Saturday, March 24, 2012
Leachate can be digested anaerobically, and wouldn’t there be plenty of energy such a plant could produce?
Instead of being a heavy cost burden, might Anaerobic Digestion of Landfill Leachate for Energy Generation even be profitable! Click hear to read this article. We would be delighted to see your views/comments on this.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Biogas in Danger - Will Misuse of the Term for Process Gas Methane Devalue its Sustainability Credentials?
I have seen a couple of so called "biogas" articles published internationally recently which I must admit confused me greatly, and I have been taking in interest in the subject of anaerobic digestion and biogas for more than 5 years, and should know enough not to get confused by AD terminology!
The articles were about biogas production from fossil fuels, and much more about the methane content of what in my view would be correctly called "process gas", "syngas" "synthetic gas". Methane created through this route when the source is from mineral energy deposits is not considered to be sustainable due to the high contribution that the carbon dioxide emitted during combustion adds to climate changing greenhouse gases.
That left me thinking that others will surely also be wondering whether they had misunderstood the meaning of "biogas" as has been commonly accepted until now, and the experts should speak out about the confusing usage of "biogas" to non-sustainable methane production. After, all nobody hitherto has called "natural gas" "biogas", and to use the term in this way is truly nonsensical.
Googling for a definition of biogas immediately brings:
"Gaseous fuel, esp. methane, produced by the fermentation of organic matter."
and, similarly from Wikipedia:
"Biogas typically refers to a gas produced by the biological breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Organic waste such as dead plant and animal ..."
Also, in defence of this assertion I would point to the fact that in the UK, the Trade Association for Anaerobic Digestion companies is called the AD and Biogas Association, and the official UK government sponsored Anaerobic Digestion web site ( http://www.biogas-info.co.uk/ ) says that: "Biogas is a mixture of gases produced by AD."
I am glad to be able say that Blog reader Ruzena Svedelius is of the same opinion, and has kindly agreed to my quoting from an email she sent me recently as follows, and in which and she takes my concerns a stage further:
Dear colleagues in [the] biogas field,
[The] purpose of this message is to inform you about a big danger that will affect further development of biogas systems. Recently I discovered that the definition of biogas has been altered in an unacceptable manner when the product of thermal gasification is also called biogas, which in fact is synthetic gas, and [in such processes there are normally] several elements remaining in the tar and corrosive ash.
Questions that I intend to send to various people in the EU [are]:
What is actually happening with sustainability? Is there a danger that the fundamental meaning of sustainable development is lost because of low priority for ecological and social sustainability of our decision-makers compared to financial sustainability?
As a conscious [concerned] citizen, I demand transparent answers to these questions.
1) Where is the comparison between ecological, economic and social sustainability between two ways of converting bioenergy, i.e. the sun's energy that is biochemically bound in biomass and renewable organic material?
a) Methane fermentation (Anaerobic Digestion), i.e. microbial fermentation to two valuable products BIOGAS containing mainly methane and carbon dioxide, and BIOFERTILIZER that is important for the recycling of plant nutrients and soil fertility.
b) Thermal gasification process, i.e. where conversion is in progress under temperatures between 800 and 1200 °C and high pressure and the product is SYNGAS - gas consisting mainly of nitrogen, hydrogen and carbon monoxide, with trace amounts of methane and the rest is TAR and various levels of CORROSIVE ASH.
2) Who is responsible for misleading definitions of BIOGAS presented at: http://iate.europa.eu/Do you agree with me and Ruzena that biogas, is NOT SYNGAS?
iatediff/SearchByQueryLoad.do? method=load a) http://iate.europa.eu/ iatediff/FindTermsByLilId.do? lilId=880021%26langId=en b)http://iate.europa.eu/ iatediff/FindTermsByLilId.do? lilId=1154199%26langId=en
3) Is it possible to fulfill the following objectives with basic knowledge overridden?
a) The European Union is undergoing a profound transformation, in moving from an industrial to a knowledge-based society.
b) Identify promotional and catalytic actions needed for delivery of a sustainable knowledge society. http://www.epractice.eu/files/
A%20Green%20Knowledge% 20Society%20An%20ICT%20policy% 20agenda%20to%202015%20for% 20Europe%20s%20future% 20knowledge%20society%20-% 20Final%20Report.pdf
Do you agree that all authors that seek to publish scientific papers purporting to describe "biogas" should be asked to correct their use of this term unless it refers to biogas from fermentation/ the Anaerobic Digestion process?
PLEASE add your views to the comment box below, and help us avert this danger to the clear understanding by all that use of the term " biogas" should be for the sustainable product, in my definitions, and so that biogas can continue to be be easily understood to be so by the general public.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The Thames Water site at Didcot is the first of its kind in the UK to use Food Waste Biogas for Grid Injection
A contract has been awarded to supply and install upgrading equipment at the UK's latest food waste biogas to grid injection project in Stockport to Chesterfield BioasGas (CBG), a subsidiary of Sheffield based Pressure Technologies.
According to the company, in common with the first successful UK venture of its kind at Didcot, Oxfordshire, which opened in October 2010, at its hearts the Stockport facility will feature an upgrading unit designed and manufactured by CBG's partner, Greenlane Biogas of New Zealand.
The company said that the modular 'Kanuka' unit will take the raw biogas produced by Anaerobic Digestion (AD) of food waste collected from local hotels and restaurants and, using a water-wash process, upgrade it to 98% pure biomethane.
CBG's managing director, Stephen McCulloch, explained: "Our unit uses the proven Greenlane water-wash process which is successfully operating at over 60 sites around the world."
The unit is capable of processing up to 300 cubic metres of gas per hour and features a newly patented water-flooded screw compressor, according to CBG.
The facility, which the company expects to open in Autumn 2012, will be operated by Fairfield Bio Energy - a partnership between green energy firm Bio Group Ltd and Centrica, the owners of British Gas.
The company also claimed that while its first project at the Thames Water site at Didcot used raw biogas captured during the treatment of waste water, the use of gas derived from a food waste demonstrates the versatility of its system in coping with variable inputs from AD.
Once operational CBG said that the plant will generate enough renewable gas to supply the natural gas requirements for 1400 homes.Read More
Pipe Dreams in the U.S.
In South Eastern U.S. the low price of electricity and poor grid interconnections mean that landfill gas to energy projects just aren't economic. But as one joint venture in Tennessee is demonstrating, that needn't mean the gas goes unharnessed. Ben Messenger investigates a recently completed lasndfill gasto grid upgrading project at the Meadow Branch Landfill.
RHIs Welcomed Easing Biogas to Grid Injection Still Required
The UK Government has set the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) level at 6.5p/kWh for Biomethane injection to the grid, guaranteed for 20 years.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Here is a quick posting for all our UK based agricultural Anaerobic Digestion Newsblog subscribers.
If you have not seen this yet, the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) launched a free consultancy service for farmers, in February 2012, who are considering whether AD is a viable option for their business.
This sounds like a first pass pre-feasibility analysis for those that are eligible, and could be very useful for a large number of farmers.
However, you must be a paid subscriber to MRW magazine to read their article and receive complete, unrestricted access to mrw.co.uk
If you are a MRW subscriber just sign in with your email address and get started!
The Anaerobic Digestion Newsblog is not a MRW subscriber, so we would appreciate it if some kind person who is a MRW member and is able to read about this has time, would please come back here and comment so that our readers can see what you thought of this offer. There also may be a link direct on the ADBA web site but I have no time to look right now! So please comment on that if possible as well!
Sunday, March 11, 2012
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO GO www. anaerobic-digestion.com AND SHARE THIS MESSAGE.
Why are we keen right now WITH YOUR HELP to use the power of sharing on the web to publicise Anaerobic Digestion?
The reason is that worldwide the idea of Anaerobic Digestion needs to be spread quickly, and this need for a public appreciation of AD is accelerating as separate food waste collection with AD and biogas production is becoming much more common.
This is a particularly vital time for understanding leading to informed public support for AD in the UK.
We are a United Kingdom based blog at The Anaerobic Digestion Community Blogspot Blog, and for us there is a great opportunity to increase the uptake of separate food waste collection, plus treatment of this waste by AD and Biogas production. It comes in the form of a planned £250 million government subsidy for improved waste collection up for grabs by those local authorities whose residents that have been experiencing difficulties due to the introduction of mixed (black bag) waste collections. These are often inner city boroughs with many multi-storey flats with rubbish chutes and ground floor waste storage ill-equipped to store putrescible wastes for a fortnight.
At the same time the UK coalition government has announced its strongest ever political support for AD as an important contributor to the UK’s mix of renewable energy sources. These sources must be developed fast if there is to be compliance with EU and climate change carbon emissions reduction commitments already made by the UK, and many other nations. (Source: DEFRA Anaerobic Digestion Action Plan, 2012)
So, this is a great opportunity for increasing separate food waste collections which generate a type of organic waste which is highly productive in biogas output, when anaerobically digested.
To quote Michael Chesshire - Director, Greenfinch Biocycle
"If you give householders the wherewithal to recycle they do it diligently. For example, kitchen waste can be recycled very effectively if householders are given a combination of a kitchen caddy, a roll of corn-starch bags and a small kerbside container for weekly collection. Then alternate weekly collections of other materials become reasonable. We can then process it to produce biogas and biofertiliser, generating renewable electricity and heat and returning valuable nutrients and organic matter to the soil for the next round of crops."
(Source: CIWM, New Technologies Matter Conference, 2007)
So - PLEASE CLICK HERE TO GO www. anaerobic-digestion.com AND SHARE THIS MESSAGE.
Monday, March 05, 2012
A small school in the countryside has built an anaerobic digestion plant, and is turning its food waste into energy, This school is located in the rolling hills of South Africa's Eastern Cape province, and implementing highly sustainable solutions for its agricultural and human waste, disposal, plus creating methane gas for cooking, and a nutrient-rich fertiliser. Finally, we hear that also recycling its water.
(Note: Video content is not associated with the school in the article.)
Read on and enjoy the good news in our article:
Using an integrated biogas system, the Three Crowns Rural School in Lady Frere District is teaching learners, the community, and engineers from around the country a new way of dealing with water, waste, and energy.
According to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, if a business as usual approach is followed, South Africa's freshwater resources will be fully depleted by 2030, unable to meet the needs of people or industry. "The problems will be made worse by more frequent incidents of water pollution and increased costs of water treatment," said the 2010 CSIR report author, Peter Ashton.
With over 40 percent of South Africa's dams affected by eutrophication (the process by which water becomes too nutrient-rich and prone to toxic algae blooms), acid mine drainage threatening to poison the water table around heavily populated Gauteng Province, and, according to the Department of Water Affair's 2010/11 Green Drop report, 56 percent of the nation's 821 sewage works either in a "critical state" or delivering a "very poor performance," arid South Africa must develop economical ways of effectively recycling its naturally scarce water resources.
Funded by the Development Bank of South Africa, the Chris Hani District Municipality's Environmental Management System Programme has been doing just that in its two-year-old pilot project at the Three Crowns Rural School.
The school's zero-waste system feeds organic waste from the school's kitchen, gardens, and toilets into an anaerobic "digester" (an oxygen-limiting, gas-tight enclosed pit) where microbial action breaks down the waste, creating methane "bio-gas" in the process.
The digested effluent is sent to a series of ponds, where first the remaining pollutants combine with oxygen and are transformed into a nutrient-rich "algal slurry" that makes excellent fertiliser. The water that emerges from the first pond shuttles to another, where fish like tilapia can feed on remaining algal content. The fishpond eco-system produces another algal fertiliser, and the pond water is irrigation- ready.
The final result is a system that transforms 100 percent of organic waste into biogas for cooking, pathogen-free algal fertiliser, and recycled pathogen-free water for irrigation of the school's gardens. The project also provides an impressive life-science laboratory where learners daily witness and come to understand concepts like decomposition, aerobic and anaerobic biological action, and sustainability.
"It's nothing new for the children to talk about digesters and bacteria and the algal pond and sterilisation. Hopefully these guys coming out of the school will help advance this type of thinking in the future," said Mark Wells of People's Power Africa (PPA), a consortium of environmental biotechnologies companies that was commissioned to install, manage, and monitor the system.
Francois Nel, head of environmental health and community services for Chris Hani District Municipality, emphasised the project's ability to affect the way people think. "The first thing is the education of the children and changing the mindset in terms of energy, waste, and climate change. And the ownership - the children take ownership of the environment and the importance of protecting it."
And it is not only the children who benefit. "This project is very, very important. First I can say to my own life, because I learned a lot of things about nature," said Zothe, the school caretaker who oversees the feeding of the bio-digester. "We've learned how to use things that are connected to nature, like we have a solar cooker, bio-digester, wind power energy, so we don't have to spend a lot of money, and we don't waste."
The Three Crowns project has been a great success, with four schools requesting installation of the same system, and the nearby communities of Intsikayethu and Engcobo planning to install the systems on a much larger scale.
It has also won numerous awards, including the 2011 Netherlands-sponsored Moolah for Amanzi award for best concept in water and sanitation projects, two Eskom ETA awards, and an Eastern Cape flagship project award.
Though adoption of the Three Crowns Project appears to be taking off, not far away in East London's Buffalo City Municipality, another People's Power Africa project is attempting to prove its worth to a sceptical municipality.
Like Three Crowns, PPA's "eMonti Green Hub" is a one-stop shop to recover resources (e.g., nutrient- filled fertiliser, methane gas, and recycled water) from waste, but this time the "feed" includes municipal wastewater, sewage sludge, and the organic fraction of municipal solid waste including garden and abattoir refuse.
Currently 10 million litres of that "feed" in the form of raw sewage are dumped daily into the surf zone by Buffalo City's defunct Second Creek Wastewater Treatment Works. The green hub proposes to use a large-scale anaerobic digester that is heated in continuously stirred reactors to more rapidly process that waste (woody garden refuse would fuel the heating).
Based on PPA's feasibility study, the green hub is projected to produce methane biogas at a rate of 300 kilogrammes/hour (a head-high gas canister holds 40 kg), resulting in "green" methane gas, which can provide a sustainable source of income to run the hub. Mercedes Benz South Africa has already provided a letter of interest to purchase the biomethane for use in their paint shop air dryers and ovens.
Processing the daily "feedstock" (including eight million litres of industrial wastewater, eight million litres of domestic wastewater, two million litres of sewage sludge, 48 tonnes of food waste, 16 tonnes of abattoir waste, and 82 tonnes of garden refuse), the hub would yearly generate 5.8 billion litres of recycled water, 2,300 tonnes of biomethane gas, and 10,000 tons of bio-fertiliser, while diverting 30,000 tonnes of waste from landfills every year.
"That's where it becomes so exciting," Wells explained. "Especially when you look at what's happening in the environment, the municipality needs to get its head around the huge amounts of bio-resources that they're currently not using at all, that are just being thrown into landfill sites and into the sea. It just doesn't make sense."
Ultimately PPA wants the hub to benefit local communities, and so plans are for the plant to be held mostly in a joint community and municipal environmental trust, with additional private and public equity. Unfortunately getting the hub operational will involve cutting through extensive administrative red tape, which relies on changes in the attitudes of the city's engineers and administrators.
"We know that everything is possible, but getting the city's approval and endorsement has been a struggle. These projects are very difficult to put together because you're talking about municipal resources and there's all sorts of issues around that. Plus municipalities have to change the way they do things. We're pushing the boundaries. We have the technical understanding, but now it's the how to make it real," Wells said.
Francois Nel agreed that PPA would face an uphill battle in getting the hub approved. "It's a brilliant idea. The problem is that people don't understand. They don't understand the environment, and they don't understand climate change," Nel commented, recalling how even now he struggles to convince engineers to "come to the party," despite the Three Crowns' success.
Nonetheless, PPA and its partners anticipate that the hub's environmental impact assessment will soon begin, and are working with the municipality on moving the public consultation process forward. They remain optimistic that by the end of 2013 the hub will begin producing the nutrients, energy, and recycled water.
"Essentially we see this as the people's resources. Even if the municipality is in charge of it, they're throwing it away, so we want to get the benefits from those resources back into community. Even if we don't capitalise on it ourselves, the project will go forward. The main thing is to solve the problem and demonstrate these solutions," said Wells.
Sunday, March 04, 2012
Not long ago we wrote about the bog opportunity that palm oil plantation waste provides for renewable energy production, so we are pleased to be able to carry this article as Sawit announces the success its first biogas plant.
(The video below is about biogas from palm oil, but the company is not associated with the organisation described in the article.)
The Sawit Kinabalu Group on Thursday officially launched that itwill develop a biogas power plant at its Apas Balung estate refinery in Tawau, which has proven very effective in reducing the estate's electricity cost.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who officiated at the opening, is confident that the presence of the biogas plant will also help the Group's image as an environment-friendly organisation, apart from reducing its operational costs.
He said the State Government very much welcomed the initiative, in line with its policies and halatuju which emphasises on sustainable economic development.
"I would like to stress that the State Government is committed in developing this State without disregarding environmental conservation," he said.
He also hoped more oil palm companies would emulate the move by the Group by venturing into new fields like biogas power plant development, which not only contributes to protecting the environment but also boosts the development of renewable energy in the State.
The Group's Managing Director, Othman Walat, who was also present, said the biogas plant has helped in the Group's effort to increase its efficiency and profit to RM3.28 million per annum.
The biogas plant has helped the Apas Balung estate refinery in reducing its diesel utilisation cost by 85 per cent, he said, adding the percentage is equivalent to increasing the refinery's production income by RM1.14 million a year.
Othman said that apart from reducing the refinery's production cost, because of the diesel utilisation cost, the biogas plant was also built primarily to help reduce environmental pollution in the Balung area.
"I was informed by the surrounding residents that since the biogas plant began its operation, bad smell coming from the refinery has significantly reduced. The liquid waste discharge from the refinery also went down from 91-100ppm to 30-40ppm or equivalent to a 60 per cent reduction," he said.
He said the Group intends to continue with this effort to boost further its production income through its "turning waste into wealth" project, that is making use of the oil palm waste for various purposes.
Among its plans are to build a livestock feed production mill based on palm waste at the estate as well as seven more biogas plants for its other refineries within the next five years, he said.
This is in line with the Group's mission to create sustainable wealth by running environment-friendly business, he said, adding all these are part of fulfilling the organisation's corporate obligation.
Saturday, March 03, 2012
Could Ananerobic Digestion be Rivalled by Microbial Fuel Cell Which Produces Biogas and Energy from Wastes
I hope that readers will forgive me applying a healthy dose of scepticism to the following announcement. I wish all alternative energy technologies success, and have nothing against this one, it is just that at the current pilot scale of 1 cubic metre, it is surprisingly hopeful to suggest that this can be successfully applied to food waste, and that achieved with only £150,000 funding.
(The video below is about a different unrelated microbial fuel cell development.)
Also, is this really biogas (methane) which is being referred to here, or a process gas, which it would have to be if the gas is "hydrogen rich"? Read the article, visit the original website, and give us your views:
A 'Microbial Fuel Cell' (MFC) has been developed by a team of scientists and businesses in the midlands to help farmers and dairy producers dispose of slurry, and at the same time harvest energy which can be re-used on site.
The team consists of Sutton-in-Ashfield based Lindhurst Engineering, scientists at The University of Nottingham, dairy products co-operative Arla Foods and treatment systems company Clearfleau.
The developers said that pilot testing is being undertaken at dairy and farm sites over the next two years to develop a commercially viable and affordable production model.
The iNet's contribution will focus on looking at how the process can also be used to harness energy from the different types of waste produced during food manufacturing.
Testing will be carried out with selected food manufacturers that produce a range of different food waste products, before three large-scale trials later this year.
Current methods of dealing with the organic content in industrial effluent are costly and waste the potential energy contained within it, according to the team, which claimed that its MFC technology is able to harness the energy - hydrogen rich biogas - using a series of anodes and cathodes.
According to Nottingham University, microbial fuel cells use bacteria to oxidise the organic compounds in the slurry or dairy by-products and generates a current. The process produces not only electricity, but carbon dioxide, hydrogen and water.
After trialling the technology last year in a one cubic metre capacity pilot plant, the team said that it has calculated that a larger production scale sized cell will be able to supply a farm with a large proportion of its annual energy needs if fed with slurry from 200 cows.
Now the team is turning its attention to how the technology could be used to help food manufacturers to dispose of food waste and create energy. The developers said that they are currently looking at the different types of food waste produced by food manufacturers during processing, with the aim of developing a pre-treatment system to transform solid food waste into a suitable consistency for the MFC.
This will be followed by trials with a number of manufacturers to look at commercial viability of the MFC and pre-treatment process, along with analysis of how much energy and biofuel would be created and the cost savings incurred from the type and volume of waste the business generates.
According to the team, trials have proved that the system works and it has now been awarded funding from a number of sources, including the Food and Drink iNet which has given the project a 154,000 grant to develop a pre-treatment process to enable the Microbial Fuel Cell to take solid food waste as well as waste water.
Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), The Food and Drink iNet co-ordinates innovation support for businesses, universities and individuals working in the food and drink sector in the East Midlands.
"This project has tremendous potential for the food and drink sector, as the disposal of food waste can be a costly affair," said Food and Drink iNet director Richard Worrall. "If the waste can be disposed of easily on-site, and at the same time create hydrogen which can be turned into electricity, it's a win, win situation."
As well as investment by the companies involved, the development has also received funding from the government's Technology Strategy Board (TSB), involving a two-year KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership).
Martin Rigley, managing director at Lindhurst Engineering added: "This will give us chance to trial our technology on a range of waste food products and enable us to tailor our system to various waste streams."
"The ultimate objective is to have a cost-effective way of releasing the inherent energy contained within waste at source. This will lead to cost savings in handling the waste with the added advantage of a payback from the energy released," concluded Rigley.
Friday, March 02, 2012
The announcement that Hamworthy Oil and Gas Systems, a leading developer and supplier of gas handling and biogas liquefaction technology, has been awarded its first contract for a biogas liquefaction plant in Oslo, with Norwegian Cambi AS, a specialist in biowaste treatment is destined to be the first of many this year. It may be that there are so many biogas liquefaction projects announced this year that we will look back and say 2012 was the year when the industry first realised the potential for "upgrading" biogas for what it is. In one word it's "massive".
Will 2012 be the Year Biogas Liquefaction Comes of Age?
Biogas liquefaction, which also entails purification to remove impurities which would otherwiase cause corrosion is not a new technology, and once the initial investment has been made it is not all that expensive, and yet it unlocks the BIG advantage of biogas energy in this form because it is storable. It is also a great low emissions transport fuel. In fact, until those guiys always promising the coming dawn of hydrogen fuel - which never quite arrives - have made it easily, safely and cheaply, storable biomethane upgraded as a LNG equivalent fuel wins hands down.
The biogas plant announced today will treat 50,000 tons of food waste a year and produce around 14.000 Nm3/day of biomethane. Some are even saying that NOT to upgrade by adding biogas liquifaction, and to generate electricity (+ Combined Heat and Power (CHP)) alone from biogas is a deplorable waste! Your views are welcome. Please comment below, from the article page.
Here, below our video (which if you watch it to the end explains biogas upgrading) is most of the rest of the article (visit the original webiste via the link for the full article):
The liquefaction plant is to be delivered early 2013 and Hamworthy Oil & Gas Systems' responsibilities will include feed gas compression, biogas cleaning & liquefaction and liquid biogas storage and export.
"We were able to employ our knowledge and expertise in liquid gas handling gained from 30 years experience in the marine and oil & gas markets to secure this breakthrough contract," said Reidar Strande, Hamworthy Oil & Gas Systems, LNG Business Unit Director.
Hamworthy's liquefaction plant design is based on conventional components and uses a plate-fin heat exchanger for the liquefaction process. The technology is scalable upwards to a capacity of at least 60 tons a day.
The biogas plant is located in Nes, Romerike, an agricultural region northeast of Oslo, and is designed and delivered by Cambi AS to the highest specifications in the biowaste sector. The produced biomethane will be used as biofuel for buses in Oslo, putting the entire region at the forefront of environmental innovation.
Renewable gas is one of the most environmentally friendly alternative fuels. Replacing diesel with upgraded biogas to fuel 135 buses will reduce fossil CO2 emissions by 10,000 tonnes a year. Also NOx and particles emissions will be significantly reduced, meaning cleaner air and less noise.
The EU has set a target to reach a 20% share of energy from renewable sources within 2020. In order to reach this ambitious and important goal, large investments have been made and they will continue to grow in this sector.