Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Silage Clamp Design and Construction UK by JP Concrete

Silage Clamp Design by JP Concrete Helps Power 10,400 UK Homes

This is about Silage Clamps for Anaerobic Digestion Plants, which create renewable biogas which powers electrical generators, which supply electricity to UK homes through the National Grid.

Silage clamp design and installation to comply with the UK silage clamp regulations (SSAFO Regs (UK)) is an essential component of modern anaerobic digestion plants.

The humble silage clamp, is so often forgotten when reliable biogas production is discussed, but is the key to storing energy from annual harvests, so that the energy producing AD process can be fed a consistent feedstock, all year round.

Image shows a JP Concrete silage clamp design.
(C) JP Concrete

That very consistency of the food provided for the bacteria which create the biogas, is what ensures that power is available to those homes throughout the coldest days of winter, and hottest summer heatwaves.

Designing and building silage clamps to the lowest possible budgets, which will provide a seal against loss of liquids into the environment, is not an easy one to achieve.

JP Concrete, has just announced that it has completed a total of seven silage clamps and storage pads, for Beeswax Dyson Farming’s AD plants in Lincolnshire that produce almost 5 Megawatts powering 10,400 homes, via the National Grid.

The pre-cast retaining wall units from JP Concrete have been installed at the Nocton Fen and Carrington AD plants, as well as at five satellite pad locations in the local area.

The two silage clamps and five 50 metre by 50 metre freestanding satellite pads enable Beeswax-Dyson-Farming, to meet Silage Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil storage (SSAFO) regulations, and provide greater flexibility, for its harvesting and storage of energy crops such as maize, and provide greater flexibility for its harvesting and storage of energy crops, such as maize.

Beeswax-Dyson-Farming’s contractors installed the earth bank retaining walls, whilst Modular-Cubed (JP Concrete’s sister company), installed the 3 metre  high 5.6 tonne dividing T-wall sections.

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Anaerobic Digestion in Ireland Encouraged by Biofuels Obligation Rate Rise

Anaerobic Digestion in Ireland will be one of the Biofuel resources encouraged by the Government's announced Irish Biofuels Obligation Rate Rise.

Ireland has followed EU targets set for increasing bio-energy production and use, by announcing a rise which will come into force at the start of 2019.

Ireland has a great largely untapped resource in its farms which could, and hopefully soon will, be raising their own efficiency, and improving their management of farm waste by installing their own biogas plants.

Recent developments in raw biogas upgrading equipment, to make pure methane (biomethane) of the same quality as the natural gas in national gas grids, also mean that it is easier than ever for farm biogas plants to purify their raw biogas.

Once anaerobic digestion plants upgrade and produce biomethane, they will be able to sell that energy in compressed form for use in transport fleets.

What makes this a remarkable win-win situation, is that using methane as a transport fuel reduces air-pollution at the same time. methane is a clean burning fuel with vastly reduced emissions of the sort produced by diesel and petrol fuels.

IrBEA Welcomes Government’s Biofuel Blend Increase to 10%

Press Release: 10th April 2018
Statement from Irish Bioenergy Association

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) welcomes the Government’s announcement that the biofuels obligation rate will increase from 8% to 10% from January 1st 2019. The decision was taken this week by Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten.

IrBEA responded to the open consultation on the BOS in January 2018 recommending and supporting the proposed increase.

Ger Devlin (IrBEA CEO) stated: “Biofuels represent nearly all of the carbon emission reductions achieved by Ireland in the transport sector in the last decade. Their continued use during the infrastructural transition to electric vehicles and renewable generated electricity is crucial if we are to reach our climate targets for 2030 and 2050. The new blend rate will now displace c.600 000 tonnes of CO2 annually.”

The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that biofuels will need to make up a third of the world’s total transport energy by 2050 if the Paris climate targets are to be met, making them as important as electromobility and efficiency in decarbonising transport the transport sector.

IrBEA supports sustainably produced EU biofuels with low iLUC impacts such as conventional bioethanol and biodiesel (the main biofuels used in Ireland today).

Sustainably produced biofuels are an important part of the global bioeconomy revolution. As a world leader in agriculture, Ireland is ideally positioned to benefit from growth in the bioeconomy. The Irish government should continue to implement policies – such as the biofuels obligation – that support the sector.

James Cogan, Head of the Biofuels Transport Group within IrBEA, said:

“Europe has been dithering over transport climate action for the last decade but the climate problem hasn’t gone away.  Indeed transport carbon emissions have grown in the period.  In raising the biofuels obligation Ireland is grabbing the bull by the horns. Conventional EU sourced biofuels and biogas are safe, effective, economical and scaleable, and they act as an anchor for bioeconomy innovation and investment. The next decade has to be about confidence, progress and growth.”

With over 200 members, IrBEA is the national association representing the bioenergy industry on the island of Ireland. The main objectives of the association are to influence policy makers, to promote the development of bioenergy and to promote the interests of its members.

Improving public awareness, networking and information sharing and liaising with similar interest groups are other key areas of work in promoting biomass as an environmental, economic and socially-sustainable energy resource. and

In the following paragraphs er have provided a two additional perspectives on the rise in the biofuels obligation Ireland:

Ireland ups biofuel obligations

April 20, Ireland’s Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment published a policy statement confirming its intention to increase the biofuel obligation to 10% from 1 January 2019 and to 11% in 2020. Ireland’s Biofuels Obligation Scheme requires suppliers of road transport fuel to ensure a certain proportion of the fuel that they place on the market is biofuel. … via Ireland ups biofuel obligations (corrected)

Ireland increases crop-based biofuel transport share, provides ‘business certainty’ 

Ireland’s environment ministry has decided to increase the crop-based biofuel share in transport to 10% from the existing 8% and draw a 2030 plan aiming to provide long-term business certainty in the field.

Irish Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten published a draft order, according to which the biofuel obligation rate to 10% (by volume) will be increased from 1 January 2019.

The minister also proposed a long-term plan for the Biofuels Obligation Scheme, which was set up in 2010.

The scheme sets out an obligation for suppliers of road transport fuels to include a certain percentage of environmentally sustainable biofuels across their general fuel mix.

The “biofuel obligation rate” was initially set at 4% and has gradually increased to the current rate of 8% (by volume).

“The Biofuels Obligation Scheme is a vital policy measure that increases the use of renewable energy and decreases emissions in the transport sector. Today I have published a Policy Statement setting out the increased level of obligation and future development of the scheme to 2030 and beyond,” the minister said in a statement.

He added that the scheme currently contributes an estimated 450,000 tonnes in carbon emission reductions each year towards Ireland’s national targets.

“The changes I have announced today will increase this contribution to over 600,000 tonnes annually,” he emphasised.

The ministry’s proposals were warmly welcomed as “rational” by Irish farmers, because crop-based biofuels “have up to 70% less GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions than fossil fuels, reduce dependence on imports from outside the EU and provide a much-needed boost to EU arable farmers”.

However, they warned that the government should now take action at EU level and prevent the European Commission from gradually phasing-out first-generation biofuels. via Irelandbiofueltransport

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Anaerobic Digestion Plant Operation 8 Years-On Landia GasMix

Anaerobic Digestion Plant Operation - Ireland’s GreenGas Biogas Facility 8 Years-On

Based on Landia Press Release; Ireland’s first farm-scale Anaerobic Digestion plant might be approaching its eighth year of operation, but the 24/7 attention to detail has never been more focused.

Although they worked closely with a German engineering firm, they chose to work directly with equipment suppliers, and these included Landia.

Kirk supplied our first digester, with Gary Little recommending Landia for its mixing systems, introducing us to Hugh Vaughan.

Lifetime cost was a very big selling point for us, as were companies who were proud of their work, and prepared to roll up their sleeves.

At first, Landia’s GasMix didn’t appear to be achieving the results that had been forecast, but this put right by a site visit from Hugh, who back-flushed the pipework to remove a blockage caused by a build-up of sulphur.

Digestate was reversed to clear the pipe.

After a short break for lunch, the digester was being mixed fully.

Since then, as part of its preventative maintenance schedule, the back-flushing has become a regular part of GreenGas’s maintenance program.

GasMix, having all moving parts on the outside is a big plus.

You don’t have to take a hit on gas yield.

A service agreement was put in place with Landia and an extended warranty, but because of the reliability of the pumps, the latter was never needed.

For the business, it is understood that the lifetime cost of the plant has always been a big selling point.

Another criteria is the efficiency of the mixing systems.

In addition to the GasMix system, GreenGas also invested in Landia’s side-entry mixers for its digesters to add some extra impetus.

Such is the efficiency of the mixing systems that GasMix (combining a Landia chopper pump and a series of venturi nozzles) only runs for about 15 minutes every two and a half hours.

The side-entry mixers run for only about 5 minutes every hour,so  energy use is very low.

Senan Meade, who has been with GreenGas since 2013, takes up the story: Even though our dry solids are usually a max of 5%, we feel the side-entry mixers give us a guarantee, he said.

Since 2010, GreenGas grown, to its current status as a 1 Megawatt plant, adding a new digester (from Wolf-Austrian) in 2015.

"We’ve come a long way as there was no real A D industry here when we started and certainly very few financial incentives, and we still lack the same catalyst as Northern Ireland, or many other states.

See the full Press Release at:

The following is based upon a Press Release by Landia UK.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Irish Biogas Plant Cuts Farm Fertiliser Costs to a Third - Bespoke Bioga...

Ireland's first farm-scale AD/Biogas plant might well be approaching its eighth year of operation, but the 24/7 attention to detail at the GreenGas plant in County Limerick has never been more focused.

Back in 2010, in the Republic of Ireland, there were almost no government incentives, but determined to diversify and to continue to take its farm forward, the McDonnell family decided to go ahead with using both its dairy herd's and poultry manure to produce biogas.

The McDonnells had the vision - and had more than done their homework.

Having conducted site visits from as far afield as America and Australia (but primarily in Scandinavia and Germany), David McDonnell and his father Michael's extensive research resulted in an impressive bespoke plant.

One created with realistic, sustainable expectations, and one that has become a landmark in renewable energy for the country.
"The nitrates directive was really beginning to kick-in during the late 2000s", 
said David McDonnell.

"These EU directives meant serious implications for farmers, so with our annual fertilizer costs up at around 100,000 Euros, we wanted to look at how we could produce our own fertilizer. We wanted, better, eco-friendly fertilizer, which at the same time for us was a natural progression for the farm.
Thanks to our AD operation, our annual fertilizer costs have now been reduced to one third.
In the future we can hopefully look at converting our digestate into a marketable product.
We wanted to use the land as best we possibly could - and ensure that what came out of our AD plant could be put onto our land", [which has been achieved]."

Since 2010, GreenGas has developed the plant's capacity, to its current status as a 1 MWeI plant, adding a new 1800m3 digester (from Wolf-Austrian) in 2015.

We've come a long way because there was no real AD industry in this country when we started and certainly very few financial incentives - and we still have nowhere near the catalyst as Northern Ireland or as in many other EU member states.

If you would like to read more, see the full Press Release at:

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