Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Assessing Anaerobic Digester Cost for On-Farm Manure Management Projects

For the right farm business or operator of any process which produces as a by-product a consistent organic waste, an anaerobic digester producing biogas coupled to a generator, can be an excellent long-term investment. The methane biogas will cost less as a fuel than a diesel generator or a standard natural gas generator.

The best examples of implementing an anaerobic digester can mean a facility pays nothing for fuel. Facilities that need to replace a life-expired genset should consider all options, and include a biogas digester model within their energy options.

The decision should ultimately be based on what works best for a particular site and operator when the balance between investment risk incurred by adopting an Anaerobic Digestion process, against the benefits.

But, unfortunately, finding anaerobic digestion cost data to help put a price to the power over a set payback period is as hard as ever.

Government Bodies Who Provide Information on Anaerobic Digestion Costs

Looking to Government Bodies Who Provide Information on their view on Anaerobic Digestion costs, does not prove very productive, nor does it lead to any help with in-depth cost analysis.

We concentrated on finding costs for so called "manure management" biogas plants, and we did find the following statements:
Cost estimates for installing anaerobic digester systems [given here] have been based on manure-fed on-farm digesters. The estimated cost for a digester alone is between $400 and $700 per 1000 pounds of livestock weight to install. For dairy farms producing electricity, the installed cost is estimated at $800 to $1200 per cow for anaerobic digester system installation. The engine-generator can be up to half the cost of the project. Besides installation, it is important to consider insurance, operation and maintenance costs. Annual operation and maintenance costs can range from $11,000 for a small digester to $51,000 for a large system. The U.S. E.P.A.’s AgSTAR program has advised that anaerobic digester installation may not be economical for farms with less than 500 animal units (an animal unit is defined as 1000 pounds live weight), based on energy payback and using solids for bedding or selling as a soil amendment. If generating electricity, the electricity purchase price will have a large influence on the payback rate. Most systems can not be justified on producing electricity alone. Avoided costs of using digested solids as bedding and off setting some heating costs are usually necessary to justify the investment. As anaerobic digester technology continues to improve, it may become more feasible to install anaerobic digester systems on smaller farms. An anaerobic digester system does not run itself, it is not self-maintaining. [There are additional costs.] The system requires continuous monitoring, which is often done using computer-operated sensors. An anaerobic digester system requires temperature and pH regulation, as well as feedstock consistency. It will usually require 30 minutes to an hour per day to make adjustments and perform maintenance. Most systems that have failed were in part because of a lack of oversight and a person to champion the system.
www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/1057/... Agstar Themselves Say:
The profitability of a biogas digester depends on the size of the operation, the method of manure management and local energy costs. According to AgSTAR, biogas recovery can be profitable and most effective at existing operations of at least 500 cows or 2,000 swine. Manure should be collected frequently (at least once a week) in a liquid, slurry or semi-solid state. Any electricity that is not used on-site can usually be sold to the local utility.
http://www.nrdc.org/energy/renewables/biogas.asp and Agstar also provides the following table of manure management anaerobic digestion costs: Table of Costs for Farm Manure Biodigester In addition to the above we have found some examples of press releases which provide at least some indication of the cost of their Anaerobic Digestion Plants, and may be worth reading in full to find information about individual biogas project costs.
The small city of Junction City is home to Oregon's first anaerobic digester, at the family-owned and run Lochmead Farms. Although not an incredibly new technology, Lochmead Farms, a dairy producer, is truly a frontrunner in green dairy technology in Oregon. The digester captures methane gas from cow manure and burns it in a turbine to create power. The anaerobic digester cost $2.2 million and was built by Revolution Energy Solutions of Washington, D.C. The digester creates 1.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, enough to power 300 homes each year. So much energy is produced that there is enough to sell some to a local public utility. The dairy farm itself, which was founded in 1941, has been at the cutting edge in alternative energy sources as well as local food and vertical business integration. The farm is building solar panels and produces 80 percent of the hay for its dairy cows.
On 26th August 2013, the second biogas plant at the Viessmann Company’s headquarters in Allendorf (Eder) was inaugurated. The first biogas plant went into operation three years ago. The new wet fermentation plant built by its subsidiary, Schmack Biogas, cost around €7 million. The biogas plant produces 1.5 million cubic metres of biogas annually, enough to provide about 1,650 households with electricity and 370 households with heat.
http://books.google.com/books?... ...biogas+cost?

This article has so far, we freely admit, not yet provided an abundance of data on the cost of anaerobic digestion (biogas) digesters for manure management.

We thought this while writing and tried searching for "anaerobic digester calculator" by using the Google search engine, and while wondering whether our readers might be able to calculate their costs that way we discovered that such calculators do exist. First, we found an interactive Excel spreadsheet calculator.

This one is an alternative method for assessing the viability of an on-farm biogas digester, and is available to members of the National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFC} which you can join for a charge. There are two membership levels and the cost of these starts at just £80 + VAT (UK Pounds).

Follow the link below for more information: http://www.nnfcc.co.uk/about-nnfcc/member-benefits

 Other biogas digester cost calculators are also available at: http://biorealis.com/wwwroot/digester_revised.html and http://www.esru.strath.ac.uk/EandE/Web_sites/03-04/biomass/calculator.html

Friday, November 08, 2013

What is Biogas and How Has It Been Hijacked?

The term 'biogas' is commonly used to refer to a gas which has been produced by the biological breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. The gases methane, hydrogen and carbon monoxide can be combusted or oxidized with oxygen and the resultant energy release allows biogas to be used as a fuel. In the same way that ethanol and biodiesel have been around for a long time, biogas has a long history. Back in the 13th century, explorer Marco Polo noted that the Chinese used covered sewage tanks to generate power. The author of Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe  – referred to biogas technologies back in the 17th century. Biogas has been used widely in the UK for centuries and back in 1895, the city of Exeter used gas from sewage to power its city street lamps. According to its composition, biogas presents characteristics interesting to compare with natural gas and propane. Biogas is a gas appreciably lighter than air, it produces twice as less calories by combustion with equal volume of natural gas.

Biogas is Awesome!

Biogas is also known as biomethane (when further purified and compressed), swamp gas, landfill gas, or digester gas—is the gaseous product of anaerobic digestion (decomposition without oxygen) of organic matter. In addition to providing electricity and heat, biogas is useful as a vehicle fuel. When processed to purity standards, biogas is called renewable natural gas and can substitute for natural gas as an alternative fuel for natural gas vehicles. The gas has a composition which is usually 50% to 80% methane and 20% to 50% carbon dioxide with traces of gases such as hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen. In contrast, natural gas is usually more than 70% methane with most of the rest being other hydrocarbons (such as propane and butane) and traces of carbon dioxide and other contaminants.

What is Biogas - Its "one of the most untapped sources of natural and sustainable energy available"

Biogas is one of the most untapped sources of natural and sustainable energy available. It is used all over the world and by far the largest number of biogas plant (technically known as anaerobic digestion plants) are relatively small installations and are found in the developing nations. India for instance has more than 12 million digesters). The Africa Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP) 70,000 biogas plants in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal and Burkina Faso. That project alone will be expected to be providing about half a million people access to a sustainable source of energy by this year 2013. Biogas plants can be useful resources wherever you are. An example of this is the Mount Everest area. It is a destination for climbers and trekkers from all over the world. While visiting our world’s highest mountain, climbers, trekkers, and walkers take away great memories, lots of photos and new friends, but leave behind their untreated waste. At the Mount Everest Biogas Project they are going to convert human waste from base camp into environmentally safe products for the people of Nepal, by designing a biogas system that can operate at high altitudes (above 5000 meters / 16,400 feet) above sea level. The area is the home to the summit peaks of Mt. Everest, Pumori, Lhotse and Nupste. The base camps for Everest and the other peaks in Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal are the expeditions’ summit climb beginning. These base camps host the climbers for weeks as they prepare physically and mentally for the challenge ahead. These camps have also, over the years, been scarred by human impact. With so many people in such a limited space, the challenge of limiting pollution due to human waste has persisted. Anaerobic digestion is unique in its ability to reduce the impact of visitors by providing biogas as a cooking fuel, which reducing the need for the local people to denude the local tree growth to heat their food and eat.

The Future for Biogas Lies With a Domestic Biogas Plant Revolution in the West

That is a measure of how both humble in its nature, but capable of healing nature, anaerobic digestion can be.

But, there needs to be a revolution in its use so that the western world can reap the same benefits as the east has done at a domestic level. The west needs to tap it's own domestic waste for renewable energy and home biogas plants offer a 100% natural way to do this.

Clean-burning biogas at home from ordinary kitchen and garden waste is the future. Biogas generates more energy than solar panels anytime day or night, rain or shine at a fraction of the cost.

And unlike solar panels, biogas provides excellent cooking fuel and high-quality nitrogen-rich fertilizer for gardening or landscaping. Biogas is a mixture of gases composed largely of methane produced during the natural decomposition of organic matter. Home and small farm biogas systems are simple as 1-2-3 to operate and biogas can be used for anything fossil natural gas can, including cooking, running generators and pumps and even vehicle fuel.

Biogas for the Future

The possibilities of increased use of anaerobic digestion as an effluent treatment process depend upon the introduction of improved small scale and particularly domestic scale reactor designs. However, there are critical factors influencing the economic use of the process which still need to be addressed in the context of use of AD in the home in the industrialized and wealthy west. The choice of better digester designs is therefore essential in relation to the waste itself, and problems in its supply, and handling and transportation of the end product from urban households will need to be solved. Limitations concerning thermodynamic efficiency, scrubbing costs, flammability, compressibility and storage are also hampering home use of biogas plants. Communities and governments throughout the west should be investing heavily in the development of new small scale anaerobic digestion system technologies with the vision of making them as common as the domestic washing machine and dishwasher is today. Then the west would benefit from this amazing technology just as the east is already is. Why is the west so lacking in vision?

"AD in the west has been hijacked by big business"

Surely, the west is being left behind with so few domestic scale AD Plants? They work massively in the developing world so why not in the west? The fact is that unfortunately in the west we all think of big corporations when we think of biogas, and we are missing the point. Biogas works best at the small scale. Why don't the developed nations realize this? We are all blind to this because, AD in the west has been hijacked by big business. It has been stolen from the average person. This isn't right!

What is its Future?

All people in the developed nations should go out and demand government support and investment in their own anaerobic digestion plants in their own homes. Anything less flies against all the evidence. As we have already explained. They can do it in India, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal and Burkina Faso. So why not here in the developed world as well?

For more detailed technical information we suggest you download the excellent factsheet at: http://www.worldbioenergy.org/content/wba-press-release-biogas-important-renewable-energy-source

Originally at: the AD Blogsite article here.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Latest News in the Anaerobic Digestion of Dairy Manure

In order to pick up the skills needed to take the plunge and invest in anaerobic digestion technology on any farm a degree in the subject is not essential, but having one and being fresh out of college clearly helps, as in our first news item, which follows:

(Image by Michael J. Linden via Flickr.)
Armed with a master’s degree in animal science, Vanderkooi opened the 80-acre farm near Abbotsford, British Columbia, in June of 2010. He has since established himself as a pioneer among small-scale, sustainable farm owners.
An anaerobic digester is one of the key technologies that Vanderkooi uses in his quest to reduce his farm’s ecological footprint. This machine turns the methane gas released from cow manure into electricity. About 65 percent of cow manure is composed of methane, making it an abundant energy resource. Over the course of a year, Bakerview EcoDairy is able to offset a third of the energy needed to operate the farm, thanks to the digester and a small herd of 50 cows.
Harnessing The Hidden Power of Cow Manure | QUEST
The anaerobic digestion of dairy manure was in the news again when we are told that "manure makes heat", but not initially by anaerobic digestion. Here is a novel idea for gaining heat from a compsting pile, and we cite the following in order to explain:

The pile consists of layers of cow manure and hay embedded with temperature probes, Crockenberg said. It is also negatively aerated, meaning that it draws in air through the pile into the greenhouse, he said.
The goal of the pile is to provide CO2 and heat to tomatoes growing inside the greenhouse. This would mean that no fossil fuels would be needed to heat the house in the winter.
But the energy has to come from somewhere. That is where the manure comes in.
By providing the organic material for the microbes to feast on, the cow manure is the source of heat and nutrients for the plants.
“The pile takes in manure and other organic wastes as an energy source,” Cooke said. “It kills two birds with one stone. The farmers can dispose of manure and heat the greenhouse.”
Later, however, we are told that this is only part of the project which will include:
"...anaerobic digestion, solar powered technology, aquaponic fish and vegetable production, gourmet mushrooms, a restaurant, nano-brewery and access to the future skate park and marina, a May Cynic article stated."
Manure makes heat - Vermont Cynic

Clearly, there is plenty of news about projects involving the anaerobic digestion of dairy manure currently in the US. More snippets are:
A 10-year effort has come to fruition for a local business. On Monday, A1 Organics in Eaton — the region’s largest commercial composting and organic recycling company — announced it had entered an agreement, worth tens of millions of dollars, with a renewable energy business to develop what could be the largest anaerobic digester project in the U.S. The anaerobic digestion system will convert organic feedstock, or substrate, and dairy cow manure into raw biogas. That raw biogas will be processed into pipeline-quality renewable natural gas, and then be supplied to a municipality.
Eaton business developing state's first anaerobic digester to convert manure ... - Greeley Tribune

Dane County’s first manure digester, which began operation in 2011, is located in rural Dane at 6321 Cuba Valley Road — that’s in the town of Vienna just north of Waunakee.
It serves three farms and is estimated to produce about 16 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power approximately 2,500 homes.
A second digester, which is scheduled to be completed later this year, is located just west of the corner of Church Road and Schneider Road in the town of Springfield, west of Middleton. It also serves three farms and is expected to produce the same amount of electricity.
County Executive Joe Parisi’s 2014 budget includes a couple of additional items for the Springfield digester. It will include a system that removes 100 percent of the phosphorus, which is responsible for causing algae growth in the Yahara chain of lakes.
It also will include a drop-off facility for other farmers to bring loads of manure as an alternative to spreading during poor runoff conditions.

Just Ask Us: Where are Dane County's manure digesters located? - 77Square.com

Saturday, October 26, 2013

News About the Latest in Biogas Engines

Clarke Energy has held the monopoly in online news releases in this market for the last few months, with biogas engines supplied for sites in the UK, and Kenya, as below:
In early 2013 Clarke Energy supplied and commissioned a 3 MW biogas engine at Agri-gen's Rendlesham anaerobic digestion plant at Bentwater Park, Ipswich. This facility digests energy crops, such as root vegetables, ...
E is supplying U.K.-based energy project developer Clarke Energy with two of its ecomagination qualified Jenbacher J420 biogas engines for a new 2.8 MW agricultural biogas power project at a large vegetable farm near ...

Converting Small Scale Biogas Engines for Domestic AD Plants

However, biogas engines come in all sizes and we found a video which expains how to convert a cheap tri-fuel engine to run on biogas in the small scale, from a domestic biogas digestor. The video shows how this can be acheived for about $450 from suppliers in the US. See below:
CHP and Biogas Engines
The use of biogas engines in combination with use of the steam produced, as a lower grade heat source continues to feature in the news, with Clarke Energy also active in that area, as follows:
Clarke Energy is assisting Agrivert to produce renewable energy from Oxfordshire Council’s waste. Agrivert’s new Wallingford Anaerobic digestion facility is helping to deliver a sustainable solution to both waste treatment and renewable energy production in Oxfordshire. The anaerobic digester processes food waste collected from Oxfordshire County Council and other local sources and produces biogas, a renewable fuel. The biogas is used in a combined heat and power (CHP) plant, achieving fuel efficiency in excess of 84%.
James Callaghan in the engine room of the Maryland Farms biogas operation near Lindsay, Ontario. The 500 kilowatt distributed energy biogas system produces energy right at the farm reducing the need for long distance transmission.
Finally,  we have some pictures of biogas engines around the world. Here we see James Callaghan in the engine room of the Maryland Farms biogas operation near Lindsay, Ontario.
The first image above is by Green Energy Futures via Flickr.
Below is the Biogas-BHKW 12V 400.
Biogas-BHKW 12V 400
Image by Tognum: MTU & MTU Onsite Energy via Flickr.
And, the considerably larger 4000 model:
Biogas-BHKW 12V 4000
Image by Tognum: MTU & MTU Onsite Energy via Flickr.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Innovative Uses of Digestate Evaporators in Anaerobic Digestion Plants

A Scraped Surface Evaporator is nothing like a dishwasher. In one you place your scraped plates and in the other it scrapes its own plates to prevent the heat exchange surface building up a furring which would eventually foul the heat exchanger and stop it working!
In this article we consider the recent developments in liquid digestate evaporation technology, where evaporators can either be used to improve the marketability of the liquid digestate output from biogas plants by heat pasteurization, or by reducing volume the digestate to reduce disposal costs.

Digestate in its raw form straight from the digester, is a heavy form of fertilizer, to transport to markets and the result of that is to make it expensive to deliver to markets which may be remote from the biogas plant.

So, the sale of digestate in its much lighter and more concentrated crystalline form, after evaporation, may make commercial sense if the digestate is created in a region abundant in AD Plants such as a dairy farming region, but sold for use on arable land some distance away.

The ability of an evaporator plant to reduce the volume of digestate for disposal can also be very useful where the AD process produces digestate which is unsuitable for agricultural use in its raw form, such as the digestate from Municipal Solid Waste digesters.

Finally, before we provide details of some of the most interesting recent articles on this subject, and before anyone leaves us due to worries about the admittedly very substantial energy use of liquid digestate evaporation technology, let the reader not forget that many AD Plants are in isolated locations and therefore lack a buyer for their CHP power.

In such circumstances, waste heat which cannot be exported from the biogas site as CHP to provide a direct revenue source, can at least be used in an evaporation plant.

Now for our first citation in which we alert our readers to the use of a patented scraped surface evaporator technology, which is marketed as suitable for use in Anaerobic Digestion Plants:
At the core of the HRS digestate process is an evaporation plant using HRS patented scraped surface evaporator technology that is self-cleaning and guarantees uninterrupted operation for periods of over 6 months.

Here is a blog posting sbout vacuum evaporators which are marketed into the anaerobic digestion and biogas industry:
Digestate treatment from codigestion of pork or cow manure with biomass using vacuum evaporators. Results are 95% of clean water and fertilizers to be reused...
And, another:

... plants for Evaporators and treatment of primary and waste waters of many industrial fields – between that mechanical, painting, plating, chemical and pharmaceutical, food and agro industry – of digestate and Evaporators ...
And finally, as long ago as 2011, the following case study information was made publicly available, exemplifying a heat exchanger contract:
The Barkip plant will be the first of its kind to incorporate a novel digestate processing stage: Waste heat from the CHP engines is used to concentrate the liquid fraction of the digestate into a nutrient rich liquid fertilizer. Under the terms of the contract, the HRS technology will enable the Barkip Anaerobic Digestion plant to process 75,000 tonne’s of waste annually, in a plant setup that produces around 2.5MW of renewable electricity which will contribute towards Scotland’s renewable energy industry.
So, it seems that much can be done to improve the value of digestate, and even potentially on some occasions, alleviate the problems for digestate sales which inherent when digestates fall to the demands of the Animal By-products Regulations.

Your comments are welcome on this rapidly developing AD subject area, so please give us your thoughts on the use of Digestate Evaporators for Anaerobic Digestion Plants Add Product Value and  Aid Disposal.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Top Ten Facts About UK Anaerobic Digestion - Summer 2013 Infographic

We have been offline for over a month while IPPTS Associates moved location, during which time we have been unable to post our normal articles.

To celebrate our return to posting to the Anaerobic Digestion Blogger Blog we decided to provide an example of that ever more popular source of internet communication: an infographic!

We all like to update ourselves FAST! So here it is. Our top ten UK Facts About Anaerobic Digestion (and biogas production).

This image is the copyright of IPPTS Associates. However, if you have a website and would like to republish and use this infographic, just email us with your request and no reasonable request will be refused.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Round-Up of Anaerobic Digestion UK Food Waste News June to July 2013

It has been easy for us to provide an internet news roundup for UK Food Waste this month, because we are spoilt for choice! 

There are a number of news items which have been posted for a variety of food waste anaerobic digestion projects which show that Anaerobic Digestion UK is doing OK. This news seems to confirm the gradual growth of business in the AD sector.

In Knutsford, Cheshire, a power plant application seems to be stumbling somewhat, but in Scotland it is a different matter with a £4.5m food waste anaerobic digestion plant agreed.

In Wales, they are ahead of the game with a new Biogen and Iona Capital plant opened, and in the commercial sector Mark & Spencer is clearly doing very well to digest almost 90% of its food waste already, and is reporting internally on their waste plans including plans for further Anaerobic Digestion treatment.

That just leaves the farm biogas sector to report on, and again, there is positive news with Wyke Farms including biogas power in their announced £3m spend on self sufficiency. We finish up with information on the Green Investment Bank's (GIB) own market report for anaerobic digestion, which moves the bank on with its policy making and investment strategy work on funding within our sector. The new report will help to inform the GIB’s strategy on debt investment in the sector as well as being a useful resource for the industry and investment community.

UK Anaerobic Digestion (Food Waste) News in More Detail

The Integrated Waste Plant (waste and power plant) in Twemlow by Cres Biogas has hit turbulence. See more at: ᔥCouncil's stance on power plant comes as a shock to residents - Knutsford Guardian “The EA objected to the application in February, causing the applicant to make amendments that supposedly answered all its concerns.
The EA’s report prompted the Health Protection Agency to publish concerns for public health, and the local school to withdraw its support.
So, it seems unfortunate that the parish council continues to support plans that the EA have objected to.” The proposal includes 47,000 tonnes of slurry and food waste coming in to the AD plant and 41,000 tonnes of digestate being removed."
ᔥTEG Group secures £2m Perth and Kinross Council waste contract - The Courier
The new two-year deal will see the firm treat between 20,000 and 25,000 tonnes of garden and food waste per year at its base near Glenfarg, and includes an option to extend for a further two-year period. While TEG has dealt with the ... The £4.5m plant ...
ᔥPrince of Wales visits first Welsh Local Authority developed anaerobic ... - PR Web (press release)
"Caernarfon, Gwynedd (PRWEB UK) 5 July 2013 Biogen and Iona Capital have welcomed His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, to the Biogen GwyriAD Anaerobic Digestion plant, the first anaerobic digestion plant built specifically under the Welsh Government’s renewable energy policy. His Royal Highness visited the plant at Llwyn Isaf in Gwynedd, North Wales ahead of the full operations starting at the end of the summer."
ᔥThe Top 8 Things We Learned from Marks & Spencer's 2013 Plan A Report - Sustainable Brands
"While it isn't entirely clear where all of this waste is diverted, it is evident that 89% of food waste is being composted or anaerobically digested for conversion to biogas, any clothing waste is being donated or recycled, and all construction waste ..."
ᔥEA official wins AD hero of the year - letsrecycle.com
"An onsite anaerobic digestion plant run by crops producer Barfoots at Botley, Hampshire has won the Best AD Project Award at the UK AD & Biogas Industry Awards 2013. Dr Clare Lukehurst (left) was presented with her lifetime achievement award by Dr ..."
ᔥ£3M step on the road to self-sufficient energy - FoodManufacture.co.uk
 "Cheesemaker Wyke Farms is aiming to be 100% self sufficient in green energy after ploughing £3M into a biogas and solar project." 
Returning now to the subject of the UK's Green Investment Bank, there is further encouragement that more funding will be available, in the extract below.

  ᔥGreen Investment Bank (GIB) publishes market report on Anaerobic Digestion - Renewable Energy Magazine (press release)
"...The bank is also actively investigating the opportunities for debt financing for AD projects. Government research has indicated that AD could deliver between 3 and 5 TWh of electricity by 2020 but the industry itself remains concerned about sources of funding, particularly in relation to senior debt finance."

Summary of this Roundup in Anaerobic Digestion UK Projects

So, despite slow and indecisive government action, the anaerobic digestion industry moves forward... Clearly, the industry is making it's case heard well enough for a measured growth, but if the coalition had meant what it said about "being the greenest government yet", when it came into power. we would surely be much further ahead by now?

Sunday, June 30, 2013

High Rate Anaerobic Digestion Process to Treat Brocklesby Ltd Effluent Streams in BioWayste Sign-up

BioWayste (UK AD & Biogas stand E101) and Brocklesby Ltd of North Cave near Hull, are delighted to announce the signing of a Build Own and Operate contract for 6 years to provide green electricity and heat from BioWayste’s £2M high rate anaerobic digestion process technology. In a landmark move, Brocklesby Ltd. have chosen BioWayste as its exclusive partner to run and manage the 40,000 ton p.a. AD Plant on its 7 acre site. Six of BioWayste’s high rate reactors along with CHP engines will provide Brocklesby with 75% of its current electricity usage, all generated from waste products currently being tankered from site. The BioWayste plant will make green energy by treating the waste on site using their high rate anaerobic digestion process, and disposing of clean effluent via Yorkshire Water’s infrastructure.

High Rate Anaerobic Digestion Process to Provide Green Electricity and Heat in 6 Year Contract

Rob Brocklesby, Managing Director, said:
“It makes great sense for Brocklesby to continue the process of recycling already at the North Cave Plant with BioWayste AD technology. Not only are we removing tankers from the local road infrastructure we are reducing Brocklesby Ltd’s reliance on fossil fuels by making green energy from waste on our own site. Brocklesby have invested heavily in the North Cave plant over recent years, creating many local jobs. The BioWayste plant will help our carbon reduction programme and will provide more local employment opportunities. This high rate anaerobic digestion process plant will also save us money and give us long term, sustainable green energy”.
The BioWayste plant will be owned, financed and operated by BioWayste thereby allowing Brocklesby to receive a secure green energy supply from its waste without the need to diversify from their core business. The BioWayste AD plants are small footprint installations and this one fits easily into the corner of the ever expanding Brocklesby site. As the technology is a modular system of high rate reactors with the ability to expand the plant alongside the Brocklesby business model, BioWayste are able to service the current stream and grow with Brocklesby’s aspirations. All of the BioWayste technology is pre-fabricated and arrives on site ready for plug & play installation, further increasing the sustainability of the total solution. Their high rate anaerobic digestion process design also reduces installation time thereby giving Brocklesby larger savings with early green electricity production.

Long Term Cost Benefits to Brocklesby-  Secured Through Use of High Rate Anaerobic Digestion Process

David Orme, Sales Manager for BioWayste commented:
 “BioWayste are delighted to be working with Brocklesby on this project. The Brocklesby team have chosen BioWayste for a six year partnership to make green electricity and heat from their final effluent waste. Working with other partners including the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water, we aim to provide a fully automated and controlled service to Brocklesby using locally recruited trained operatives and management. Like Brocklesby we are committed to clean, green and sustainable energy whilst minimising the impact on the site concerned. Using AD to treat Brocklesby’s effluent stream compliments Brocklesby’s existing business model, recycling and reusing food waste products from across the UK. The main Brocklesby Plant will now be able to use green energy to assist in their already sustainable business further reducing their carbon footprint. This is excellent for both the environment and local infrastructure, giving long term cost benefits to Brocklesby without the need for them to have a further process to manage. A genuine win/win situation”.
Both Brocklesby and BioWayste assist a large number of food and beverage companies with their waste management. This high rate anaerobic digestion process plant will ensure that many of Brocklesby’s clients will know that the final destination for their waste will be in green electricity production and will only add to their whole food chain sustainability credentials.  

BioWayste Ltd  Email: enquiries@biowayste.com  
Website: www.biowayste.com 
Phone: (+44) 01604 880272 
The Grafton, Victors Barns, Brixworth, Northampton, NN6 9DQ

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Assessing the Costs of Anaerobic Digestion Plant Projects

Costs of Anaerobic Digestion

The Costs of Anaerobic Digestion are, of course, what everyone thinking of embarking upon a biogas project wants to know, and at the same time very few AD Plant owners and contractors want to give out their costs to a general audience. This is quite natural, due to the commercially sensitive nature of such information.

Nevertheless, the lack of such information may be slowing the introduction of Anaerobic Digestion.

That's why, when we found the following downloadable file with information on farm waste anaerobic digestion costs we thought that we would share it. So here is the link:

6 Costs of Anaerobic Digestion - Scribd

"6 Costs of Anaerobic Digestion - Free download as PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or readfalse online for free. Waste, breakdown, farming, a method to ...www.scribd.com/doc/.../6-Costs-of-Anaerobic-Digestion" http://www.scribd.com/doc/140384853/6-Costs-of-Anaerobic-Digestion
Costs of Anaerobic Digestion
Having found some information on on-farm biogas plant costs we are aware that the next question is: "So what would the farm business be paying for that electricity if they were not generating it themselves/". So, we found an article which discussed the EU electricty charges which apply, and a which also includes a table of EU states electricity costs. For you information we have included that table below, however, you should also visit the original web page which is at:

Mc Dowell Purcell Solicitors Website Provides Anaerobic Digestion Electricity Costs Comparison

 comparative electricity prices
What stands out when looking at the above table, is just how low Irish electricity charges are, and the disparity between the republic and Northern Ireland, shown here is particularly marked, with Irish power charges as low as only a half of those in Northern Ireland.

The author, from Mc Dowell Purcell Solicitors, makes the point that with the notably lower electricity tariffs available in the Irish Republic, AD developers are forced to rely on income derived from gate fees in which the waste producer pays the AD plant to take the waste. The requirement for a reasonably high gate fee, before anaerobic digestion plants become financially viable, is a substantial barrier to the emergence of Irish Anaerobic Digestion Plant projects, as the gate fee is much more important for Irish plant operators due to their low electricity charges.

WRAP Data on Anaerobic Digestion Gate Fees in the UK

So, what might those gate fees which an Anaerobic Digestion Plant operator can charge to accept suitable organic waste at the site gate, amount to, we asked ourselves? Well, there is information available, and which seems to be anually updated, at the UK Government Funded WRAP website which suggests a median gate fee price in the UK for an anaerobic digestion plant, at £41/tonne in 2012.
"WRAP’s fifth annual Gate Fees report presents a summary of gate fees charged for a range of alternative waste treatment, recovery and disposal options, together with an analysis of the factors likely to influence future gate fees and comparison with last year’s report."
You can check out the WRAP report and their table of gate fees here: http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Gate%20Fees%20Report%202012.pdf

 Considering that a centralized on-farm community Anaerobic Digestion Plant might operate at a throughput annually of 30,000tpa, that means that the gate fee income alone might easily amount to £125,000 annually and that is just one income stream and does not include the revenue from the power production.  

Update December 2013: We have written an additional article on this very popular subject with further anaerobic digester cost information here.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Anaerobic Digestion of Solid Waste Moves on with Spring 2013 AD Plant Starts

anaerobic digestion of solid wasteIt is that perfect time of year for starting outdoor projects with significant groundworks. By starting now, you get the best chance of "making hay while the sun shines", and using the best of the UK's (and northern hemisphere) spring and summer weather which can help greatly in keeping construction costs under control, and to programme. So, here is a round-up of a few recent announcements made about new Anaerobic Digestion Plant site construction start ups:

Anaerobic Digestion of Solid Waste

60,000 TPA Anaerobic Digestion Biogas Plant Approved in Yorkshire

"The Manchester, UK based waste treatment infrastructure developer said that consent for its North Selby Anaerobic Digestion and Horticultural Glasshouse facility, which will be located on the former North Selby Mine site, was granted by the City of ..." http://www.waste-management-world.com/articles/2013/04/60-000-tpa-anaerobic-digestion-biogas-plant-approved-in-yorkshir.html

Imtech Announces New Tamesis AD Plant Award from Thames Water

Imtech, as part of the Tamesis team – a joint venture between Laing O’Rourke and Imtech Water, Waste & Energy  – has been awarded a £75 million contract by Thames Water to develop two Advanced Digestion AD schemes at Crossness and Beckton in London. By sustainably treating and enhancing sewage sludge – a process known as advanced anaerobic digestion – it is possible to convert sewage sludge into sustainable energy in biogas power plants. This contributes to both the environmental and financial performance. http://imtech.com/EN/corporate/Newsroom/Highlights/Highlights-2013/Imtech-announces-new-Tamesis-award-from-Thames-Water.html
Then there is the go ahead for new anaerobic digestion facilties for North Selby area: Plans Approved for North Selby AD Facility
"The City of York Council granted Peel Environmental planning permission to build an anaerobic digestion (AD) and horticultural glasshouse facility on the former North Selby Mine site, Wheldrake on Thursday (25 April). The planning committee voted nine ..." http://www.resource.uk.com/article/News/Plans_approved_North_Selby_AD_facility-3025

CAMBI Awarded Contract for 2 Thermal Hydrolysis Process Projects in UK

Cambi  has been awarded a contract for the thermal hydrolysis process (THP) scope of the Beckton and Crossness (Thames Water) advanced digestion projects, serving two of Europe’s largest sewage treatment works. Tamesis (joint venture between Imtech and Langs) let a subcontract to Cambi in July 2012 for the turnkey supply of 2 separate 2x3 reactor B12 Cambi plants, one for Beckton and one for Crossness sewage treatment works. Both plants are expandable to larger capacities in the future. The works will be completed in 2014.

New  Work Has Also Been Announced on Biogas CHP Plants in the US

Vermont Tech begins work on biogas CHP plant
"After seven years of planning, Vermont Technical College has broken ground on an anaerobic digestion project that will generate heat for the campus, and power that will be sold to the grid. Permitting for the Central Vermont Recovered Biomass Facility, ...Biomass Magazine" http://www.biomassmagazine.com/articles/8927/vermont-tech-begins-work-on-biogas-chp-plant
Next time we will hope to see more farm based AD Plant starts. For whatever reason there seems to be a lack of those to report at present.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Anaerobic Digestion Investment - Uncertain About Investing on the Money Markets? Then Consider AD

There is plenty of bullish news from Anaerobic Digestion plant contractors at the moment, despite the money markets sinking due to a lack of confidence in the business exchanges over the past fortnight in the world economy. 

With gold prices tumbling this week, it is tempting to suggest that investing in Anaerobic Digestion facilities does at least provide an investment which can, and will normally do very well throughout recessionary periods. It is clear that waste will continue to be created whether or not the economy is growing, and energy demands have not been adversely affected either.

So, we have a lot of sympathy with the following piece:

No time like the present to invest in Anaerobic Digestion

"Farmers are being urged to increase revenues from Anaerobic Digestion (AD) sooner rather than later. The calls come from AD specialist EnviTec Biogas, which plans, builds and services farm-scale AD plants across the UK. Mike McLaughlin, managing ...Journalism.co.uk (press release)"
Other recent news shows that as we start the traditional period each year when new construction starts are at their highest, seeking to make use of better spring and summer weather, a number of new AD Plant projects are getting underway:
Anaerobic digestion plant reduces farm waste sent to landfills ...
"(Boston Globe) At Jordan Dairy Farms in Rutland, an anaerobic digestion plant, which runs on ...www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hobtL5Rf-w"

Place your opening curation after this and then delete this text:

Plans submitted for waste recycling plant in Walton

"The applicants want to create a modern recycling and recovery park, which will include an autoclave and anaerobic digestion (AD) facility, a materials recycling facility, an open construction and demolition waste recycling area, skip hire and workshop ..."
Want more AD Info? The visit www.anaerobic-digestion.com 

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Carbon Capture and Storage - Is This The Last Chance Before Runaway Climate Change Becomes Unavoidable?

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is the only technology proposed at present that could enable emissions mitigation with continued use of fossil fuels, so why is it taking so long for it to be developed?

carbon dioxide being captured!

Man generated energy-related CO2 emissions are higher than ever and further emissions increase seems inevitable. The rapid application of carbon capture and storage is a much heralded means to tackle emissions from both existing and future sources. In the minds of many it has been seen as a possible escape route for planet earth, allowing us additional time to move to renewable energy sources while the remaining usable fossil energy reserve is consumed.

However, despite extensive and successful research and development, progress in deploying carbon capture and storage has stalled. No fossil-fuel power plants, the greatest source of CO2 emissions, are using carbon capture and storage, and publicly supported demonstration programmes are struggling to deliver actual projects. Yet, carbon capture and storage remains a core component of national and global emissions-reduction scenarios.

Governments really need to be either increasing their commitment to carbon capture and storage (CCS) through much more active market support and emissions regulation, or come clean to their citizens about accepting its failure.  If governments are giving up on carbon capture and storage they will have to recognize that continued expansion of power generation from burning fossil fuels is a severe threat to attaining objectives in mitigating climate change. At the same time they should be refocusing their efforts and that means redoubling their work to subsidize and maximize renewable energy production in areas such as anaerobic digestion.
carbon capture and storage - recorded temperatures over time
For example, the International Energy Agency (IEA) Blue Map scenario envisages a 19% CO2 reductions contribution from carbon capture and storage by 2050. This suggests a need for the construction of hundreds of CCS operations worldwide in the 2020s, rising to thousands in the 2030s and beyond, to capture, transport and store over 8 Gt of CO2 per year by 2050.

To give you an idea of the scale of this endeavour let us just say that this is double the mass of current global annual oil consumption. So far, the viability of carbon capture and storage  to deliver on anything approaching this scale remains unproven. That is where investment by governments worldwide is essential to provide confirmation or otherwise of the viability of  carbon capture and storage.

To put it starkly: Public funding is essential to develop an informed climate mitigation strategy and to have any hope of limiting atmospheric CO2 levels to 450 ppm.

Decisions need to be made quickly on carbon capture and storage  provisions as the generating capacity with which it needs to be integrated will be being built over the next few years.

CCS is not perfect, but is technically feasible with existing technologies. Current capture processes can remove 85-95% of the CO2 contained in the waste gases produced by a power plant or industrial process. The capture, transport and storage processes all require energy, so more fuel needs to be extracted, transported and burnt to produce the same sale-able output of electricity or product'.

Renewable energy sources are being developed, and our readers will be very familiar with the success of the anaerobic digestion process in recent years in increasing their particular type of renewable energy. However, no alternative yet exists for mitigating emissions from the continued use of fossil fuels for electricity generation, or from high-CO2-emitting industry, for example, steel, cement and fertilizer production.

There has never been a time like this, when the decisions of politicians living today will decide the fate of future generations for thousands of years, if indeed civilization survives unabated climate change.

For now, the question remains open. Carbon capture and storage is in all likelihood technically deliverable, but will it be delivered before it is too late?

For more information see Nature Climate Change, University of Edinburgh - Feb 2013, Vol 3 No 2.

World Energy Outlook 2011 (IEA, 2011); available at
Technology Roadmap: Carbon Capture and Storage (IEA, 2009).
Statistical Review of World Energy 2011 (BP.2011).
Calvin, K. et al. 2.6: Limiting climate change to 450 ppm CO> equivalent in the
21st century. Energy Econ. 31(Supplement 2), S107-S120 (2009).
IPCC Special Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage (Cambridge Univ.
Press, 2005).
The Costs of CO, Capture, Transport and Storage (ZEP, 2011).
Gibbins, [, et al. Retrofitting CO, Capture to Existing Power Plants
(IEAGHG, 2011).

Monday, March 25, 2013

Pump and Mixer Reliability is All About Buying Quality Says Landia

O.K. so as a process engineer I am biased, you might say. I don't have to pay high initial plant installation costs myself, and a lot of plants simply would not have been built at all if the owners had not been seeking to build them on the lowest conceivable budget.

But, talk to those in the UK anaerobic digestion industry with operating plants and within a short time you will know that pump and mixer reliability is a big issue.

That's why I am delighted to publish here this press release from a supplier that is committed to quality, and is prepared to invest in external audit services to provide the rest of us with good evidence of their internal systems, to back up their claims.


Pump and mixer quality counts says Landia with new 100% UVDB quality achievement Landia UK, the leading pump and mixer manufacturer, has achieved a 100% pass rate for quality in its latest UVDB VERIFY Approval.
According to Landia UK Director Hugh Vaughan, a maximum quality score in this independent audit by Achilles clearly makes a statement about the excellence of the company’s products, procedures and ethos.
“The UK’s biogas industry does get some flak about AD plants that aren’t working properly. Sometimes this is down to very poor ‘chuck in anything and everything’ feedstock choices, and it can also be down to using equipment that just isn’t fit for purpose”.
He added: “We hear plenty from the industry about wanting to improve biogas yields, but those citing poor performance are invariably the ones who’ve specified equipment such as pumps and mixers that aren’t of a good enough quality to work properly in an AD plant. There’s also plenty of kit out there that has been dressed up as supposedly suitable for the UK biogas industry, but simply isn’t capable – and/or doesn’t come with any proper maintenance or spares back up”.
In addition to its 100% UVDB VERIFY quality approval, Landia also achieved (for OnSite Assessment) 98% for Health & Safety and 93% for Environment.
Hugh Vaughan continued: “In addition to quality, health and safety should be paramount for AD owners and operators, so they need to look very closely at finding those in the supply chain who have the proper credentials. Not a difficult task. This would then in turn enhance the reputation of the industry for everybody’s benefit”.

01948 661 200

Waymills Industrial Estate
SY 13 1TT

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Verder Chemical Dosing in the Spotlight

Verder Chemical Dosing in the Spotlight

In this article Philip Brown, Project Manager for pumping solutions at Verder UK, explains the chemical dosing process, and how dosing techniques are commonly applied by Verder to the popular chemical dosing functions of pH buffering and phosphate removal.

Chemical Dosing

Chemical dosing is the controlled delivery of a chemical into contaminated water, sewage or sludge–like fluid, usually as a pre-processing method. It is frequently used during sewage treatment, and as part of the anaerobic digestion process for making energy from waste. Chemical dosing is also used when treating industrial effluents to remove contaminants, before it can be returned to a natural watercourse.

The Dosing Process

A set of chemical dosing equipment mounted on a "skid" (a relocatable metal frame) is the most effective way build a chemical dosing system to dispense chemicals. Most skid mounted assemblies use at least two peristaltic or reciprocating dosing pumps. These are attached to pipe manifolds and the whole unit is usually protected within a cabinet. 

In such arrangements one pump acts as a duty standby component to ensure the dosing process is uninterrupted in the event that a wearable component fails, and the system needs to be serviced. 

Normally, chemical dosing systems are set up with pumps and valves to accurately and automatically control the dosing process to inject a chemical into a pipe or vessel at a predetermined rate.

pH Buffering

Chemicals such as sodium hydroxide or lime are dosed in conjunction with pH measurement - a process known as pH buffering to ensure that the process runs in the optimum pH range for the reactions of the chemical process to take place. 

For sewage works systems the amount of buffering will vary according to the time of day; for example at a high rate in the morning when people use the toilet or bathroom, at a lower flow rate during the day, and back at a high  dosing rate in the evening when they finish work. As a result, dosing pumps need to increase the amount delivered at these peak demand times and reduce it during the hours of sleep, producing a diurnal, cyclical flow. 

Removing Phosphates Using a Unique Product Developed by Naiad Aquatic Water Services

Introduction of an iron-based chemical solution like ferrous or ferric sulphate or chloride can very effectively remove phosphates which are pricipitated out during a settlement stage. Alternatively ferrous sulphate can take the form of copperas crystal, a by-product of the pigment industry, which can be mixed in a tank with water in a unique patented process available from Verder, and provided in conjunction with Naiad Aquatic Water Services. 

Working in an exclusive collaboration with Verder UK, Naiad Aquatic Water Services, has developed a range of chemical dosing systems including the Naiad Copperas Saturator. 

The latter was developed in partnership with Thames Water’s R&D section to provide a cost-effective alternative to liquid dosing. Naiad chemical dosing systems incorporate feed-back and load profile control options, and enable process optimisation for phosphate removal and septicity control. When used to dose chemicals into sewage for phosphate removal, Verder's equipment ensures that phosphate residuals in the final effluent consistently meet targets, and odours are minimised. 

Verder takes pride in delivering pumping solutions that are designed around the needs of the customer, not off-the-shelf packages which are made-to-fit all, but which seldom fit any site's needs perfectly. Verder points out that their customer feedback regularly shows that the quality and robust nature of the company's end-product is superior to their competitors off-the-shelf solutions.

Verder has found by experience that the best outcomes come from their practice of involvement with engineers face-to-face, and by setting-up meetings to discuss their client's requirements in detail. Whether the setting is a boardroom, or on-site in "boiler suits", they place a high priority to always providing a professional service built upon courtesy and respect between contractor and customer. 

Philip Brown points out that ultimately, it all boils down to Verder's passion for saving water utilities as much money as possible, while at the same time always providing them with the most reliable and robust equipment.

Visit Verder's website for more information at http://www.verder.co.uk

Author: Verder
Phone Number: +44(0)1924 221 001

Friday, March 08, 2013

UK Biogas Plants Exceed 100 And Hit Trouble

100th UK AD PlantThe good news is that that magic number of 100 anaerobic digestion plants in the UK has now been exceeded. In fact, if you visit the AD Info "Official Anaerobic Digestion" website, you will find that their list of 100 does not include a number of categories of AD Plant, such as Water Company sewage sludge fed plants. That means that the true number is probably more like 125 already, plus even within their categories we know of several unlisted digesters. Even so, the UK is still a long way behind Germany and other EU states, so we maybe should not be proclaiming this achievement at all? On balance I think the UK is right to give itself a small pat on the back. But, let's not forget that Germany has two to three thousand AD Plants in operation. Yes. That is thousands! And yet, the proportion of UK plants that are organic waste fed, as opposed to energy crop, is vastly higher than in Germany, and that in itself is arguably far better. It is better for the environment and the avoidance of potentially reducing food production and raising food prices. So, the UK AD industry is correspondingly much "greener". The following is the press release that prompted this article:

Anaerobic digestion plants hit the 100 mark...

"The number of anaerobic digestion (AD) plants in the UK – excluding waste water plants - has passed the 100 mark.www.mrw.co.uk/news/...plants.../8643427.article?..." http://www.mrw.co.uk/news/anaerobic-digestion-plants-hit-the-100-mark/8643427.article%3Fblocktitle%3DLatest-news---recycling-and-waste-management%26contentID%3D2182
But, unfortunately, as the UK biogas industry is expanding it is also beginning to hit trouble with odours and pollution. The Poplars Landfill Anaerobic Digestion Plant was last week in the News for continued odour complaints from local residents. Hopefully, that will be a thing of the past , after the plant operator brings in new measures to combat those odours this month. Watercourse pollution is the "trouble" which one AD Plant oprator has been "hit" by. Yet, one wonders whether the method being used for pumping the digestate at the time was wise, given the risk from pollution. The following is an extract from the article, to which we refer:

Somerset company fined for polluting stream with waste from anaerobic digester... 

Waste Management World
"The pipe had broken free while digestate was being pumped from the anaerobic digestion plant. The pollution flowed into a trench and eventually into a stream which flows into the River Parrett. Approximately 60 tonnes of liquid digestate was lost ..." http://www.waste-management-world.com/news/2013/02/21/somerset-company-fined-for-polluting-stream-with-waste-from-anaerobic-digestion-plant.html
The River Parrett is slow flowing through the Somerset levels so the potential damage to river ecology is large.