Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Latest Development in Home Sized Anaerobic Digestion Plant Units

It was only a matter of time before someone hit upon the idea of crowdfunding to finance the development of an anaerobic digestion plant designed for western/ developed nation use.

As a long-standing anaerobic digestion and biogas blogger I am often asked in the emails I receive, where the enquirer can buy a home biogas unit. If the request is for a single household sized unit, until now there has not been a system which I considered was available in the US, UK or Europe, with full support from a reputable supplier/ installer at any price.

I have been advertising a "home made biogas unit" on my blogs, for a while now, and although there have been a few DIY blueprints available to buy and download online, I have found that the number of individuals in the wealthy nations who wish to make a biogas plant themselves, are very few and far between.

Now all that appears to be changing. It seems that there is a pre-built package unit, as described below, that presumably comes delivered and ready to switch on and fill with organic household waste, the market for such a biogas unit may be much larger. It will be interesting to see if that is the case.

Watch the sales video below:

Call me a skeptic if you like, but I do still doubt that many will buy this, even if the 2-4 hours of cooking time daily proved to be correct,. However, the cooking time stated is well above the biogas generation rate usually attributed to such systems. 

In addition, in the "wealthy west" not many people will want to mess around with their food waste, let alone spend time mixing pet litter with water in order to put it into the digester. 

There may be a market for this product nevertheless in colleges, and universities, plus maybe even schools, where students can be given projects to demonstrate how biogas can be made.

But, until proved to me otherwise I don't think there will be many household takers even at the current reduced current price, but I would be delighted to hear from readers in feedback (use the comment box below) that I am wrong.

Home sized biogas unit lets you convert your own organic waste into cooking fuel

It’s never been easier to generate your own power. Israeli startup Home Biogas has developed a relatively affordable home-sized biogas unit that allows people to convert their own waste into fuel. The compact unit, which is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to support its production costs, lets everyday homeowners convert their organic waste into enough gas for 2-4 hours of cooking and 5 to 8 liters of liquid fertilizer per day.
© HomeBiogas
 The HomeBiogas unit is a perfect match for homeowners who would like to start a full-cycle waste recovery system in the comfort of their own home. The unit has the ability to take in up to 6 liters per day of any food waste or up to 15 liters per day of animal manure and turn it into fuel for cooking as well as organic fertilizer.
© HomeBiogas
HomeBiogas is being marketed to the average homeowner, either already off-grid or just looking into a “homemade” renewable energy source. According to the system details, the unit can convert just one kilogram of food waste into about 200 liters (7 cubic feet) of gas, more than enough to fuel an hour’s worth of cooking.
In addition to its reasonable cost and exceptional environmental value, the sleek rectangular unit is quite easy to use and easy-to-assemble. In fact, it measures in at 48”x65”x39.4” and weighs less than 88 pounds.
If you’re interested in buying the HomeBiogas unit, the company is offering supporters an opportunity on their crowdfunding page to reserve one with a pledge of $890. Once the campaign is over, the unit will go back to its regular retail price of $1500.
via Home sized biogas unit lets you convert your own organic waste into cooking fuel
Mean while Treehugger has a slightly different view on this:

Home-sized biogas unit turns organic waste into cooking fuel and fertilizer, for under $900 : TreeHugger

A startup from Israel has developed a home-sized biogas unit that can take organic waste and convert it into enough gas for 2-4 hours of cooking, as well as 5 to 8 liters of organic liquid fertilizer, every single day.
The accurately-named HomeBiogas device could herald a new dawn for full-circle local waste recovery for both on- and off-grid homes, because it has the ability to take in up to 6 liters per day of any food waste (including both meat and dairy, which are often not recommended for home composting) or up to 15 liters per day of animal manure (including pet waste, which is also considered a no-no in home composting), and turn that into enough fuel to cook several meals per day, while also producing a rich organic fertilizer that can boost soil fertility and garden yields.
While many home biogas initiatives tend to be focused on the developing world, where animal and human waste can be converted into a clean-burning fuel for cooking or heating water, providing a renewable local energy source, this project is aimed at the suburban market, where it can function as a valuable component of a home's energy network, either as an adjunct to grid-based systems or as an off-grid accessory.
According to HomeBiogas, 1 kilogram of food waste can produce an average of about 200 liters (7 cubic feet) of gas, which can fuel an hour's worth of cooking over a high flame, so with a full daily input of 6 liters of organic waste, the company's units can produce several hours of cooking gas each day, and can help homes eliminate one ton of organic waste each year, and avoid generating the equivalent of 6 tons of CO2 annually. Via Home-sized biogas unit turns organic waste into cooking fuel and fertilizer, for under $900
To wtach this on YouTube click here.

Summary

So, here you have it. Is this really going to be the first true Home Biogas Plant for the developed world, turning waste into gas and fertilizer?

Food waste and declining energy sources are major environmental hazards.
Biogas is the solution it's a natural process in which organic waste is converted into cooking gas so five years ago we went on a mission to bring biogas to every home regroup the best engineers scientists designers and product people togethere Markiting manager of HomeBiogas Ron Yariv Said:
Homebiogas is the first family sized user friendly affordable biogas system.
It is the [latest biogas digester design] and you can put it in your backyard. This home biogas plant comes in and easy to assemble kit and it uses a simple-as-can-be [system] just [by] throwing your organic waste in there. You go [and get your]  hot stove ready for cooking. [It produces] a cycle of in-house energy and it runs with no electricity or leftovers, [but also it] provides you [with a claimed] two to three hours of energy and [you fill it with]... handy kitchen leftovers, including meat and dairy products.... even your pet's litter. via Home Biogas Plant -Turning waste into gas and Fertilizer - Do Science!

Let's have your opinion. Is this worth buying?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Anaerobic Digestion Companies Grow From Hundreds to Over a Thousand in Just 10 Short Years

Anaerobic digestion companies are a major growth sector within the global marketplace. Until 10 years ago there were probably no more than 100 companies in the developed nations which were actively trading as anaerobic digestion companies, or perhaps would also have been known as biogas companies, and now there are likely to be over a thousand.



Anaerobic Digestion (AD) is a natural process which will never be patented, it is as old as life on earth. The process was one of the very first to evolve on earth, we know that because AD was taking place before there was oxygen in the earth's atmosphere. AD is simply the umbrella term for any reaction where plant and animal materials (known as biomass) are broken down by micro-organisms without there being any air present. In fact anaerobic digestion only takes place when air is not available, at least not enough is present for aerobic degradation, and it makes methane gas as an inevitable consequence of the sequence of complex biochemical reactions it entails.

The process being more than a short time "out of patent" (millions of years!?), leads to the possibility that anyone can design and build AD Plants using this process, and many companies have been created to do just that!

Main Types of Anaerobic Digestion Companies

There are now a number of different types of anaerobic digestion companies. There are anaerobic digestion specialist companies which will design, build, and construct a complete AD Plant (DBC Contractors). Some of those contractors will go further than that even and will maintain and operate their AD Plants as well as DBOOT Contractors (Design, Build, Own, Operate, Transfer).

There are also specialist contractors, calling themselves AD Companies, which design and build just part of a biogas plant, such as the heat exchangers, and/or CHP equipment

Within the sector of Design and Build Contractors in the developed nations  these companies are usually, as a general rule, specialist companies in one, or at most two, of the following anaerobic digestion plant client sectors:

a) Sewage sludge treatment and biogas production
b) Agricultural sector biogas plants
c) Waste Management Sector anaerobic digestion plants for processing the organic content of residual (also known as "black bag") household domestic waste, and food waste biogas plants.

Some of these companies specialise in one of the commonly optimised temperature ranges of biogas reactors, this being in either mesophilic or thermophilic biogas plants, and others offer two stage AD Plant variants in pursuit of improved reliability, efficiency and better profitability.

In all these sectors you will now also find both companies (i) which apply the normal accepted design criteria to their plants, and, (ii) innovation companies that offer what are presented as "high-tech" versions of the standard biogas plant, which claim, and in many cases no-doubt do achieve, higher gas yields and lower sacrificial energy burdened plants.

The normal accepted "standard" design for biogas plants is the process which is known as a completely mixed reactor process AD Plant. This is the most "tried and tested" type. These comprise 90%, or more, of the anaerobic digestion plants which can be seen dotted about the landscape. They are easily spotted for their large circular based reactor tanks, over which there is is a plastic material covered dome, in which the biogas collects.

However, as soon as someone creates a "rule" there are always examples which break it! That is certainly the case for a number of anaerobic digestion companies which operate novel digester designs.

Examples of these are the contractors which have developed their own designs in the following types of biogas processes:

a) Dry Anaerobic Digestion
b) Low Temperature Anaerobic Digestion and Low Organic Solids Content feedstocks
c) Ultra high temperature (ocean floor fumerole) micro-organism elevated pressure type reactors.
d) Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) reactors.

Then there are also companies offering optimised plug flow Anaerobic digestion processes, and those that provide a technology which is claimed by its advocats to hold the advantages of both completely mixed reactors and plug-flow reactors, known as hybrid anaerobic digestion plant designs.

This all may seem to add-up to a highly complex and confusing market for the newcomer to anaerobic digestion to navigate through in order to find the best anaerobic digestion company for their needs. So, we will now try to make it a little easier, by directing you toward some of the players in this market, as below:

Examples of Anaerobic Digestion Contractors

Cambi AS was one of the first AD Plant Contractors. It is:

"an international supplier and operator of advanced and profitable sludge and biowaste treatment plants. The plants are based on Cambi`s patented Thermal Hydrolysis Process (THP), a pretreatment for anaerobic digestion. The THP significantly increases biogas production and digester loading, increases dewaterability and produces a pasteurized biosolids/soil ...
Read more...
Bioprocess Control is a technology and market leader in the area of Advanced Instrumentation & Control Technologies for research and commercial applications in the biogas industry. The company was founded in 2006, and today brings to market more than 15 years of industry leading research in the area of instrumentation, control and automation of anaerobic digestion ...
Read more...
Organic Recycling Systems Private Limited (ORS) is one of the pioneering companies in the field of organic waste processing and treatment. We provide products, services and solutions for efficient waste management. We convert waste into resource. By utilising our technical collaborations, we have introduced leading innovative technologies in India. We combine our ...
Zero Waste Energy, LLC was founded in 2009 and incorporated in 2010 in San Jose, California, by an experienced group of innovative solid waste industry leaders. They recognized the value in the best use of waste feedstock and the systems needed to sort out high value commodities and to generate renewable energy. ZWE’s principal goal has been to design, construct, and ...
Read more...
SEaB is an international, UK based company working in the renewable energy and energy from waste sectors. The company is located at the University of Southampton Science Park in Chilworth on the outskirts of Southampton, UK.SEaB has developed and patented MUCKBUSTER® and Flexibuster™ compact easy to install turnkey anaerobic digestion (AD) systems which have the potential ...
NorthEast Biogas, LLC works with organic waste producers to profitably generate renewable energy, capture value of greenhouse gas emission reductions, mitigate environmental risks, create new revenue streams, and reduce waste management costs. We use only proven technology systems from a variety of manufacturers, chosen to best match site specific needs, and, as the ...
Read more...
Two anaerobic digestion technology companies in the United Kingdom Biogen Ltd. and Greenfinch Ltd. [have merged] to form BiogenGreenfinch. The newly formed company will be supported by a $28 million investment from Bedfordia Group PLC, the parent company of Biogen, according to Dan Poulson, chief executive officer of  BiogenGreenfinch.
Established in 2005, Biogen funds, builds, and operates anaerobic digestion plants that convert food waste and animal manure slurry into biogas and fertilizer. Greenfinch is a process engineering company with more than 30 years of experience providing anaerobic digestion technology for the processing of sewage, manure, and food waste. Together, the companies have developed 12 anaerobic digestion plants throughout the U.K. The new company BiogenGreenfinch will employ 43 people.
Read more...

A number of these contractors are featured on the Biogas Installer website here.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

CHP and 3 Important Considerations When Designing Combined Heat and Power Systems

An Introduction to CHP

Add caption
Combined heat and power (CHP) systems, are also known as cogeneration systems, and they greatly improve the usable energy output from electricity generation systems. When a gas engine or turbine is used to generate electricity without CHP, after the electricity leaving the site, there is also hot "cooling water" that is used to keep the jacket around the engine and generator windings cool.

Usually, this heat energy is not used, and goes to a cooling plant, which is usually primarily a radiator and a fan based cooler which vents the heat to the atmosphere. In CHP (combined heat and power) systems, that heat is used in some way, and the most common method is to send the hot water through an insulated pipeline to a space heating radiator in a remote office, or factory, or the hot water delivered may be used to warm more water for industrial hot water uses. The result is that CHP provides a lot more useful thermal energy in an integrated system.

This means that CHP is not a technology, but a concept, there are many ways to apply different technologies to CHP. Heat is used when it would otherwise be wasted during the normal methods of separate generation of heat and power. It is hard to appreciate just how big the benefits of anaerobic digestion heat CHP can be. Experts say that the conventional methods of producing usable heat and power separately usually achieves no better than a combined efficiency of use of the original energy output of 45%, amazingly CHP systems operate at levels as close to 80%. Just stop to think for a moment now, just how wasteful the normal method is.

3 Important Considerations When Designing Combined Heat and Power Systems

  1. Payoffs for adding CHP to an existing biogas generation plant installation can be fast, and as quick as 12 to 18 months, but not always. It is essential to do some detailed analysis of the true value of the heat you will gain from installing heat exchangers to output this useful hot water. The heat (hot water) from any CHP system is only going to be as hot as it now enters the cooling system. Check that this will be hot enough for the purpose the hot water, or heat will be used. For space heating it is usually fine, but just remember that it will not be hotter than the cooling jacket temperature.
  2. Next check the synergy of time. The hot water produced will need to be output at the times when it is needed. For example, if the heat is to be used for crop drying, does the crop drying requirement coincide seasonally with the usage of the generation equipment? That output may be used, in some cases, only at times when the electricity company pays the best rate each day for the power. Conflicts of this sort are likely to occur, and this is not a problem as long as the calculation of the value of the CHP power is done in a way that makes due allowance for them. Although there may be on-farm uses they may prove to give a lower payback than for instance installing a longer insulated pipeline to a nearby factory which has a 24/7 demand for hot process water.
  3. Make sure that you also make a realistic evaluation of the current costs of the power that the CHP energy source would replace. At the current time of writing, electricity tariffs and diesel costs per litre have been dropping due to the low cost of oil. Take a view on the extent to which that drop may continue and build-in a margin for a further potential drop, making sure that the investment decision takes a cautious approach.


You may also find the following article useful:

The Biogas Engine – Defined And How They Provide Biogas Generation of Electricity

There are a number of advanced and proven gas engines utilized for biogas generation by the biogas generator manufacturers. They are maximized for biogas use, in a way that ensures that their combustion chambers provide the highest degree of performance possible.

Lubricating oil is dispersed throughout the engine’s moving components to keep the tool running smoothly as well as to lower wear. Proper treatment and also upkeep of the generator engine will certainly guarantee many years of problem complimentary usage.

Nevertheless, failure to deal with normal upkeep is a sure means to attractive trouble. This is definitely real when it comes to the engine’s lubricating oil.

The post The Biogas Engine – Defined And How They Provide Biogas Generation of Electricity appeared first on Anaerobic Digestion Community Website.

via The Biogas Engine – Defined And How They Provide Biogas Generation of Electricity

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Availability of Vast Untapped Biogas Energy Confirmed in 2 New Reports

Anaerobic energy has had a good week. It is being heavily backed, firstly by the big guns at the UN, in a new report, and by a biogas technology company showing evidence that by autoclaving ("pressure cooking") black bag (mixed) residual waste a quadrupling of the biogas can be achieved.

This abundance is amazing, and estimates of the amount of energy available from the AD process just keep rising!

We have included extracts from the original articles below:

"Vast Biogas Energy Potential in Human Waste"

Biogas from human waste, safely obtained under controlled circumstances using innovative technologies, is a potential fuel source great enough in theory to generate electricity for up to 138 million households – the number of households in Indonesia, Brazil, and Ethiopia combined.
A report from UN University’s Canadian-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health estimates that biogas potentially available from human waste worldwide would have a value of up to US$ 9.5 billion in natural gas equivalent.
And the residue, dried and charred, could produce 2 million tonnes of charcoal-equivalent fuel, curbing the destruction of trees.

Experts say, that the large energy value would prove small relative to that of the global health and environmental benefits that would accrue from the safe treatment of human waste in low-resource settings. 
“Rather than treating our waste as a major liability, with proper controls in place we can use it in several circumstances to build innovative and sustained financing for development while protecting health and improving our environment in the process,” according to the report, “Valuing Human Waste as an Energy Resource.”
The report uses average waste volume statistics, high and low assumptions for the percentage of concentrated combustable solids contained (25 – 45%), its conversion into biogas and charcoal-like fuel and their thermal equivalents (natural gas and charcoal), to calculate the potential energy value of human waste.
Biogas, approximately 60% methane by volume, is generated through the bacterial breakdown of faecal matter, and any other organic matter, in an oxygen free (anaerobic) system.

Dried and charred faecal sludge, meanwhile, has energy content similar to coal and charcoal.UN figures show that 2.4 billion people lack access to improved sanitation facilities and almost 1 billion people (about 60% of them in India) don’t use toilets at all, defecating instead in the open.
If the waste of only those practicing open defecation was targeted, the financial value of biogas potentially generated exceeds US$ 200 million per year and could reach as high as $376 million.
The energy value would equal that of the fuel needed to generate electricity for 10 million to 18 million local households. Processing the residual faecal sludge, meanwhile, would yield the equivalent of 4.8 million to 8.5 million tonnes of charcoal to help power industrial furnaces, for example.
via Vast Biogas Energy Potential in Human Waste - Solar Thermal Magazine

Below is an extract from the Waste Management World article:

Autoclaved MSW Could Quadruple Biogas Production from Anaerobic Digestion

Waste Management World - Aerothermal Group, has published research which is claimed to prove that pre-treating black bag municipal waste in an autoclave before sending it to anaerobic digestion could increase methane generation by over 300% and substantially reduce the amount sent to landfill... and more »

The above articles vindicate our faith in the huge and ever-rising importance of anaerobic digestion and biogas, which we have reported in this blog for almost 10 years.