Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Low Temperature Anaerobic Digestion Process Reviewed

Low Temperature Anaerobic Digestion - It Is The Third Type Of AD Process

I was fascinated to discover a new company with their own stand at the AD & Biogas Association (AD&B) Exhibition and Conference 2014, which was held last month at the NEC Birmingham, UK.  Irish start-up NVP Energy was the company in question, and they were there to present their unique and innovative low temperature (< 20°C) Anaerobic Digestion (Lt-AD) wastewater (WW) treatment technology for medium to low-strength industrial effluents.

And, yes! You did just read “less than 20 degrees Centigrade”, so this is a truly ambient temperature process for use in our cold northern European climate, without costly insulation and heating.

If you have ever wondered why so many digesters in the UK (of the mesophilic and thermophilic variety), are a lot less productive than those un-insulated anaerobic digestion systems which seem miraculously easy to build and operate in hot climates, it has got an awful lot to do with our climate being too cold, and the cost of heating!

Watch our sponsored Lt_AD explainer video below:

To view this video on the YouTube website click here and watch Low Temperature Anaerobic Digestion being explained.

So, how remarkable to find that a spin-off technology, which has taken 15 years microbiological lab and pilot scale testing at the National University of Ireland, Galway is now available for the Food and Drink Wastewater (WW) industry. Not only that there are many other industries which produce similar strength organic effluents such as the Municipal WW industry, Pharmaceutical WW industry, and also the ethanol processing WW industry. All thse can now use this technology to treat their wastewater without the ever-rising energy (running) cost implications of current aerobic treatment systems.

But like all other anaerobic digestion based processes LT-AD has, is also by nature biogas plant, with all the implications that brings for net energy export (and revenue), reduced carbon footprint for the business, and even possible sales for other products such as CO2, and the digestate as a fertilizer.

Traditionally all these industries have used aerobic wastewater treatment systems, the Lt-AD technology does what those high energy consuming systems can do. It recovers the carbon in the WW and transforms it into biogas. This means that the NVP Energy technology is a carbon neutral and energy-positive process technology which is great news for the global environment. But, lets not forget the benefits to the bottom line for those that use this new process, due to those reduced carbon costs.

If you have been watching how quickly anaerobic digestion taking hold as the preferred treatment method of choice, then just take a look at this blog! Due to its clean green energy credentials Ad is leaping ahead, and this development should be very attractive to the Food and Drinks industry, plus all other businesses producing similar effluents.
AD-Lt Anaerobic digestion 3D Image cut-away
The NVP Energy process has been given the name of “Lt-AD technology” and they say that it can work equally well as a retrofit, an add-on technology to their client’s business expansion, or of course can be the core technology treatment method in any new build scenario.
For example, if you operate a Food & Drink plant that has an existing inefficient WWT system such as the activated sludge system, then their technology can:
  • Lessen the load on your current system and greatly reduce your aeration costs due to our high COD attenuation
  • Significantly decrease your sludge volumes. Their technology has been shown to generate up to 90% less organic sludge compared to the activated sludge process.
On the other hand, if you operate a Food & Drink plant that elutes all your wastewater to sewer, then their technology can:
  • Significantly reduce your trade effluent charge/Mogden charge due to high COD & TSS attenuation.
In both cases the biogas that is produced is 100% available for reuse on-site to generate heat and/or electricity thus reducing your operational expenditure.

They say that the system will prove very attractive to Food and Drink plant operators that currently discharge their wastewater to sewer.

Where this is the current disposal method they say that NVP Energy can significantly reduce the high trade effluent discharge costs that arise from the application of the “Mogden” calculation of TE Charges due to high chemical oxygen demand (COD), and total suspended solids (TSS) attenuation.

I spoke to Tracey Giles (NVP Energy, Design Engineer) who said:
“For Food and Drink plants that treat their wastewater on-site, NVP Energy can considerably decrease their aeration costs. In addition, the Lt-AD technology can reduce organic sludge volumes by up to 90% when compared to the activated sludge process thus reducing sludge management costs.”
“The technology is very attractive as it has produced effluent which adheres to effluent release standards, e.g. Urban Wastewater Directive (UWWD) COD release standards, without the need for post-treatment. This is proven from our pilot-scale trials using our “low-strength” effluent definition, a type of effluent that will apply to very many businesses”.
Benefits of Lt-AD are listed as:
  • Significantly reduced OPEX due to lower discharge costs through a high COD attenuation (approx. 80% removal rate) capability & reduced TSS levels (approx. 50% removal rate).
  • Reduced OPEX - up to 90% less organic sludge produced than the activated sludge system.
  • Energy Efficient - No WW heating or aeration required. Lt-AD has been successfully trialled at temperatures as low as 40C.
  • Potential savings from biogas production – can be used to generate electricity/heat that will offset use of fossil fuels.
  • Potential revenue from biogas production - FITs/RHIs for on-site energy generation.
  • Modular design allows flexibility in WW volumes.
  • Integrates easily with existing WW treatment systems.
  • Aids in adhering to specific discharge requirements e.g. UWWD.


NVP Energy offers an exciting new and innovative energy-positive, low temperature anaerobic digestion technology (Lt-AD).

Lt-AD treats wastewater (WW) highly efficiently at temperatures as low as 4°C and will significantly reduce low strength wastewater treatment costs and TE charges. The Lt-AD technology target markets are Food and Drink WW including Dairy, Brewing, Malting and Distilling applications; Municipal WW; certain pharmaceutical WW streams and also ethanol processing WW.

For more information visit: www.nvpenergy.com

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New Schmack Carbotech Plant to Shows Extent of Swedish Commitment to Biogas Biomethane Production

Shmack carbotech biomethane upgrading
Schmack Carbotech Stockholm: Sweden’s role in bioenergy production, with the world's largest installed biogas upgrading capacity, is set to continue its march toward transport fuel sustainability ahead of other nations. That is because of the announcement that Schmack Carbotech has been signed-up as the "design and build" contractor for a 2000 Nm³/h biogas upgrading facility to be located to the south of Stockholm.

Schmack Carbotech’s innovative Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) technology will be used in a development that will enable the Swedish capital to produce pure methane (biomethane) from more biogas.

(Image: (c) Schmack)
This will increase the proportion of biomethane, it uses by 50%, this will provide biofuel for vehicles currently powered by natural gas. The biomethane produced will be a high purity gas leaving the PSA with a methane content in excess of 97 per cent.
Fed by organic waste and waste kitchen oil, the plant, which will be located in Sofielund, Huddinge, will produce biogas with an annual energy yield of nearly 100 million kilowatt hours. That's enough to supply approximately 5,000 vehicles clocking up an average of 20,000 km per year each.

Part of the Viessmann Group, Schmack Carbotech’s Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) principle distinguishes itself from other technologies because of its favourably low energy consumption, efficient heat extraction and high methane yield, as the company’s International Business Manager, Eberhart Wusterhaus Gomez, explains:
“This important new contract at Sofielund brings to bear all of our 30 years ‘experience in the development, engineering and manufacturing of turnkey gas upgrading plants.
“As industry pioneers and market leaders in biogas purification, we are very keen to play our part in delivering a low energy yet high yield technology that in this case fits in perfectly with the Swedish government’s long-term thinking to become the world’s first completely oil-free economy”.

(Image: (c) Schmack)

Setting new standards in biogas process efficiency, Sofielund’s new plant will be equipped with a CNG station, a Carbotech PSA plant, off-gas cleaning with high heat recovery system combined with a peak load boiler. The plant will also benefit from ultra-reliable VOC and Hydrogen Sulphide removal, making Carbotech’s robust technology ideal to produce biomethane from biogas, sewage gas and landfill gas for grid injection and CNG vehicle fuel. As well as being a specialist in upgrading biogas plants, the Viessmann Group is actively implementing complete biogas turnkey solutions worldwide. Installations include award-winning biological technology, with special wet fermentation (from Schmack Biogas) and batch-dry fermentation (BioFerm technology) now integral parts of more than 300 cogeneration and biomethane plants in Europe and beyond. This includes Europe’s largest dry-AD-from-organic-waste plant, located in Fife, Scotland.

The Viessmann Group is a leading international manufacturer of heating technology systems. Founded in 1917, the family company has around 11,400 employees with group sales of EUR 2.1 billion. Viessmann has an international presence with 27 production companies in 11 countries, sales companies and representations in 74 countries and 120 sales branches worldwide. 55 percent of sales are generated abroad.

For more information, contact:

Petra Krayl
Schmack Biogas GmbH
+49 (0) 9431 / 751-285