Monday, February 27, 2012

New Renewable Energy Regulations in Germany Make Biogas Funding Less Attractive

A new German renewables law will create new biogas funding hurdles, however, the effect will only effect certain biogas plant sizes and types, and shouold be seen against a strong biogas market in the country. In the long-term delivering value to the taxpayer is essential and hopefully these measures will help do that. here is the original press release/ article:

Germany's amended renewable energy sources law (EEG 2012), which came into force in January, is unlikely to provide a significant boost to biogas capacity because stricter rules have made it more difficult to fund investment, the German Biogas Association told Platts.


The association represents around 4,600 members including biogas producers, plant makers, as well as agricultural and industrial biogas plant operators.

"In general, feed-in tariffs are lower than in the past, and some provisions make it more difficult to obtain credit," association spokeswoman Andrea Horbelt said. "We assume that a lower number of plants will be built because of stricter conditions which hamper rather than promote capacity expansion."

Renewable Energy Report provides unrivalled coverage of policy, markets and finance by focusing on the commercial implications of the global renewable energy industry. Expert editorial comment highlights major industry trends, creating a forum for alternative opinions. The newsletter's unique value proposition is quite simple - it helps you assess opportunities as they occur and avoid costly errors.

However, the impact of the changes varies within the biogas sector and the new rules were influenced by the federal government's change in energy policy last year, which entailed green energy a prominent role in the future energy mix.

From 2012, biogas plant operators have to meet certain criteria to qualify for feed-in fees that are fixed for a 20-year period. Feed-in tariffs are usually well above the market price and the difference is passed on to end- consumers in form of a surcharge, although energy-intensive users are exempt.

Certain plant operators, for instance, will forfeit the feed-in fee if they fail to prove that at least 60% of heat from a block-unit power station has actually been used. This creates uncertainty and makes banks reluctant to provide loans, Horbelt said. Under the previous system, which was more complicated but more generous, biogas companies were certain of receiving a fixed feed-in fee and could claim various extra bonuses for meeting additional criteria.

Medium-sized biogas plant projects are likely to be those most affected by the combined effect of lower feed-in fees and tighter eligibility criteria, Horbelt said.

By contrast, higher feed-in fees for small plants with a capacity of up to 75 KW could encourage growth in this sector which so far attracted little investment because costs per installed KW are generally higher than for larger plants, Horbelt said. Fees in this segment have risen to 25 euro cents/KWh (32 US cents/KWh) from around 22 euro cents/KWh.

Operators of large plants of 750 KW and over will also see a rise in fees, though future business will very much depend on feeds into gas networks after biogas has been treated to adjust its methane content to that of natural gas.

"We expect that capacity will be added [in this area],? Horbelt said.

But owners of new large plants which will be connected to the grid from 2014 onward will face an additional challenge: They will have to market biogas directly to power traders and receive revenues at exchange-based, market prices instead of feed-in fees. The government will, however, compensate them for the difference between the fixed feed-in tariff and the market price.

"The system is more complicated and carries more risk," the spokeswoman said. "The [old] EEG was tried and tested; it created a functioning market system, and there is the risk that the [spirit of the] EEG is being eroded, that this will lead to a development away from the EEG and the investment certainty it previously offered."

Existing plant operators still qualify for fixed feed-in tariffs but can opt to shift to the market premium-based model -- a move that would only be lucrative if market prices were to rise to above the fixed feed-in tariff.

In 2011, the use of biogas for power production expanded by around 21% year-on-year to 17.5 TWh, according to preliminary data from the Working Group on Renewable Energies (AGEE). A further 16.5 TWh was used for heat production.

The government plans to boost biogas-based injections into the national gas grid to 6 billion cubic meters/year by 2020 and to 10 Bcm/year by 2030. By the end of 2010, grid injections from 44 biogas plants amounted to nearly 270 million cu m, based on data by the grid regulator BNetzA, which last summer forecast biogas feeds in 2011 would reach 436 million cu m.

View the original article here

Biogas Storage Holder Installed for Burdens Environmental Plus Video

Burdens Environmental have recently developed their own high tech Anaerobic Digestion plant. On viewing one particular answer to Biogas Storage at the environmental trade show ETSUK 2012, Burdens group recognised immediately the benefits of the simple, modular spherical Biogas Storage unit. This was first and foremost due to the fact that it matched perfectly the ethos behind the design of their new AD plant, in which every component of the system is an individual “plug and play” unit. See that artic;le below our video.

Watch our video below for more Biogas Storage information. While on ths subject of Biogas Storage spheres we thought that this video of an alternative offering would be of interest to our readers.


When Fred Bartlett, consultant to Burdens, first viewed our working model he was so impressed he commented “If I had the cash on me I would order the first one now!”. Following this successful first viewing Base are installing a 25m3 Biogas Storage sphere on AWS Burdens Environmental trial plant in Carmarthenshire, South Wales later this month.

By combining modular components to build systems, the Burdens model can be scaled up as demand increases, helping to manage the risk of a large speculative investment. Every part of each sub assembly can be bought off the shelf and bolted together to grow larger and larger systems. When it becomes unfeasible to keep adding parts and sub-assemblies then a step-change is taken up to the next size of system. In this way all possible AD needs can be catered for in 3 practically sized ranges, capable of processing 30 tonnes of waste per week up to 100 tonnes per week.

Base welcomes enquiries from both partners and potential customers. For further information please contact Fran Buchanan on +44 (0) 117 971 2229, email or visit the Base Structures Biogas Storage microsite.

View the original article here

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Anerobic Digestion Ponds at Piggeries in Australia are Close to Completion

An innovative biogas creation technology, has been developed at NIWA Hamilton, which has support from the Australian pork industry. It provides a renewable electricity and heat energy source.

Watch our largely unrelated video, which nevertheless is highly innovatory. Is this the first flaoting biogas plant?


Returning to Australia: From this article, althougth the terminology of pond is novel, it sounds as if the design must be similar to many US agricultural AD systems. It should prove viable, although in Australia I have not heard that there were any govrnment incentives by the way of tax breaks or green power Feed-in tarrifs, so this designer will have to keeep costs down to an absolute minumum in order to achieve payback, and profit. The

The Australian pork industry association, Australian Pork Limited (APL), has collaborated with NIWA and several pork producers to design and build covered anaerobic pond based anaerobic digestion systems. So far, four systems are currently at various stages of construction.

NIWA worked in collaboration with the New Zealand Pork Industry Board and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) on the New Zealand prototype.

NIWA identified that anaerobic digestion in covered waste ponds holds significant potential to reduce odour and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while providing biogas as a local energy resource.

Australian pig farmers are incentivised to use the technology to reduce farm GHG emissions. The recently introduced Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) allows farmers and land managers to earn carbon credits by storing carbon or reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector. These credits can then be sold to businesses with an emission liability, such as fossil fuel power plants or chemical processors.

"The system makes good sense," says NIWA research engineer Stephan Heubeck, who has driven the development of the technology. "Anaerobic digestion in covered ponds holds significant potential to reduce odour and greenhouse gas emissions from the farming sector. At farm scale, this energy resource can be used for heating and/or to generate electricity."

The first pond based biogas system that NIWA designed was a purpose-built 7000m3 covered anaerobic pond for Steve Lepper's piggery in Taranaki.

NIWA's simple and low cost design has proven effective and reliable over the last two years. At the Lepper piggery, the biogas is used for electricity generation and heating in a combined heat and power unit (CHP). As well as providing the majority of the piggery's electricity needs during daytime, waste heat from the generator is used in a reticulated hot water system for keeping young pigs warm.

Steve Lepper expects to recoup his $120,000 investment ($30,000 of which came from an EECA grant) within three years. The Lepper biogas system won the Small-Medium Business category in EECA awards in 2010.

NIWA is actively promoting new ideas and concepts that enhance New Zealand's economic and environmental performance. New Zealand's primary sector has much to gain from a bolder adoption of covered anaerobic pond based biogas technology. Stephan Heubeck will be at the Waikato Regional Council Effluent Expo, talking about these systems and showcasing how farms may benefit from biogas technology, as part of a workshop on pig effluent co-organised by the New Zealand Pork Industry Board. The event is being held at Mystery Creek Events Centre, in Hamilton on the 28th of February 2012.

View the original article here

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Revolutionary Solution to Anaerobic Digestion Plant Odour!

AirSteril Maxi
Thermal Unit
Now there is a new New Air Purification and Odour Prevention Device which appears to be, by all reports, a revolutionary development for the waste and resource management industry. In recent months it has been trialled by leading waste disposal company Viridor Waste Management and others, and is now resulting in large orders for them as the sole distributor.

AirSteril Maxi Thermal Units in use in a Refuse Transfer Station
The product is from Dax Environmental Ltd., a family owned UK based company that specialises in air purification solutions. Their aim is to help waste facility operators improve the quality of air in enclosed spaces by cutting odours and eliminating bacteria, viruses, mould and fungi in the air and on surfaces.

Their new product is an air purifier called AirSteril, it uses photoplasma oxidation and a unique ultraviolet system, in a unique five stage process, which in combination is far more effective than any previous device in oxidising and removing all the smelly hydrocarbons in the air and simultaneously killing a very high percentage of all the harmful aerosols. The equipment is stated to conform to all UK and EU health and safety regulations.
By unassisted thermal convection, the chosen units from their Maxi Thermal range, are sized to purify the whole airspace.

AirSteril Maxi Thermal is a simple standard 13amp 240V powered, wall bracket mounted unit which takes in contaminated air by convection flow and purifies it using their unique dual lamp system. The ultraviolet light it generates is described as operating at peak UVC wavelengths. One lamp makes ozone (O3) and a second lamp coverts the ozone to hydroxyl radicals (OH) which are short-lived, but act as powerful destroyers of the DNA of all airborne pathogens within the “plasma” inside the unit. For the average waste transfer station tipping floor area the power requirement for a AirSteril Maxi Thermal installation is approximately “18” Watts, of continuous power consumption (all units are run continuously 24/7).

At waste transfer station facilities where it has been trialled by Viridor we have been informed of the following:
“Viridor were overwhelmingly impressed at the efficiency and cost of our technology and it's ability to eliminate both household waste and green waste odours within their storage warehouse facilities. They were also further impressed that our units do not require chemicals or filters and are very low maintenance. They have already calculated that our units will save them 50% of their annual budget in the first year alone, which includes the cost of the units and installation and up to a staggering 90% in subsequent years. This has now led to ourselves starting to install our units at their remaining 90 plus UK depots.”
“The Viridor depot where the first of our trials took place is in the middle of a industrial estate in Lancing, West Sussex and which borders a residential area to the North and West. The wind was carrying the waste odours in all directions which led to them receiving numerous complaints every week. As of today Viridor have not received one complaint since the installation of our units.”

“In brief, our units use a combination of five technologies working in tandem 24/7, 365 days a year to produce what is called photo plasma. This envelops everything in the vicinity and eliminates all bacteria that causes the waste to smell. This technology has been fully tested by the UK Government's Health Protection Agency and is 100% environmentally friendly as well as extremely low cost to run. “
Further information is available from Dax Environmental Ltd, UK who can be contacted on Tel: +44 (0)1206 +44 (0)460004, Fax  +44 (0)1206 548136 or via their website at .

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Stuttgart Anaerobic Digestion Plant Makes Biogas from Overripe Cherries Brown Bananas and Mushy Tomatoes

We hope you find this article about a plant in Stuttgart, Germany which makes biogas out of waste from waste food from wholesale markets, interesting especially since the biogas is also used to fuel vehicles. This is truly "green", and far better than making biogas from food crops, or non-food crops if the crops displace food growing form the land. The following is quoted from the original article. Please, also visit the original site using the link at the bottom of the article:

At present, a large number of drivers have switched over to natural gas as an alternative to diesel or gasoline, as the exhaust emissions produced by natural gas contains less CO2 and free from dirt. However, the major issue is reserves are limited as natural gas is also a fossil fuel. Currently, Fraunhofer researchers have found an alternative solution to get the natural gas from food waste such as overripe cherries, brown bananas and mushy tomatoes that are produced by canteens, university cafeterias and wholesale markets. The food waste thus produced will be fermented to produce methane, which can later be compressed into high-pressure cylinders for use as fuel.


The above video shows how the same idea has is used at another site in the US, in a trailblazing project.

The facility employs several microorganisms to produce biogas from waste, which includes lowest lignocellulose content and high water. However, specific composition of waste that varies each day presents a challenge to the researchers. To address this, the waste is accumulated in many storage tanks, where a range of factors are automatically calculated, including the pH value. The plant is equipped with a specially designed management system to determine the correct balance of waste from various containers that need to be mixed and fed into the microorganisms.

Another major benefit of the Stuttgart plant is that the methane, the liquid filtrate and the sludgy residue can be used for various purposes. The methane can be utilized to power vehicles. The filtrate water, generated by the facility, contains enough phosphorus and nitrogen for use as a culture medium for the algae. In addition, the facility delivers necessary CO2 for the growth of algae. The sludgy residue that remains from the use of all these products is converted into biogas.

Daimler AG and EnBW Energie Baden-W├╝rttemberg are few other firms involved in the project. Other partners of the five-year project are Subitec GmbH und the town Stuttgart, Stulz Wasser- und Prozesstechnik, Netzsch Mohnopumpen, FairEnergie and the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Freising.

View the original article here

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Driving the Cost Out of UK Biogas is Good - But Has Anaerobic Digestion Industry Cost Saving Already Gone Too Far?

(Image: Courtesy
Before Christmas WRAP instigated a project which they will fund, with the intention being to find ways to drive out the cost from UK Anaerobic Digestion. It has tendered for experts to offer ideas and bid for this work, but has this trend already beaten government aspirations already, and not in a good way?

Unfortunately, rather than just cost being beaten out, are we not seeing a depressing image of quality compromised and UK regulations being neglected, with serious consequences for buyers?

Although, ADBA has described 2011 as being a year of resounding success for UK anaerobic digestion, which is undoubtedly true, with new projects on-stream having increased the UK's biogas capacity by 30% in one year: We should be concerned that all this could be very short-lived and much financial credibility ruined, if investors throw good money into poor quality, poor value, biogas installations.

The following press release from Landia would suggest just that. Leading mixer and pump manufacturer Landia says that the biogas industry’s reputation needs protecting from packaged systems that have been trimmed to the bare minimum.

It may be that UK government funded bodies should be instead, looking at ways to ensure that buyers (particularly from the agricultural biogas market) don't end up with inadequate facilities unable to be operated at the high levels of up-time essential for success in this business. (Your reader comments using the box provided on the full article page, are appreciated!)

Here is the Landia Press Release to which I refer:

"Biogas Packages - Landia call for ‘thinking inside the box’

Landia, whose pumps and mixers are installed in biogas plants worldwide, claim that they are among a number of suppliers who bear witness to the increasing amount of manipulation that goes into selling low-margin, all-in-one ‘boxes’.
“It’s not all down to price,” said Landia’s Paul Davies, “but too many customers are making substantial outlays without asking fundamental questions.  Even if the equipment is of reasonable quality, they should consider:  ‘Who is going to look after it?  And:  ‘How long is it going to take to get spares?  And:  Who is going to fit them – and when??”
Davies says that this doesn’t just apply to pumps and mixers, but potentially the feeder wagon, mill, gas detectors, blowers and flares.
He added:  “Those currently financing biogas projects should take a long hard look at what they are committing to and ask:  “What exactly is in the box? 
“The ‘route-one’ purchasing decision makes it easier to raise the all-important finance as most of these overseas companies have reference sites that appear to provide the banks with the words they want to hear.  If I was lending money, especially in what’s supposed to be a recession, I’d want far more long-term security for my investment”.
Davies is also concerned that some overseas firms are providing new ‘biogas packages’ with, for example, CHP engines that don’t always meet UK regulations.
“This is an absurd situation,” he continued, “especially when you have UK companies offering the very same CHP unit that does comply with all regulations.  The industry must address this.
“If I was a German biogas provider, I’d be dealing with almost any country other than UK because our regulations are so demanding – but if you are one of those choosing to ignore some or all of the legislation,” he continued, “then you’ll find everything much, much easier as a supplier, and obviously be more competitive.  
Unfortunately for the biogas industry, some customers currently seem blinded by the attraction of a single supplier”."

Before you say to yourself that Landia has somehow come to the views expressed due to their not being awarded the work. Please be aware that Landia is not a competitor in that way. This is not a case of "sour grapes*". Landia does not provide turnkey Anaerobic digestion Plants, and is not in direct competition with such providers.

(* - Refering to In the fable The Fox and the Grapes, which is attributed to the ancient Greek writer Aesop, and the the fox that isn't able to reach the grapes and declares them to be sour.)

What do you think? Any similar experiences to Landia, or have you found the opposite? Anyone?

Monday, February 13, 2012

New Biogas Analysers from Anri Instruments and Controls for Rising Analytical Needs in A.D. Industry

Biogas analysers are becoming more important as the range of uses if biogas is extended and the need for a consistent quality of gas becomes more important. We thought that we would bring you recently released information about the new Anri Instruments Biogas analyser product, now on the market. We know that our readers like to see a relevant video. The video which accompanies this post is the closest video for relevancy that we could find. We could not find a video by Anri Instruments. If Anri contact us, and there is a video available which we can embed, we will replace this video with theirs, but for now we hope you find the video and this post useful.

Anri Instruments & Controls presents the new Hitech GIR5500 biogas monitoring systems designed for various environmental monitoring applications. The GIR5500 joins Anri’s comprehensive range of fixed and portable biogas analysers.  

> >
The ATEX zone 2 certified GIR5500 biogas analysers join the Hitech GIR5000 range of analysers for use in applications such as digester gas analysis, landfill monitoring, flare stack monitoring, CDM verification (Clean Development Mechanism), Gas to Grid as well as CHP engine protection and efficiency monitoring among others.   
The GIR5500 biogas analysers are designed for continuous measurement of greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide using NDIR sensors in addition to oxygen and hydrogen sulphide by long-life electrochemical sensors.  
Supplied in a robust, weather-proof IP54 GRP enclosure, the GIR5500 gas monitoring systems feature standard outputs and alarm functions along with optional wireless communications. 
View the original article here

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Malaysian Palm Oil Millers Tap In To Huge Biogas Potential

This article, which is quoted from the Malaysia Star, very eloquently describes how Malaysian Palm Oil Millers are increasingly tapping in to the huge biogas potential which exists from their abundant palm wastes, left over once they have extracted the palm oil. The figures are very compelling and we would encourage other industries to look at this example and consider their own organic wastes for similar opportunities.

It impresses me greatly to hear that a whole industry is changing its view on organic waste, from a problem to an asset. It vindicates everything that we have been saying on this blog for the last 4 years.

We have included much of this article, but there is more to read on the a Malaysia Star site. Please, do comment and visit the original web site which you should visit via the link at the bottom of the article.

SOME 10 years ago, the oil palm biomass is widely considered as a bane to many oil palm industry players, from plantations right down to the mills and refineries.
Operators are constantly facing rising costs just to dispose and transport the biomass such as the empty fruit bunches (EFB), shells, mesocarp fibre, felled tree fronds and trunk as well as palm oil mill effluent (Pome) after the process of crushing and extraction of palm oil and palm kernel oil from the fresh fruit bunches.
Now, the situation has changed dramatically. What was previously perceived as oil palm waste, is turning into a lucrative income generator for the industry players.
This has resulted in many local industry players, particularly big oil palm plantation groups to actively venture into renewable energy (RE) projects using oil palm biomass as feedstock for electricity power generation, biogas and industrial steam projects.

These projects augur well for Malaysia's palm oil in the eye of the Western green activists and consumers given the increasing worldwide call for green RE to replace fossil fuel to preserve the environment.
Malaysia is currently the world's second largest producer of crude palm oil, but the world's largest exporter of palm oil products.
Given such an abundant source of oil palm biomass nationwide, the Government is quick to acknowledge the potential of power generation, industry players' participation in selling carbon credit under the the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as well as the creation of more downstream businesses for palm oil millers and refiners.
Therefore, various incentives are now available for local players involved in the RE projects utilising palm oil biomass.
It is projected that oil palm biomass-based downstream activities could generate about RM14bil additional revenue to the country's palm oil industry. This is estimated to be a 20% boost to the current palm and palm products revenue of RM80bil.

Depending on whether the eletricity is sold or utilised in the plants, mills can enjoy incentives such as tax exemption of 100% of statutory income for 10 years, and investment tax allowance of 100% for five years to be offset against 100% of statutory income.
In addition, there is an RE Fund which will be utilised to formulate feed-in-tariff rates sufficient to create justification for companies and or individuals to invest in the RE electricity production.
National palm oil custodian, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) is also urging more local palm oil mills to set up more biogas  plants as a mean to boost their revenue and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
At a recent briefing on the update of the palm oil National Key Economic Area (NKEA), MPOB engineering and processing research division director Dr Lim Weng Soon says there is significant revenue to be generated from selling electricity, palm shell displacement, the carbon credit programme and creation of more downstream business for palm oil millers.
 Wan Asma showing some jatropha fruits which can produce high-quality biodiesel.
“Biogas plants connected to the national grid can potentially be looking at a net profit of RM3.4mil per plant per year based on the maximum electricity tariff of 35 sen per kwh,” says Lim when citing an economic analysis on Pome Biogas from the energy production of a typical 60 tonnes fresh fruit bunches (FFB) per hour mill.
To further accelerate the growth in biogas  plants, Lim says the electricity tariff for RE power purchasing agreement has been increased from the current 21 sen to 35 sen per kwh.
Palm shell displacement can also generate revenue.
He says if biogas is used in the boiler, the shell which was orginally burnt in the boiler to produce energy can now be sold.
“The current market price for palm shell ranges between RM160 to RM200 per tonne,” adds Lim.
He also encourages palm oil millers to participate in the CDM programme under the Kyoto Protocol which is involved in the trading of certified emission reductions (CERs) or carbon credit to developed countries.
“The proceed from the sale of CERs will enable them (millers) to invest in more GHG reduction-related projects,” says Lim.
CDM is a United Nations-sponsored agreement under the Kyoto Protocol whereby industrialised countries finance the reduction of global GHG emissions in developing nations and can also purchase carbon credit.
Based on a 60-tonne per hour FFB mill, MPOB has estimated that 30,000 tonnes to 40,000 tonnes of CERs can be generated. Accordingly, based on Euros 10/CO2e (per tonne CO2 equivalent), each mill can earn about RM1.5mil per annum for 21 years.
As of April this year, 90 projects comprising 53 involving palm-based biomass projects have been registered under the CDM.
Lim is also of view that the creation of downstream business in palm oil mills such as kernel crushing plant, EFB processing plant including EFB fibre plant, briquette and pellet plant, composting plant and palm oil refinery may also accelerate the development of biogas plants in palm oil mills.
Lim estimates that Malaysia can mitigate more than 17 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per annum if the biogas  is channelled into energy.
This is based on 54 million tonnes of Pome generated in 2010. “This is equivalent to the annual emissions of 3 million passenger cars and light trucks. This will protect the environment and make our palm oil products more acceptable,” adds Lim.
Under the palm oil NKEA of the Government's Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), Malaysia is targeting 500 anaerobic digestion plants to be built in 2020.
The AD plants project under the ETP is expected to generate an estimated RM2.9bil in Gross National Income and create 2,000 jobs by 2020.
The MPOB has set up a Biomass Technology Centre (BTC) in Bangi, Selangor, which is a one-stop centre for R&D on and commercialisation of bio-composites from oil palm biomass, especially medium density fibreboard (MDF).
The BTC is equipped with a MDF pilot plant, material processing plants, material-testing and fibre-analysis laboratories, and a few analytical and bio-composite laboratories.
Many can benefit from the facilities and technologies offered by BTC particularly the MDF pilot plant which is able to produce a variety of wood-based panels and other products similar to industry-manufactured panels.
In fact, local wood-based industries can benefit from the facilities and technologies offered by the BTC as the centre allows the industry to carry out R&D, process optimisation and feasibility studies prior to commercialisation.
Meanwhile, Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) head of bioenergy programme, forest products division Dr Wan Asma Ibrahim says the basic research carried out by FRIM on oil palm biomass started in the 1980s.
“The aim was mainly on utilising the oil palm biomass abundantly generated from the palm mills and plantations as an alternative resource to ease the pressure on tropical timbers for local wood-based industries.
“This is in line with the attack by the global community on the environment issues of depleting tropical forests,” adds Asma.
Furthermore, the pre-processing machines and systems to process the oil palm biomass are also developed with local industries to cater for the raw material supply to suit end-users.
The current FRIM projects on oil palm biomass include:
Conversion of waste palm trees funded by United Nations Environmental Programme. The one-year project reports on the baseline study of the availability, characterisation and utilisation of waste palm tree biomass in Malaysia;
“Oil palm biomass is one of Malaysia's resource material. By fully utilising the oil palm biomass, local industry players such as palm oil millers can capture the carbon and help reduce global warming as opposed to letting it biodegrade and releasing the greenhouse gases,” says Wan Asma.
In addition, she says the oil palm industry can have new wealth creation via efficient utilisation of oil palm waste material and also reduce the heavy dependency on fossil fuels.
View the original article here

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Will Negative Publicity for Biofuels Damage Uptake of Anaerobic Digestion of Waste Materials?

"Biofuels tax drivers €18 billion but don't reduce emissions"

The sub-headline above is the one used by the Edie Net website newsroom on 2 February (see quoted exerpt below), and it combines the concerns of a number of campaign groups about EU targets for bio-fuels. That biofuel production from specially grown energy crops isn't really environmentally beneficial, has been realised for the past few years by many in the industry. However, a number of governments are locked-in with historic commitments to biofuel producers to allow them to achieve EU bio-fuel targets that no longer make sense on the basis of sustainability (if they ever did). The biggest example of that is Germany, with several thousand energy crop biogas/ biofuel plants installed and operating.


Biofuel: People and Cars Competing for Grain

In the US last year enough grain to feed 330 million people for one year, at average world consumption levels, was instead turned into ethanol to fuel cars, according to new data from the US Department of Agriculture.
Graphic by Tiffany Farrant

The situation is emphatically NOT the same for waste organic material fed anaerobic digestion plants. The benefits of those remain very good for climate change, but the worry is that the public, and many politicians likewise, will fail to be aware of this. All our readers should bear this in mind and take every opportunity to make this distinction known to the public and their politicians.

Motorists across Europe are to pay €18 billion a year for petrol and diesel as a result of EU biofuel targets that do not to reduce emissions, according to new research today (February 2).
The research, carried out by the Global Subsidies Initiative and the FiFo Institute for Public Economics, for Friends of the Earth Europe and ActionAid claims the planned increase in biofuels use could cost European motorists an extra €94bn to €126bn between now and 2020.
At the same time the report claims demand for biofuels is pushing up global food prices and driving millions of poor people off their land and into hunger. 

In also says at least 37m hectares of land has already been grabbed globally to produce biofuels.
It also alleges Africa is hardest hit with 60% of land grabs for biofuel crops, depriving local communities of land and water essential for growing food. 

Friends of the Earth Europe biofuels campaigner, Robbie Blake, said: "Europe's squeezed consumers and taxpayers are paying the price for a flawed green policy that delivers no environmental benefits. 

"Motorists and the environment will bear the brunt of these ill-conceived biofuel targets - with higher prices at the pump and higher CO2 emissions. 

"Europe must scrap its biofuel targets and subsidies and replace them with more cost-effective policies that actually reduce emissions from transport and don't wreck the environment."

ActionAid's European policy and campaigns manager, Laura Sullivan, said: "Biofuels are an expensive climate con. 

So, may I make a plea to Edie Net and anyone else listening, that when they say this about biofuels (i.e. bio-diesel) made from crops THE SAME DOES NOT APPLY TO BIOFUEL MADE FROM WASTE ORGANIC MATERIALS. THESE ARE ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE AND VERY BENEFICIAL TO CLIMATE CHANGE REDUCTION TARGETS.

We would love to hear your comments on this. Why not submit your comment now! All comments will be viewed before they are visible to users of this site - but we WILL be most likely to approve all genuine commenting efforts!! It won't be a waste of time. Unfortunately, we simply can't let comments be approved without checking them over first as that is an invitation which the spammers would abuse very quickly...

Friday, February 03, 2012

Winter Sale Offer: 70% Off the "Introduction to Waste Technologies" eBook


Yes! This week only, I am offering my recently updated "Introduction to Waste Technologies" eBook at this amazing low price! But hurry! This offer is ONLY available to visitors to my Anaerobic Digestion Blog, and to my loyal Anaerobic Digestion News subscribers receiving this in email form. Don't leave this page without giving this your full attention! It may not be here when you come back, and I don't want to disappoint you.

The new 2012 edition is selling well at 12.99 GBP, but if you act now, you can get your copy for just £3.90  (about $6 USD - foreign buyers pay in your own currency through Paypal secure payment) including tax.

All I ask is that you give me feedback on how you found it, and I am hoping that if you liked it, you will also provide me a with a thoughtful testimonial. The new edition has been updated and extended with new sections, and completely new illustrations, BUT, I would like to make it even better next time around. I need your help to do that.

The difficulty is that although I have honestly had zero refunds, I have not been sent feedback or reviews by my buyers either, since the new version was published last month. I am guilty of this myself. When I buy products, I seldom if ever, take the trouble to comment - especially if I like something, But, I am depending my AD subscribers to help me out on this one by giving me Feedback - that's why I have dropped the price to his truly low level. It's less than the cost of a pizza! It's real steal at this price, although I say it myself, it must surely be an easily justifiable purchase for so many of you.

This eBook is for all those who:
  • are new to Anaerobic Digestion and by obtaining their copy of this eBook will be able to understand where Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas production fits beside the other waste treatment technologies, and the comparative advantages and disadvantages of each
  • already work in the biogas or waste and resource management industry who will, I am sure, pick up many additional insights into the lesser known waste technologies.
Now all that remains is for you to go to the "Introduction to Waste Technologies" eBook sales page.

To get your special price make sure you enter the following COUPON CODE:  SORRY NOW EXPIRED  into the box below the item, when you get to the "Shopping Cart", before you pay.

Make your purchase via THE SALES PAGE HERE NOW at for your SPECIAL REDUCED PRICE.

If you have any queries, or any problem with the transaction, just email me at and I'll make sure you get your purchase. 

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

How to Start a Biogas Business with Massive Growth Potential

New eBook for 2012!
There are many types of biogas plants, from the type that produce methane from sewage in buried (and covered) chambers and which serve individual houses, to the type that are more commonly built in the industrialized nations and are much larger. These commercially run anaerobic digestion plants often process all the organic wastes from large farms, and also in this category are the many municipal waste fed anaerobic digestion plants accepting food wastes at a community scale.

It is the latter category to which we refer in this article, and at this point I think I will surprise many of my readers by saying, that the best approach is not to start by building an Anaerobic Digestion Plant at all!

As a reader of “Anaerobic Digestion News” blog I suspect that most of my readers probably have a very real sense of ambition toward making a success of anaerobic digestion in some way. However, if you ever wish to start up and run your own AD facility, in my view, your best approach is to start with a fairly small windrow composting facility. 

But, choose a site location with plenty of land to allow you to enlarge and diversify your business, over the first 3 to 5 years of operation, before attempting to obtain the additional investment needed for a biogas plant.

By following this path you won't be unique. Far from it! Windrow composting has been the entry point for many of the present waste management biogas companies that I know of in the UK. 

Two examples of companies that have taken this route are:

  • Scottish Water’s Waste Management subsidiary company, at their Deerdykes Organic Waste Processing Facility. This facility was started solely for windrow composting of source segregated green waste from household collections, progressed by adding in-vessel composting tunnels, and within 6 years of its formation, the company had its own Anaerobic Digestion Plant accepting food waste and organic wastes from Scottish industry. As, in the UK, the Water Act prohibits cross-funding by Water Companies of their commercial subsidiary companies, we can be assured that the investment to develop the facility so rapidly, came from a track record of internally won profits.
  • The CountryStyle Group is another example. You can see this when you look at their company history page, on their website at: . They are clearly rightfully proud of their company history, as their growth path is a successful one, as the timeline on their web site shows:
Countrystyle Composting Ltd was formed to develop recycling for commercial and domestic green waste and other organic waste streams in 1996.

Now, in 2012, it is clear that they have found substantial external funding to add to company earnings, and have become a fully fledged waste management company offering a very wide range of waste management services.

2011 in particular must have been a busy year. Countrystyle report that they acquired the Halstead Renewable Power Project with full planning permission for the development of an Anaerobic Digestion plant in Essex. Not only that, the Group also bought a further three in-vessel composting facilities from the businesses and assets of County Mulch Ltd.

By starting as a composting organisation, and choosing the windrow process the company can start with the minimum of delay and at a rock-bottom start-up cost. Once the site gate is open and your business is accepting green waste, winning business is far easier, and all the clients you build a relationship with can remain with you as your simple compost pad based business evolves. Evolution will very often take the business into the addition of in-vessel composting first, and then also adding anaerobic digestion. In fact, you could go much broader and add waste collection services, and skip hire, as CountryStyle has. 

Financial backers all require facility owners to show contracts for a secure supply of organic waste of at least 60% of plant capacity, and sometimes substantially more, before they will lend. You will be able to sail past that particular hurdle if you simply divert existing waste flows from your composting activities to the new AD Plant!

Both Composting and Anaerobic Digestion, result in the production of compost. Compost is used as fertilizer and soil amendment in farming and horticulture. Compost helps put the necessary nutrients back in the soil to help your plants to grow, and demand is growing for it, as the word gets around about just how good the Quality Composts produced today are proving. 

The demand for composting capacity, by local municipal waste disposal department officers is on the increase because it is a form of recycling that helps minimize landfill. The governments of many countries are committed to continually reducing limits on the waste sent to landfill, and a proportion of that goes straight to composting as collection services are adjusted and household recycling rates are maximized.

In a highly competitive business world, I firmly believe that the benefits of starting a composting business far outweigh the time and effort needed to turn it into a business. As a composting business owner you will be providing a service in a growing marketplace which will always be needed, recession or not. You will also be offering a useful product which is in increasing demand. In how many other business areas can you say that both the raw material supply is increasing as well as the product demand?

Clearly, there are quite a few steps, and hurdles, to getting a business like this open for business. You will, for example, need to write a draft business plan as you determine your sources, methods, space requirements and capabilities. You will need to focus upon how the available space and sources of available raw waste to make compost will directly influence the volume of compost you produce. Capital investment is, of course, unavoidable, but the level of spend is the lowest of any process in the waste management industry. 

However, it is all very well to say start small, and by building your business over time you will lessen the risk and investment needed. But, for most people who could truly do this, knowing just how to get started, who to talk to, and what to do each step of the way, seems just too daunting a task. If that happens they can really lose out massively by doing nothing.

That’s why I have invested considered time to produce an ebook, supported by unique software, which I have called the “Windrow Composting Business Blueprint”. This eBook was created to help all those that want to have their own business, be their own boss, and retire in comfort, having sold their business, or handed it down to their children. 

If that appeals to you at all, then you might like to visit our web page at [ - Product Not Currently Available] for more evidence of the HOT opportunity this really is right now!