Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rainier Biogas Digester to Use AD Plant Product as a Cow Bedding

We were pleased to hear about the Rainier Biogas Digester, in an article by Greg Martin as part of the US based, Harvest Clean Energy Report. So much so that we have a quotation from that article here. Our interest was mostly in the final paragrphs though, and the notion that the fibrous digestate would be used as a cow bedding. Seems like a great idea. One wonders whether as a product it will be possible for the farms that supply manure will also pay for this product. We suspect that might be quite difficult?

I grew up living about 3 miles from a rather large feedlot and on certain summer nights you really knew it. A lot has changed since then and according to Daryl Maas with Farm Power Northwest what used to be a problem for livestock producers can now be an asset. Construction is getting underway on a new bio-digester in northwest Washington that was in the works for quite a while.


MAAS: Originally the whole project was conceived as a feasibility study by King County a long time ago back, I believe, in 2002. And they spent several years studying whether or not a digester would make sense on the Green and White River watersheds where they’re at and after they had decided it made sense they went through a variety of designers, checked some technology, location and so that whole process took a good 6 years before Farm Power got involved.

King County approached Farm Power and asked for their assistance getting the project done. Infrastructure was a big part of the project.

MAAS: That was one of our largest difficulties really. We tend to try to pump 100% of our manure to the digesters. It’s just much easier, much more efficient to build a digester where everyone can move their manure via pipeline but one of the issues they’ve been having in Enumclaw is that there has been a lot of urban encroachment, a lot of people building 3 and 5 acre homesites, some small horse ranches out there so that the dairy farmers no longer operate in this wide open field environment.

Having to truck the manure would make this kind of project unlikely.

MAAS: But when you look at the pressures the farmers are facing for trying to dispose of their manure, not on 160 acre plots like we do in Skagit County but rather on 10, 15 and 20 acre plots, they really need some help processing that manure. And so we had to devise a system that would work in that environment with a lot of shorter pipelines and some trucking of manure and even some transferring of manure between farms from the farms that don’t have the space to put it to farms that do.

In addition to removing the manure Maas says there are some additional benefits.

MAAS: First of all we’ll be making a bedding product out of the manure when we’re done. When we process manure the fiber solids that are left over come out nearly sterile and they’re good for cow bedding so the farmers can use that as opposed to having to import wood shavings and other more costly products. Also just for the nutrient management we’re greatly improving their ability to handle their manure by giving them more options.

For additional information on clean energy, visit That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network

View the original article here

Friday, January 20, 2012

Malaby Biogas Gets New UK Anaerobic Digestion Plant with Funds Allocated by WRAP

We are pleased to report that the UK is seeing progress on AD Plant projects, as WRAP funding is allocated to a UK biogas company. The following is quoted from a Bioenergy News magazine article , on 17 January 2012:

"UK-based Malaby Biogas has received a loan from an anaerobic digestion (AD) fund, Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which will go towards building a new plant.


The facility will be based in Wiltshire, and as Bioenergy Insight reported last month, will be built on a former 12 acre smallholding site.

The £800,000 (€960,000) loan will be used for the construction of the plant, which is costing a total of £5 million.

Malaby plans to use technology provider Marches Biogas for the installation and hopes to start commissioning the project in March.

‘Feedstock for the plant will be non-packaged food waste supplied by a new commercial collection operator with additional material potentially coming from other commercial and industrial food waste providers within the local area,’ says Malaby director Thomas Minter.

‘Initially the plant will process around 17,000 tonnes of waste a year and we’d hope to be able to handle up to 20,000 tonnes at full capacity.’

It is the first loan to be given by the fund and the programme aims to handout more to similar projects.

‘Malaby is the first of what we hope will be a number of companies to benefit from the anaerobic digestion loan fund and it is excellent to see such good progress being made at the Wiltshire plant,’ says WRAP director Steve Creed.

‘We’re currently considering a number of other applications, and the new round of loan awards for 2012 has just begun, so we’d encourage anyone who is interested in the fund to get in touch with us.’"

View the original article here

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Using Biogas as a Chemicals Industry Feedstock Not Petrochemicals

There are times when the research world seems to be positively ill-informed of developments in tenchnology. Here is a case in point. The waste management industry has been talking about this for some years and several start up companies are now trading on this as a business plan. Here is the article which explains the recent research on using biogas as a chemical industry feedstock :

Combustible gases generated by organic matter in landfill sites or from biomass are commonly burned to generate electricity.


However, a Finnish team, writing in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Sustainable Economy about using biogas as a chemical industry feedstock , suggest that such biogas might be more usefully used as an alternative feedstock for the chemical industry. They explain that using biogas in this way would reduce our dependency on oil and gas-derived products and is commercially and technically viable.

To initiate such a switch to biogas from landfill and other sources, there may have to be subsidies akin to those implemented in food production. However, as the price of raw fossil materials – oil and gas – continues to rise, biogas will become a more competitive alternative feedstock and government support could gradually be reduced. “The use of biogas can be promoted by identifying existing industrial sites currently using fossil-based gas as raw material and by analysing whether they can utilise biogas,” the team says. “By constructing biogas producing unit at industrial sites potentially enables development of other biogas applications. Building pipelines to other biogas users, or vehicle uses, are potential options,” they add.

View the original article about using biogas as a chemical industry feedstock  here

There is no doubt that using biogas as a chemical industry feedstock will happen, it is merely a matter of time, as non-renewable resources are used up.

ThyssenKrupp Nirosta Discusses Stainless Steel Tanks for Anaerobic Digestion Plants

I for one think of stainess steel as a premium cost material and have not considered it likely to be a cost-effective material for a large commerical biogas tank, and yet in the article that follows it is clear that this material is being used for biogas plants, and reportedly, very successfully. We have included much of the article below, but please also visit the original website.

In Szeged, around an hour south of Budapest, Weltec Biopower is currently building an ultramodern biogas plant with stainless steel from ThyssenKrupp Nirosta. The 1-megawatt facility, comprising two combined heat and power plants with an output of 600 kW/h each, will go into operation at the end of 2011. The organic waste substrate will be supplied by local farmers, who in return will use the digestate left over from the anaerobic digestion /biogasproduction process as fertilizer on their fields. The generated heat will be used to heat offices in Szeged.

At the heart of the plant are two stainless steel digesters. In addition, an external stainless steel gas storage tank with a capacity of 650 cubic meters will be installed on the site. The aim is to take advantage of electricity prices, which are twice as high during the daytime. The biogas will therefore be collected in the digester tank and the external gas tank at night and the two CHP modules will run under full load in the day time.

The two 3,000 cubic meter digesters are sealed with a double membrane roof, which means that each digester also has an additional gas buffer capacity of 1,016 cubic meters. Animal waste and energy crops are used as a substrate, with special bacteria being used for the fermenting process. During biogas production, waste products such as sulfur and ammonia are also formed. "These substances are very corrosive, placing high demands on the material for the digesters. That's why we use stainless steel exclusively for our plants," says Hajo Schierhold, head of sales and marketing at Weltec Biopower, whose sole supplier of stainless steel is ThyssenKrupp Nirosta.

In the past ten years ThyssenKrupp Nirosta has supplied around 1,500 tons of material for various projects carried out by the Vechta-based plant builder. Depending on the loading, different stainless steel grades are used, e.g. for the tank walls in contact with the liquid or gas. "The majority of our deliveries have been our standard sheet steel Nirosta 4301 specially optimized for these applications," says Martin Stöckl from the ThyssenKrupp Nirosta sales team.

"What's particularly important for us is the cold-worked condition, 2H. This means thinner steel can be used to build the digesters without any loss of stability. It also means a significant cost saving". Another advantage is the extremely smooth surface. "The dense surface of Nirosta 4301 2H gives aggressive substances no opportunity to attack the material," says Weltec Biopower sales chief Schierhold. "Bacteria have no chance to take hold, so corrosion is nipped in the bud, which is an important factor for longevity and efficiency."

View the original article here

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Shale Gas - Rising Industry to Destroy Renewable Energy Sector Growth?

Despite the enormously damaging effects of "fracking", otherwise known as hydraulic fracturing, on the environment and the prediction of 100,000 plus new wells being needed over the next 20 plus years, to extract it. Shale Gas is emerging as the potential supplier of 40% or more of all domestic natural gas within 25 years.

Already, there have been decisions made in the US to stop Anaerobic Digestion projects based upon energy crop production which would have taken the AD industry to a whole new level of scale in at least one of the "bread basket" states of the US. These projects won't go ahead as they see the vast US gas reserves in Shale as reducing natural gas prices significantly.

Shale Gas has been found in Lancashire in the UK, and if other nations, notably the US, is developing these reserves it will be hard to stop them in the UK and Europe as we will need to continue to compete with the US economically.

Energy pundits are starting to view the Shale Gas discoveries made recently as game changers, and as these sources leak methane to atmosphere, there is a cance that they may be seen as a lesser evil from a climate change perspective than might at first glance seem possible.

The following is a quotation from an article titled: "Shale gas - Time to look Before We Leap Further". (Click here to read the full article.)

Shale gas is a game-changer for global energy supply. It is already transforming the U.S. energy outlook, and is expected to deliver over 40% of domestic gas production by 2025 (Figure 1). Other countries and regions, notably Europe and China, may soon follow suit, in a repeat of the early 20th century oil rush.

Opinion is bitterly divided, however, over the environmental risks and benefits of this abundant new source of energy – so much so, that the different sides struggle to agree even on basic facts. The debate is raging over two key issues – on-the-ground impacts to water, air, communities, land use, wildlife, and habitats; and the broader energy and global warming implications of developing shale gas.

Attention so far has focused on the local impacts of shale gas extraction through the rock-blasting process known as hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”). The Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board Subcommittee on Shale Gas Production has warned that “disciplined attention must be devoted to reducing the environmental impact” of shale gas development in the face of its expected continued rapid growth, with as many as 100,000 more wells expected over the next few decades.

The direct impact of shale gas on global warming is another bone of contention. While the combustion of natural gas results in less carbon dioxide emissions than combustion of coal per Btu, the production and distribution of natural gas also causes leakage of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. This increases the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of shale gas, reducing the global warming benefits compared to coal.

In addition, a comparison that simply replaces coal with gas in electricity generation ignores the broader greenhouse gas implications of the shale gas phenomenon. One particular concern that policy makers should focus on is the potential impact of the shale gas boom on the renewable energy industry. Unless the federal government sets a price on carbon, the growing U.S. reliance on natural gas could squeeze out zero emission energy sources like wind and solar power. This could in turn undermine, and increase the cost of, U.S. efforts to address climate change.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

New 2012 Edition of the "Introduction to Waste Technologies" eBook Out Now!

New services and products are constantly coming on the web. It's tricky to keep abreast of them all. We get tired of the continuous notices for fresh products, usually just stop focusing on them. Since there's so very little of value in the majority of offers thrown at us, we become calloused and uninterested in them, usually just dismiss them all. Often this works O.K.

Occasionally though, there can be exceptions...

You can find real nuggets in-between those junk offers. For instance, there is an ebook which has just been updated for 2012, in the waste technology and Mechanical Biological Treatment ( MBT ) class, named "An Introduction to Waste Technology" that shows a lot of value for those seeking tounderstand what happens to their rubbish after it leaves their properties.

It has been dreamed-up and developed by Steve Last, who's now offering it for sale.

So let me know, why is it getting attention and gaining a following?

Talking generally, what it's been doing alerady is continuously selling more copies since it was last updated in 2008.

You'll find 3 unique strengths that make "An Introduction to Waste Technology" stand out from its competition, 3 principal positive aspects that buyers mention in their many testimonials. These 3 serious advantages are clear and concise summaries of each one of the main the waste technology and processes used to direct waste away from landfill.

The first is an author who knows his subject and waste treatment process.

2nd are the flow charts, and

3rd are the tables of advantages and drawbacks for each waste technology described.

See the sales page for secure payment at PayLoadz here.

See the fuller review at:

A review of the New 2012 Edition of the "Introduction to Waste Technologies" eBook