At last the world's press seems to be starting to understand the very positive message about Anaerobic Digestion biology and benefits, that we recognised on this blog some time ago. In fact, we have been talking about the many biogas benefits here for ...
At last the world's press seems to be starting to understand the very positive message about Anaerobic Digestion biology and benefits, that we recognised on this blog some time ago. In fact, we have been talking about the many biogas benefits here for the last 10 years of this blog. it is rewarding that at last our voice, and the voice of many others, is being heard.
There have been a number of recent articles published showing a greater appreciation of anaerobic digestion is becoming apparent, especially in the US, where they lag behind much of the rest of the world..
In the following paragraphs we talk about the general environmental benefits first, and after that explain the benefits of anaerobic digestion in reducing the waste which would otherwise be sent to landfills.
Finally, the last section of this article explains how anaerobic digestion crops bring added value to a farm's crop rotation sequence.
The concept of anaerobic digestion is capturing the attention of more and more recycling companies as the industry learns about the inherent benefits that anaerobic digestion offers the environment, while providing another revenue generating option within the recycling industry.
The Anaerobic Digestion Biology at Its Core
Anaerobic digestion is a process carried out by a consortium of diverse microbial organisms including hydrolytic, fermentative and methane-forming bacteria. In the absence of molecular oxygen, the synergistic action of these organisms transforms biodegradable organics into a methane-rich gas and a stable fertile residue.
On the anaerobic digestion biology and benefits, according to Dr. Agamemnon Koutsospyros, Ph.D., professor and graduate coordinator of environmental engineering at Connecticut’s University of New Haven, anaerobic digestion systems, at a minimum, include:
"an air-tight vessel that sustains a favorable environment for biological activity upon organic feedstock."
“Reactor performance can be enhanced by integrating provisions for mixing, heating, pH, and temperature control,”
“Engineered systems also include a variety of pre- and post-treatment subsystems.”
These subsystems with the anaerobic digestion biology and benefits, may include organic "feedstock-pretreatment"; a gas collection/purification system to improve energy recovery and marketability; and digested material withdrawal/treatment to enhance the potential for beneficial applications. via americanrecycler.com
The process avoids the need for landfilling the organic waste which it processes thereby preventing the inevitable escape of much of the methane which is highly damaging when the same organic material is placed in landfills.
It "treats" the organic feedstock to make if less hazardous when deposited as fertiliser on land, and provides a very useful crop fertiliser.
Not least among the anaerobic digestion biology and benefits - it also produces renewable energy.
Anaerobic Digestion Key in Waste Reduction
Embracing anaerobic digestion along with other environmental goals (such as clean water and renewable fuel production) can help a broad swath of people, from farmers to governments, according to Smithsonian.
A group of researchers from EcoEngineers and Goss & Associates decided to quantify the benefits associated with
“a synergistic approach to both producing high-quality biogas from municipal, industrial and agricultural waste and using marginal land to grow an energy crop such as miscanthus,”
a bamboo-like plant that can be treated anaerobically to produce biofuel.
They concluded that a $17.6 million investment in an anaerobic digestion facility that can accept and process both municipal and industrial waste can, over a 20-year period, return roughly $158 million in benefits.
With an $8 million investment in technology to process agricultural wastes, roughly $70 million in benefits could be accrued in a 20-year span.
When Resourceful Earth Limited announced it [clearly understood the anaerobic digestion biology and benefits and ] would be building a facility to convert 35,000 tons of the local food waste to power each year—enough to provide 80 percent of the energy to the nearby town of Keynsham, U.K—the company became the latest to employ anaerobic digestion to reduce waste, generate energy and cut down on carbon emissions.
It is localism taken to its conclusion, not just what a community buys, but what it gets rid of, too.
“That’s our ideal plan, to make … a system where we’re actually a closed loop,” says Jo Downes, brand manager for Resourceful Earth.“It’s all self contained. Food waste is produced by a community, it’s converted to electricity, and it goes back to that community again. It’s self-sustaining.”
Anaerobic digestion, as a way of converting biomass to energy, has been practiced for hundreds of years, but the effort in Keynsham is one indicator of the technology’s maturation.
As focus around the world has turned to renewable energy, anaerobic digestion has started to become an economically viable energy source that capitalizes on humans at our most wasteful, and most creative.
Local municipalities, including wastewater facilities, as well as private companies and even the Department of Energy are fine-tuning the tech to make it more efficient and practical and enhance the anaerobic digestion biology and benefits:.
“Anaerobic digestion is fascinating because it’s a relatively easy, natural way of turning a broad variety of complex waste into a simple fuel gas,”
Of the anaerobic digestion biology and benefits, says David Babson, a technology manager at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office:
“Closing waste loops and recovering energy from waste presents a profound opportunity to simultaneously improve waste management and address climate change". Read more: vai Smithsonianmag
Our faith in the multitude of benefits from anaerobic digestion and biogas production is also reinforced by reasons explained our recent report:
Our free report aims to provide the reader with information on the developments driving the UK anaerobic digestion and biogas plant market at the start of 2017, and the likely barriers to growth in the industry throughout 2017, it gives valuable information to the reader.
This is information that will ultimately benefit them by helping them make well-judged investment decisions in 2017, to maximise their ROI and minimise risk.
Biogas is the name given to the gas produced by a process called anaerobic digestion, where microorganisms convert biomass, plant and animal material, to biogas in the absence of oxygen.
The biogas when it emerges from a digester is roughly 60% methane and 29% carbon dioxide, with trace elements of hydrogen sulphide. It is not high quality enough to be used as fuel gas for anything other than simply gas stoves, and specially corrosion protected machinery. The corrosive nature of hydrogen sulphide alone is enough to destroy the internals of all normal gas burning equipment.
Watch the video version of this video below:
The biogas produced by landfills has usually been used to fuel reciprocating gas engines and generate electricity, but even when specially designed gas engines are used the impurities in raw biogas tend to result in high maintenance costs.
The solution is the use of biogas "upgrading", which is another word for using purification processes which produce very nearly pure methane, which is clean enough to inject into national natural gas grids, or use as a substitute for compressed natural gas as a "clean" transport fuel.
Biomethane is simply biogas which has been cleaned up, or "upgraded".
During upgrading the contaminants in the raw biogas stream are absorbed or scrubbed, leaving substantially more methane per unit volume of gas.
Traditionally there were four main methods of upgrading: water washing, pressure swing adsorption, selexol adsorbtion, and amine gas treating. Nowadays, there is increasing use of gas separation membrane technology to perform this function.
There is a little more to it than that, but in a nutshell that is the difference between biogas and biomethane.
Before gas grid injection, or transport vehicle fuel use can occur the biomethane must be compressed. In addition the nature of the biomethane may need to be further adapted to the corresponding qualities of natural gas.
Biogas is considered to be a renewable resource because its production-and-use cycle is continuous, and in theory it generates no net carbon dioxide.
In reality, inefficiencies of the biogas process and energy expended during upgrading, means that some carbon net emissions do occur.
Nevertheless, its use produces far lower carbon emissions than almost any other process and biomethane is a renewable fuel with more uses than we could possibly list here, and an inexhaustible market.
Unlike solar, wind, and wave energy biomethane provides 24/7 energy availability.
Biomethane can even be used as a raw material to produce all the plastics which are currently manufactured from petroleum products.
We hope we answered you question about the difference between biogas and biomethane.
Biomethane is a naturally occurring gas which is produced by the so-called anaerobic digestion of organic matter such as dead animal and plant material, manure, sewage, organic waste, etc. Chemically, it is identical to natural gas which is stored deep in the ground and is also produced from dead animal and plant material. However, there are several important differences between biomethane and fossil fuel derived methane despite the fact that both are produced from organic matter.
Natural gas is classified as fossil fuel, whereas biomethane is defined as a green source of energy. Like its name suggests, fossil fuel derived methane is produced from thousands or millions of years old fossil remains of organic matter that lies buried deep in the ground. Production of fossil fuel derived methane, however, depends exclusively on its natural reserves which vary greatly from one country to another and are not available in limitless amounts. Biomethane, on the other hand, is produced from “fresh” organic matter which makes it a renewable source of energy that can be produced worldwide. via biomethane.org.uk
Heavy-duty Sanitation Truck Runs on Biomethane
This heavy-duty sanitation truck runs on renewable natural gas made from converted landfill gas. Renewable natural gas (RNG), or biomethane, is a pipeline-quality gas that is fully interchangeable with conventional natural gas and thus can be used in natural gas vehicles. RNG is essentially biogas (the gaseous product of the decomposition of organic matter) that has been processed to purity standards. Like conventional natural gas, RNG can be used as a transportation fuel in the form of compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). RNG qualifies as an advanced biofuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Biogas is produced from various biomass sources through a biochemical process, such as anaerobic digestion, or through thermochemical means, such as gasification. With minor cleanup, biogas can be used to generate electricity and heat. To fuel vehicles, biogas must be processed to a higher purity standard. This process is called conditioning or upgrading, and involves the removal of water, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and other trace elements. The resulting RNG, or biomethane, has a higher content of methane than raw biogas, which makes it comparable to conventional natural gas and thus a suitable energy source in applications that require pipeline-quality gas. via westport.com
Biogas can be Compressed, as can Natural gas be Compressed to CNG
Biogas typically refers to a mixture of different gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Biogas can be produced from raw materials such as agricultural waste, manure, municipal waste, plant material, sewage, green waste or food waste. Biogas is a renewable energy source and in many cases exerts a very small carbon footprint.
Biogas can be compressed, the same way natural gas is compressed to CNG, and used to power motor vehicles. In the UK, for example, biogas is estimated to have the potential to replace around 17% of vehicle fuel. It qualifies for renewable energy subsidies in some parts of the world. Biogas can be cleaned and upgraded to natural gas standards, when it becomes bio-methane. Biogas is considered to be a renewable resource because its production-and-use cycle is continuous, and it generates no net carbon dioxide. Organic material grows, is converted and used and then regrows in a continually repeating cycle. From a carbon perspective, as much carbon dioxide is absorbed from the atmosphere in the growth of the primary bio-resource as is released when the material is ultimately converted to energy. via engie.com
Biomethane Can be Made from a Pile of Garbage
Amazingly, natural gas can be produced from a variety of sources, including a pile of garbage. The process from trash to gas makes natural gas a renewable fuel. Biogas is the term used for the methane that is developed from the breakdown of organic material in the absence of oxygen from sources such as sewage, municipal solid waste, and farm waste. Biomethane is the fuel that is produced by refining and removing any impurities from the biogas. And unlike fossil fuels, which are considered a finite resource, the natural gas produced from these sources is a renewable resource.
Compressed biogas (CBG) and CNG can be used interchangeably as a fuel in CNG vehicles. While pipeline gas is CNG-ready, biogas requires conditioning (cleaning) before compression. The conditioning process removes moisture (H2O), increases methane (CH4) content by removing carbon dioxide (CO2), and cleans the gas by removing hydrogen sulfide (H2S), siloxanes, and other trace elements. Although CBG is currently cheaper to produce than CNG—because the methane source is free—higher capital costs associated with CBG—due to conditioning—have the potential to offset this difference. One potential advantage of direct use of biomethane as opposed to those who inject gas back into the pipeline is that natural gas vehicles can tolerate somewhat higher levels of CO2, which can have a significant impact on gas cleanup costs. For injection into the pipeline, the biogas must be purified to about 98 to 99 percent methane. For direct use as a vehicle fuel, biogas may be cleaned to around 90 percent methane. via r-e-a.ne
In 2012 the UK had not Completed any Biomethane Projects But Now There are 100+
At the time of the first REA UK Biomethane Day in 2012 the UK had not completed any Biomethane projects. In 2013 there was one, Rainbarrow Farm, joined by two more in 2014. By the end of 2015 there will be fifty one completed Biomethane projects and by 1st April 2016 there will be sixty one operational Biomethane to Grid projects, with the UK having the fastest growing, most innovative and diverse Biomethane market in Europe.
We are expecting over 300 delegates, with exhibition stands from all of the major suppliers of Biomethane related plant. If you are considering Biomethane to Grid this is the one industry event you cannot afford to miss. via catalystforum.org.uk
Making Biomethane Doesn’t Need the Sun to Shine or the Wind to Blow
Unlike other sources of renewable energy—such as solar and wind—biomethane doesn’t need the sun to shine or the wind to blow. Waste material can be converted into deliverable, renewable energy 24/7!
SoCalGas has compiled a list of suppliers that includes project developers, consultants, equipment manufacturers, installers and others that may prove helpful to you in this process. Non-utility service providers may offer services that are the same or similar to the SoCalGas Biogas Conditioning/Upgrading Services Tariff and customers are encouraged to explore these service options. via cumminswestport.com
Visit the Anaerobic Digestion Community web site, for the growing buzz around biogas digesters.
IPPTS Associates Releases Free Biogas Report on the UK Anaerobic Digestion Market 2017, - likely developments and opportunities
Hey! Thanks for reading this article. I promise it’ll be worth the few minutes.
Steve Last here. I’m the founder of IPPTS Associates, and an experienced environmental consultant currently completing a number of projects in the UK anaerobic digestion industry.
I’ve been in business for 10 years now, and I’ve stumbled upon some powerful indications of the way the UK AD industry will produce great business opportunities in 2017.
I’ve got some great news I’d like to share with you.
I've just published my book entitled IPPTS Associates Biogas Report titled: UK Anaerobic Digestion Market 2017.
In my report, I reveal everything about making the agonising decision of, do I commit many hours and multiple thousands of pounds on a new Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Plant facility when the UK government's subsidy levels are falling?.
Readers have already started calling my ebook report a very useful "pointer toward what might happen during 2017".
See, I’ve worked tirelessly over the past 10 years to find ways to help others appreciate the value of the anaerobic digestion process to their farm businesses.
After some grueling, "trial and error" experiences over the years, I’ve managed to mold all of this useful information into something that can be shared with the world.
In the past, there was only a small number of people who had access to the secrets of the type given in this book.
And, it was usually the people who were already aware of the many benefits of anaerobic digestion to UK businesses.
But now, I’ve long thought that this is something that needs to be passed on. And I want you to have all of my secrets and strategies!
Now, you might be wondering if this is the right selection for you.
Well, let me ask you a few questions…
Are you a dairy farmer always losing money due to poor milk prices?
Are you an arable farmer always losing money due to poor agricultural crop sales in poor growing seasons, or finding the prices for a good crop fall due to over production in the good years?
Are you tired of having an over-reliance on highly variable agricultural incomes from year to year, and a lack of the resilience seen in other businesses which gain income from a variety of sources.
Maybe you just can’t seem to figure out whether anaerobic digestion will remain a profitable option after UK government subsidies drop further, as they have been announced to do in April this year?
Do any of the above sound like you?
If you answered yes to at least one, then you’ll want to pay very close attention.
Because the secrets in this book will show you how to weigh up the opportunity to invest in anaerobic digestion in 2017, like never before.
Now that you have a better idea about whether or not this book is for you… I’d like you to imagine the future.
Consider these 4 things:
What if you never had to worry about losing money due to low milk prices
What if you never had to worry about losing money due to poor agricultural crop sales in poor growing seasons, or finding the prices for a good crop fall due to over-production in the good years?
What if you could never suffer from an over-reliance on highly variable agricultural incomes from year to year and a lack of the resilience seen in other businesses which gain income from a variety of sources. available at any time?
What if you could generate your own power, and use it in your business, anytime you want?
What if you could produce your own fertiliser and actually charge people to take their organic waste to make that fertiliser?
Well, that's exactly what anaerobic digestion is doing for thousands of farmer around the world already.
If you download this ebook and apply all that you see in it, I guarantee a new awareness which if grabbed and acted upon everything mentioned above can happen for you.
I say this because I designed this book in such a way that anyone, regardless of their skill level, can easily understand its contents and immediately apply them.
If this is something that interests you, here’s what you need to do next.
First, this is optional but highly recommended, fill out the newsletter subscription form above right to be sent notification of future ebooks and articles.
The reason you need to fill out this form is becauseI will be creating more articles, and offering more ebooks for download, which I am sure you will not want to miss out on.
And I need to know where to send them.
Finally, the last thing you have to do is click the link below to get started.
The anaerobic digestion process provides at least 10 ways to make money from Biogas Plant, that's why it is such an amazing asset to the owners and operators of biogas plants. Once a farmer, for example, gets his or her own biogas plant up and running they soon realise that a digester is so much more than just a producer of renewable energy.
There is a great danger that in this age of decarbonisation progress, the humble AD process is being overlooked by many who seek to reduce their carbon footprint, and that it fails to get the publicity it deserves.
That's why we compiled a list of them, published the video provided below, and wrote this article.
Each of the following different income streams provided below, can contribute to the economics of individual digester projects, including farm digesters.
Some income methods apply to all digester installations, while others are a matter of choice, or determined by the size or location, of the farm. Some may not be possible for certain waste types, and as this list is for the United Kingdom, some of these income streams may not be available in your country. The ways in which financial benefit is possible, fall essentially into two categories.
Income Created from the By-products of Anaerobic Digestion
First, there are the savings or direct income created by the by-products, including: 1) savings, on the cost of artificial fertilisers for the farm itself, when a farm uses its own digestate as a fertiliser on their own land 2) sales of digested materials, for use as fertiliser, by other nearby farms 3) sale of fibre or finished compost, either through a regional marketing organisation, or by distribution locally 4) savings in on-farm energy costs, through the use of gas for heating and cooking 5) the sale of electricity, or biogas, either locally or through the national grids, and 6) the sale of spare heat, from CHP units for use in heating buildings or greenhouses, for example.
Income Created from Payments and Subsidies for Reducing Environmental Problems
Second, there are payments and subsidies, of one kind or another, for reducing environmental problems which affect the whole community. These payments could include: 1) gate fees for processing other organic wastes, such as source-separated domestic food waste or garden waste or possibly sludge from small sewage works 2) incentives for producing renewable energy, either through the Renewable Heat Initiative or Feed-in-Tariffs, (also known as FiTs), for electricity generation, and 3) payments for overall reductions in greenhouse gas emissions 4) sometimes there may even be payments made by governments to encourage farmers to use anaerobic digestion as a way to reduce the burden of farmyard contamination on local watercourses, in areas of intensive dairy farming.
Anaerobic Digestion Cleans Up Bathing Beaches
In the early 2000s there were even AD project grants given to some farmers close to bathing beaches in Scotland’s Solway Firth, so that biogas plants were built in an area where dairy farmyard, summer storm-water slurry run-off, was jeopardising the tourist industry. On those local beaches, EU bathing beach water quality in the period after after heavy summer storms, was significantly improved, by installing anaerobic digestion plants.
Our conclusion is that:
Establishing effective ways of using all the by-products of a biogas plant, and marketing them in the best manner for maximised income, can raise the income from biogas plants substantially.
A number of forms of government funding (subsidies) are available to help ensure a robust economic viability for not only farm biogas plants, but also community biogas projects, and municipal waste-collection authority involvement in the industry.
Governments have been subsidising biogas production, but generally they need to focus the provision of this money more directly on the environmental benefits of each AD Facility.
By doing that, the contribution of public funds can be best used, to help encourage use of the biogas process in ways which meet the needs of small, as well as larger farms.
In particular, it is important to bring together as many as possible of these income streams, for each anaerobic digestion plant.
Good News for Anaerobic Digestion
The good news is that, if this is done, many more farmers, on many more farms, should be able to find it possible to profitably install many more biogas digesters.
Thank you for watching our video presentation (above), and reading this article, we hope you found it useful. You may like to also watch our video on how to raise biogas yield, as another way to improve the income from existing anaerobic digestion plants. via Anaerobic-digestion.com/make-money-from-farm-biogas-plants/
Visit the Anaerobic Digestion Community web site, for the growing buzz around biogas digesters.
To do this the biogas plant operator simply heaps digested anaerobic digestion plant fibre in rows either out in the open, or under cover, for better water content control in hot countries.
It is turned over regularly with the shovel on a tractor, or with dedicated windrow turning machines.
This usually takes several months during which the water content and activity is measured for every batch, and until it becomes stable enough for bagging.
This process can be accelerated if the digested fibre for compost making is placed in a composting tunnel, and subjected to processing at a higher controlled temperature in a forced-air batch system.
Effectively, the digester output of fibre is loaded into large purpose-built bins, or compost tunnels, which have floors with perforated concrete slats inserted into them.
Biogas Digestate Maturation in a "Composting Tunnel"
Pre-warmed air is blown by a compressor into a chamber below the slatted floor, and up through the compost.
The warm conditions, and abundant airflow speeds up the work of the bacteria and other organisms, which perform the composting process.
Later, once the compost is no longer active, it cools down cool from the high level of bacterial activity when earlier-on the aerobic bacteria create a considerable amount of heat.
In the compost tunnel, or bin method, the digestate fibre is ready to be taken out within a few weeks, and is again heaped up for a further few weeks, to mature.
The composted tilth, is then passed through a soil-shredder, to make it more friable, and for retail sales, it is usually bagged.
Worthwhile Additional Biogas Plant Income
This can often achieve a worthwhile added biogas plant income.
Sales are often made by selling this compost at the farm gate or through local garden centres.
However, experts have pointed out that a problem would occur if large numbers of individual farmers with digesters were to begin making and selling compost in the same area.
The Problem of Local Compost Market Saturation
In that area, local markets would soon become glutted.
There is no doubt that major retailers, or landscaping contractors, could become large buyers for this compost.
Unfortunately, the scale at which major retailers, or landscaping contractors wish to work, to do this at an economic price, is so large that few individual farmers are able to meet the quantity requirements.
Biogas expert Jonathan Letcher, in his Farm Digesters Book, and others have therefore proposed that to avoid this problem compost producers should work together to market their fibre compost.
That way they could produce enough composted fibre material, to meet the demands of major retailers, and landscaping contractors.
Unfortunately, many UK farmers who operate their own digesters reportedly feel they have neither the experience, the capital, nor time to set up their own compost-making business at all.
Digested fibre, could be a very useful resource, if fully used and composted.
Making Compost from the Digested Fibre from Biogas Plants Improves Anaerobic Digestion System Sustainability
By processing and using it, the sustainability of the anaerobic digestion systems it would markedly raised.
Large-scale use of aerobic-composting, to finish converting the biogas digestate fibre, into a high quality product, would make it the great soil-enhancing material, it could be used throughout many countries.
Nevertheless, if digested fibre is to achieve its full potential, both in helping many more farms to afford a digester,
Local production by individual farms will never be big enough producers enough to break into this market.
Visit the Anaerobic Digestion Community web site, for the growing buzz around biogas digesters.