Full scale decentral 2nd generation biomethane plants
The biomethane product in the BioFuels Technology A/S product portfolio comprises anaerobic digestion plants for production of biomethane and fertilizers.
There are two central driving parameters for this product. Firstly, there is a demand for sustainable energy, increasingly in the form of automotive fuel. Secondly, there is an increasing need for development of agricultural practises with respect to waste disposal in order to reduce farming costs and, at the same time, to increase the environmental performance of agricultural enterprises. In many cases, livestock operations are dependant on such upgrading of farming practises in order to receive environmental approval or licensing. The IPPC directive calls for evaluation of all major livestock operations in EU 25 and in Eastern Europe (EU 10). A combined rendering and anaerobic digestion plant with refinement of nutrients is the ultimate solution.
How does it work?
The product comprises three essential elements, namely a pre-treatment facility for receiving and pre-treating any solid substrate, a fermentation system, and finally a post-treatment or refinement part of the product.
The pre-treatment facility is essential for receiving solid substrates and to benefit from their energy potential. While liquid slurry has a biogas potential of about 25 m3 per tons the solid substrates have 10-fold larger potentials. Utilization of solid substrates is thus essential to arrive at production levels making the operation profitable.
The pre-treatment unit consists of building equipped with two lines, an animal by-product line for receiving and sterilizing by-products and a biomass line for receiving and pre-treating lignocellulose substrates such as straw, silage, wood chips, or energy crops. The treatment of by-products is conventional known, while the treatment of lignocellulose shall be performed in a new innovative hydrolyser. The hydrolyser combines technical developments with modifications of catalysed steam explosion. A patent application is pending.
The hydrolyser is a prerequisite for fermentation of lignocellulose to biomethane and bioethanol and is therefore also an essential component of bioethanol plants.
The fermentors of the AD plant are continuously stirred tank reactors (CSTR). Such reactors are well suited to digest the variety of substrates usually presented to such plants. In cases of substantial amount of protein containing substrates, a designated fermentation system for pre-digestion and subsequent stripping of the released ammonia is introduced before addition to the CSTR and methane forming fermentors.
The post treatment of the digestate is based on the CoMeTas silicon carbide membranes as an essential component.
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Biomethane, cleaned and compressed to CNG-gas, is a powerful transportation fuel.
CNG gas is used as automotive fuel in many countries around the world and there are certified CNG passenger cars in US and Europe operating with only CNG or in bi-fuel mode (Honda, Ford, BMW, Fiat and Volco). Of these, Honda Civic GX running with CNG has the cleanest engine even with exhaust emissions of 10% of ULEV levels.
Peugeot Citroen has announced plans to launch a CNG powered Citroen C3 car.
The Peugeot Citroen C3 project allows home refuelling. The cars come equipped with small scale compressors, which convert CNG gas used within households to the required pressure. These compressors will eliminate one of the barriers to the widespread adoption of CNG within Europe, namely the lack of retail outlets equipped with CNG pump facilities.