Friday, November 10, 2017

IADAB News Weekly - Edition 8: Biogas Plants in Germany a Home Biogas Product and UK's Severn-Trent Invests in Upgrades

Date: 10 November 2017: This is Issue 8 of IADAB News Weekly where we summarise the most important news of the week in the fast developing Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Industry, both in the UK and globally.

In this edition of the most trending anaerobic digestion and biogas news, we bring you an update on the number Biogas Plants in Germany and total energy output, we include an article about a Home Biogas Product, and explain why UK's Severn Trent is investing in biogas plant upgrades.

Alright, let’s get started…

The following is our intro video. Watch the intro video below, for a taster of what you will read if you scroll down below the video:



The Biogas industry in Germany is saving 20 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, and  205 new biogas plants were connected to the grid in 2016, more than the 150 expected by the association. The combination of new plants and expansions to existing plants mean Germany’s biogas industry is now generating an additional 219MW a year. Nevertheless, as a nation Germany needs to do better because the government is currently not achieving its 2020 self-imposed climate goals.

We include news of the HomeBiogas 2.0 product from an Isreali start-up business which has been successful already in developing the first version of this product, using crowd-funding. Now they are seeking funding for the start of production of their second product which they say will produce better biogas production results, at very much reduced cost. The new anaerobic digestion system is claimed to produce 3 hours of cooking gas per day from Kitchen Scraps, thus passing an important milestone for self-sufficiency in family cooking fuel requirements.

We do not know enough about this product to recommend it or not. We welcome comments from any readers who have bought and used the initial Mark 1 - HomeBiogas digester system.

Finally, the news that Severn Trent is investing £60m in biogas upgrade equipment which raises the biogas output (yield) from their existing anaerobic digestion plants by about one third from the same sludge feedstock, is welcome news. If it makes financial sense, and we have no doubt ST has done their calculations correctly on that, we can expect many more water utility companies to follow by adding hydrolysis units to their biogas plants.

Now scroll-on down for the article excerpts:

Biogas industry in Germany saving 20 million tonnes of CO2 emissions

Biogas plants in Germany are saving 20 million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year, according to the president of the German Biogas Association.

Recently released figures from the German Biogas Association show that 205 new biogas plants were connected to the grid in 2016, more than the 150 expected by the association. The figures also show that 10 biogas plants were decommissioned.

In total, the new plants have an output of 45 megawatts (MW), with 37 MW being used to generate electricity.
"All in all, the growth in the new plants is still very low compared to previous years, but many operators are investing more in the flexibility of their plants. This investment and the export business allow the plant builders to survive," 
explained Horst Seide, president of the German Biogas Association.

Increased investment in small liquid manure plants will likely continue the increase in plant numbers, according to the association.

The biogas figures come in the wake of Germany’s Federal Environment Ministry showing that the government missed its 2020 self-imposed climate goals.

Figures from the German Biogas Association reveal that in total plants installed 175MW in additional capacity in 2016.

The combination of new plants and expansions to existing plants mean Germany’s biogas industry is now generating an additional 219MW a year. via Biogas industry in Germany

HomeBiogas 2.0 Produces 3 Hours Of Cooking Gas Per Day From Kitchen Scraps

One Israeli company has developed the next generation of what it believes to be a simple and effective device for turning kitchen scraps into fuel and fertilizer, thereby tackling both food waste and clean cooking in one fell swoop.



HomeBiogas, which successfully launched its first home biodigester system on Indiegogo in early 2016, has been working to improve the design of its product into a more durable, lower cost, and more efficient model, and recently unveiled the next iteration of this backyard biogas device. While its first product offering was priced right around $1000, the new version, HomeBiogas 2.0, is selling for less than half of that, and is claimed to work at twice its original speed.



The biogas appliance is meant to sit in the yard near the kitchen (up to 20 meters away), where the 1200-litre tank is filled with water, “activated” with bacteria, and then filled with food scraps, kitchen and garden waste, or animal manure on a daily basis. Inside the digester tank, bacteria breaks down the organic matter, producing biogas that gets collected in a 700-litre gas storage tank, which then feeds the biogas to the stove in the kitchen.

It is a completely off-grid appliance, and as long as it is fed properly and within the optimal temperature range, it is claimed to produce up to 3 hours worth of cooking gas daily. When outside temperatures are above or below the recommended range, the appliance requires shade, insulation, or a heater to perform as designed.


In addition to biogas for cooking, the HomeBiogas 2.0 system also produces up to 12 litres of organic liquid fertiliser each day, which can go a long way toward boosting garden yields and increasing soil health and fertility.

According to the press materials, although the HomeBiogas 2.0 system gradually fills its gas storage tank as the biogas is produced, a “patented mechanical pressure mechanism” and an inline gas purifier ensure that clean, ready-to-use cooking gas is delivered at a uniform rate to the biogas stove.



Backers of the Kickstarter campaign at the $475 level will receive a HomeBiogas 2.0 appliance and a specially adapted biogas stove burner when they ship in the spring of 2018. And for those who want to buy in at an even lower rate in order to resell the units, a pallet of 10 units is available to pledges at the $3,600 level.

While this home biogas appliance looks to be an effective way for homeowners (and renters) to convert organic waste into a clean and off-grid cooking fuel, it’s the possibilities for it to alleviate deforestation, dirty cooking fires, and air pollution in the developing world that could have a large impact.

And because of that, HomeBiogas is also matching donations to the campaign that will go to fund local organisations in Puerto Rico and Kenya in order to provide clean energy to the families there who really need it.  via Producing Cooking from Kitchen Scraps

Severn Trent invests £60m in biogas upgrade

Severn Trent has invested £60 million in a thermal hydrolysis plant (THP) to make the process of generating clean energy at one of its sites more efficient.

The water company says the technology will see the electricity produced at Minworth Sewage Treatment Works increase by almost a third.

The process works by treating sewage sludge, using heat and pressure to sterilise and shatter the cell structure of the bacteria within.

The treated sludge then undergoes a biodegrading process to turn its solid matter into methane-rich biogas.

ST's Minworth Treatment Works, with Hydrolysis Equipment in the foreground (Copyright ST) 

The remainder can then be recycled and used as a fertiliser for agricultural land.
By generating renewable energy in this way, Severn Trent says it has been able to reduce costs, helping it keep customer bills down.

It expects the THP installation to be fully operational by 2018.

David Nyul, Project Manager for Severn Trent, said: “Generating clean energy through anaerobic digestion is a real priority for us and we’ve been treating sewage in this way for the last 60 years.

“Across the company we currently generate around 34% of all of the energy we use as a business and the thermal hydrolysis process will move us closer to our target of making that 50% by 2020.” via Severn Trent invests £60m in biogas upgrade

Conclusion

So, the message to the AD and Biogas industry this week is to continue to plan for expansion, ahead of many new opportunities likely to flow from the news of this last week...

Is it too soon to say that on the home biogas plant front, there will soon be a solution which becomes the new standard in low-cost home biogas units? If so, there could be MASSIVE global sales. Comments are welcome! 

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