Wednesday, June 01, 2016

The Essential Part of Every Biogas Plant that Nobody Tells You About

Who told you about "feedstock storage"? At this blog we lay bare the details of anaerobic digestion that nobody else talks about!

Almost all anaerobic digestion and biogas plants need to store feedstock, and doing that needs land space, and also significant spending on storage bays, tanks etc. These can be expensive... Who else talks about that?

There are some exceptions to these big storage requirements, but they are not common. Biogas plants which don't necessarily need large storage areas are anaerobic digestion facilities which are purely used for water treatment (for example a UASB Plant), and for them the "feedstock" is already in the water that flows through them. WasteWater Treatment Works sludge digesters are another example, where very little sludge is stored, but these are exceptions to the general rule.

All other anaerobic digestion facilities need feedstock storage to store seasonal feed materials, and to provide reserves of feed materials ready for use in times when the supply of feedstocks to digest, will be seasonally low, or may not be being supplied at all.

Feed materials, while being stored will also usually produce liquids which need to be contained and collected, otherwise they can be damaging to the environment. The need therefore, very often arises for biogas plants to have large engineered storage areas to hold organic feed materials. These need to be carefully designed and to comply with emissions prevention measures as well.

An example of feedstock storage is provided below, in which a UK specialist contractor in this field of expertise announces a recent project:

Whites Concrete AD service is made to measure for PH Bioenergy feedstock storage

Press Release: 1 July 2016: The installation of pre-stressed Baywall panels, designed and manufactured by Whites Concrete, has created important new feedstock storage space for PH Bioenergy in Grantham.
 The flat Baywall panels have combined to form new storage bunkers for PH Bioenergy, who utilise grass silage as well as cooked and uncooked potatoes for its AD feedstock.
“The upgrade of existing silage pits and various extensions created some unusual profiles and angles”, said Rob Chorlton from PH Bioenergy, “but the measurements from Whites Concrete have been spot on”.
(c) Whites Concrete
He added: “In fact, the whole service we’ve received from Whites Concrete has been much more than just supplying the pre-cast panels. They have been very helpful throughout, including delivery, as well as assisting us with lifting equipment and also drawings during the early design stages to assist us in gaining approval from the Environment Agency”.
Stephen Casey from Whites Concrete, said: “We understand that no two farm AD plants are the same and that for many farmers, getting an AD plant up and running with appropriate storage is no mean feat. We were very pleased to help Rob wherever we could and play our part in making the PH Bioenergy AD plant a very successful one”.
For those that are planning new AD Plants, the message is out. Take care to plan ahead for adequate feedstock storage, and the cost benefits can be large. The benefits come from avoiding long periods when a digester would be running at below its designed biogas yield, due to a lack of feedstock availability.

For more information visit Whites Concrete website here.