed materials and output fuels that are being championed as the optimal solutions for meeting the world’s demand for biofuels.

This Guide will be an invaluable tool for investors, corporates and others interested in this market. It guides the reader through this complex and rapidly evolving sector, helping to identify ‘hotspots’ of market activity, pointing to interesting new developments and reviewing the current status of the market on a global basis.”

This should be an interesting report to many of our readers. Although it comes at a price, it should be affordable to those seriously looking to develop biofuels as a potential renewable energy business.

Further information from Juniper can be found here, and your constructive comments are always welcomed when entered into the comments box below this blog article.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

UK Tonnages of Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Waste to be Made Available

Those involved in anaerobic digestion will no doubt all welcome this information. For the first time the magnitude of the potential AD market in digestion of these wastes will be clear, however, it will be interesting to see how much wastage the food industry and supply cain will eradicate once awareness is raised! (BlogMaster)

New research led by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) and Envirowise will calculate the total amount of fresh fruit and vegetable waste by product in the UK retail supply chain for the first time - and identify how to reduce it.

A key outcome of the project is the development of detailed ‘resource maps’, which will identify the amounts of fresh produce and packaging waste generated for eleven products at key points in the supply chain1 - and calculate the equivalent carbon and economic impacts.

Best practice guidance will be produced covering storage, handling and packaging, and reports will be made available for companies to benchmark themselves against the aggregated data. Opportunities for achieving environmental benefits and cost savings will also be identified.

WRAP and Envirowise are urging the sector to take part in the research to help provide a detailed understanding of the waste produced across all components of the supply chain - from packhouses through distribution to back of store. Data collection will include a comprehensive industry literature review as well as company-specific waste prevention reviews carried out on-site.

Charlotte Henderson, Retail Supply Chain Programme Manager at WRAP commented: “Understanding where and how much fresh produce food and packaging waste is generated at all points in the chain on a product by product basis will help to identify and develop the best solutions to reduce it. Implementing these solutions will enable considerable benefits to companies operating across the supply chain – economic and environmental – to be delivered and we would actively encourage companies to be part of this research.”

The project is to be undertaken by research specialists Cranfield University, working with food and grocery supply chain experts IGD and the Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC), representing the fresh produce sector.

“This partnership brings together expertise and knowledge of the complexities in the retail and wholesale supply chain in the UK,” commented Dr Leon Terry of Cranfield University. “We are delighted to carry out this essential research.”

Nigel Jenney, Chief Executive of FPC, said: “We are encouraging our members, including retailers, wholesalers and distributors to participate in the project, which will provide valuable information for the fresh produce sector on how to quantify and reduce both food and packaging waste.”

More at WRAP here.