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Issue 2 June 2016

Bringing together the global AD community There are just a few weeks to go until we open the doors to UK AD & Biogas 2016; the largest gathering of the world’s AD and biogas community. Over 4,000 visitors from every corner of the globe will descend on the NEC Birmingham, UK, to learn, debate and do business with companies representing the whole spectrum of the international biogas world – from food waste to on-farm facilities, sewage to industrial plants. Among the array of free content on offer will be two exciting launches. The first is ADBA’s Market Reports, which will identify and examine those countries offering the most potential for AD development. Using a variety of data, we have categorised our top 10 territories over three time horizons, and we are confident that these documents (available in print and pdf versions) will quickly prove themselves invaluable to any biogas company looking to expand internationally. Also launching at UK AD & Biogas 2016 will be the first phase of our Best Practice Scheme. With

safety at the heart of any successful AD plant, it is essential that operators and developers are supported to run their projects safely and efficiently, and the Best Practice Scheme will provide a crucial framework for AD training and safety. With the UK leading the world in safe working practices and biogas regulation, we expect the scheme to be rolled out internationally over time, helping to deliver a truly world class AD industry. With so much on offer – including over 300 global exhibitors, a packed conference and seminar programme featuring speakers from the UN and Committee on Climate Change, biomethane and vehicle area, R&I Hub, advice clinics and AD plant site visits – it’s clear that this year’s UK AD & Biogas show will be a game-changer. Welcome to the future of our industry!

Last chance to book Don’t miss out – register your attendance for free today at adbioresources.org Showcase your products and services to the world’s largest AD-specific audience by booking our final remaining stand space. Contact neill.wightman@adbioresouces.org

view from Australia Global news AD, a global problem-solver Business without borders | Making AD work without incentives Inside this issue: The |






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Realising the AD industry’s global potential By Charlotte Morton, ADBA’s Chief Executive

In the six years since ADBA was formed, the UK biogas industry has undergone a period of unprecedented growth. The number of AD plants has increased by more than 600 per cent outside of the water sector, and there are now over 480 operational facilities, generating in excess of 525 MWe. Hand in hand with this growth has come an increasing focus on safety and operational efficiency – the UK is rightly proud of its reputation as one of the safest places in the world to operate a biogas plant. While our trade show, UK AD & Biogas, has long attracted an international audience (visitors came from over 32 countries last year), this year the event has a truly global remit. Delegations are confirmed from Indonesia, Brazil and Ireland, whose visitors are keen to do business with the hundreds of exhibitors on offer and find out the latest technological advances in the world of anaerobic digestion, across all sectors – including sewage, food waste, and on-farm. In fact, the global biogas community is starting to come together like never before. WRAP, the UK food waste reduction charity, is providing food waste infrastructure advice to a number of countries, including Panama. A growing number of international trade associations are becoming honorary ADBA members. Leading industry experts, including from the American Biogas Council, the UN, and the Committee on Climate Change will be speaking at UK AD & Biogas 2016. And an increasing number of companies who have been instrumental in the UK AD industry’s success, are now working on innovative biogas projects around the world. Nowhere is this demonstrated more clearly than in the shortlist for our AD & Biogas Industry Awards 2016, which is listed on p9. Companies including Xergi, Edina, Landia, Uniflare and Weltec Biopower – all familiar names in the UK AD market – are nominated for their work on international projects in territories as far afield as Australia. And as our ‘Business Without Borders’ feature on p12-13 shows, the potential for AD firms to succeed around the world is huge. To help ADBA members – and the wider global biogas community – to exploit this potential, we have compiled a number of Market Reports, which pinpoint the countries offering the most exciting AD opportunities around the world at the moment. Using data including available feedstock, policy drivers, legislation, and size of the current market, we have categorised our top 10 territories over three time horizons: those markets which look hot to trot over the next 2-3 year period; those which have potential over the coming 4-7 years; and finally, those with significant but more longer-term potential. This information on the up-and-coming AD hotspots will prove crucial to any biogas company seeking to do business internationally over the next few years, and we

are delighted to announce that our Market Reports will be launched at UK AD & Biogas 2016, on 6-7 July at the NEC Birmingham, UK. With performance and safety crucial for any AD operator, it is imperative that biogas plants are managed well wherever they are located. Given the UK’s strong record on safety and operational efficiency, we have developed the ADBA Best Practice Scheme, to provide a framework for training and safety, and to help set the industry standard. This initiative is also being launched at UK AD & Biogas 2016, and in time could be adapted and exported for use in other countries where there is currently a lack of regulation. It’s clear that this is an extremely exciting time to be involved in the AD and biogas industry. With more projects taking off in more territories than ever before, UK AD & Biogas 2016 will provide a focus for the global biogas community to come together and do business, share expertise and help build a truly word class industry. I look forward to seeing you there!

Are you joining the world’s biggest biogas gathering?

Register your attendance at adbioresources.org Final chance to book your stand! Contact neill.wightman@adbioresources.org today

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The view from Australia Legislative change needed to drive the Australian biogas industry forward By Dr Sarika Jain, ADBA’s Market Research Analyst Australia is a country that’s behind many others when it comes to waste recycling and sewage treatment. It comes down to a question of urgency and priority, and biogas is not yet anywhere near the top of the political or business agenda. But that’s not to say there’s not interest. Following a recent conversation between our Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton, and Peter McLean, Executive Officer of the Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA), it’s clear that the country offers a lot of potential. What’s needed now are the policy drivers to turn that potential into reality. Australia’s significant coal reserves provide most of the power to the population, and unlike many other leading nations, climate change is still not

The Richgro plant uses technology from a number of ADBA members, including Landia

a major influence on policymakers’ decisions. There are, however, small rural communities, such as those found in the outback, where a stable energy supply is needed. These sparsely populated pockets could be an opportunity for micro or small-scale anaerobic digestion plants to generate electricity from waste. A fertility boost is also required on much of the country’s depleted soils which could, in the future, open the door for digestate from AD to be a valuable resource. And the nation’s water industry is a potential opportunity too, as AD is underutilised in the sewage sector. According to AORA, if the same incentives that have been offered to the wind and solar PV sectors – under the Emissions Reduction Funds (ERF) – were made available for AD operations, it could help to kick-start the Australian biogas industry. To date, biogas technology has only benefited from some tax write-offs for innovation, although one of the direct action policies under the ERF does take AD into account. The Victorian Government has also made some innovation funding available. And although AORA mainly deals with composting, it already has a few members interested in AD – there are a couple of other organisations covering the sector, too, including the Australian Industrial Ecology Network, which is quite small but growing. There are currently 41 operational AD plants in Australia – the biggest cities have one or two each

The Richgro plant near Perth has now been operational for six months

– and there are more in development. Sugar cane residues are being used as the main feedstock in Queensland. And near Perth, the Richgro plant (shortlisted for Best International Commercial Plant at the AD & Biogas Industry Awards 2016 – see p9) is processing 100 tonnes of food and liquid waste per day from supermarkets, abattoirs, fast food chains, breweries and soft drinks manufacturers. Richgro’s Managing Director, Geoff Richards, turned his AD vision into a reality after visiting UK AD & Biogas in 2013, and was soon working with ADBA members Landia, Kirk Group, Edina and Uniflare. “Our AD plant sends out a clear message that we can keep our country clean, green and forever the lucky country”, says Geoff. “For me it is very important that we find as many natural solutions as possible to the problems that confront the world – and the production of food is one of the biggest.” The development of more AD projects like Richgro’s could be driven by new legislation coming into force. Federal elections have just been announced and landfill diversion targets requiring 80-85 per cent diversion by 2020 are being put in place. Trying to take it a step further, AORA is lobbying for a total ban on organics to landfill. There is in some areas a gap in energy supply and a growing supply of food waste, which together make AD a more attractive option. But without legislative change, a surge in interest and investment overnight seems fairly unlikely. www.aora.org.au

Become an honorary trade association member of ADBA As part of ADBA’s remit to promote the global AD and biogas industry and help build the international market, we are working in partnership with like-minded trade associations around the world. Honorary trade association members of ADBA include the Australian Organics Recycling Association, BioGas Association Malaysia, Consorzio Italiano Biogas, and the Irish BioEnergy Association. To join the international biogas community contact eleanor.maroussas@adbioresources.org or go to adbioresources.org.



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The view from India Why the time is now right for India’s biogas industry

By Gaurav Kedia, Founder and Chairman of the Indian Biogas Association According to research by the Indian Ministry of Renewable Energies, using waste from the country’s sugar mills alone could generate up to 5,000 MW of electricity from biogas. A further 650m tonnes of available biomass materials could provide an additional 18,000 MW. If this opportunity is realised, it would equate to 20 per cent of India’s annual electricity demand being met by biogas, from nearly 700 TWh.

the atmosphere. Using biomethane to substitute conventional fuels and supplement other renewable sources of energy is also a positive. The benefits of the industry are now being recognised and a proper financial case for biogas is really starting to stack up. A report by Daily News & Analysis in India demonstrated how biogas produced from manure alone could replace diesel to reap a financial benefit equivalent to £157bn. And that’s before any food or consumer waste is taken into consideration.

India has, in recent times, brought innovation into its biogas sector by exploring new feedstocks such as rotten potatoes, vegetable waste, fruit waste, rotten grains and agricultural waste. However, as with any new development, it is a learning curve and in order to use these feedstocks productively, efficient pre-treatment and advanced on-site digestion processes are being developed and consistently improved.

Biogas in India has a three-tiered, hierarchical approach linking central and state government with the private sector. In industries like distilleries, paper, pulp and starch, many facilities have on-site anaerobic digesters to reduce their load of organic waste. Some sewage treatment plants also have biogas production units, normally equivalent to the power requirements of their wastewater operations.

One of the key attractions of biogas in India is the environmental benefits of avoiding the release of high levels of methane and carbon dioxide into

Cities such as Bangalore are trying to make it mandatory to treat organic waste in a decentralised manner, which has led to several companies

manufacturing containerised AD plants, in a bid to reduce their overall footprint. And municipal corporations are actively looking at the possibility of using anaerobic digestion to divert waste from landfill. Recently, the German Biogas Association, Fachverband Biogas, and the Indian Biogas Association announced a three-year project to foster the development of the biogas industry in India. The initial project, with an option for an additional three years, is funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and operated by Sequa GmbH. Fachverband Biogas’ Chief Executive Officer, Dr Claudius da Costa Gomez, said that the potential for biogas energy production in the Indian subcontinent is enormous, and we would agree. The global energy crisis and unprecedented levels of climate change through excessive dependence on conventional sources of energy mean that biogas is no longer a choice – it’s a necessity. www.biogas-india.com


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Global News North America

First AD plant at North American zoo Work has begun to build the first zoo-based AD plant in North America. The 500 kW facility at Toronto Zoo will process around 3,000 tonnes of manure and 14,000 tonnes of food waste each year. The plant is expected to become operational by early 2017, generating enough electricity each year to power about 250 homes, plus digestate to be used as fertiliser.


Paper mill plant to fuel public transport in Norway Purac Puregas are to build one of the largest biogas plants in Northern Europe. The Wärtsilä plant, based at a paper mill in Skogn, Norway, will have a capacity of 25 tonnes of liquid biogas per day, and will convert the cleaned biogas from fishery waste and residual paper mill slurry into fuel for public transport. Timo Koponen, Vice President of Wärtsilä Marine Solutions, said: “By enabling profitable projects for smaller gas streams, we are aiding the EU’s target of having 10 per cent renewable fuel by the year 2020.” The plant is expected to be completed by summer 2017.

Largest US biogas plant opens Colorado is home to the largest biogas facility in North America following the opening of the Heartland Biogas Project. Using a mixture of cow manure from local dairies, and organic waste from restaurants, the facility will produce over 50 MW of renewable natural gas. After the biogas is cleaned and compressed, it will be injected into the Colorado Interstate Gas Company pipeline. Scott Pexton works for A1 Organics, which runs the food waste processing portion of the project, and said: “Even the most careful, responsible retailers, processors and farmers will generate some waste from time to time. People will still throw away banana peels and corn husks. And for those situations, the big mechanical digesters out on the eastern plains of Colorado will be right there waiting.” Biogas deal for Duke Energy in North Carolina Utility firm Duke Energy is set to turn pig and poultry waste into energy and biofertiliser, at its new AD plant being built in North Carolina. The plant is expected to generate around 125,000 MWh of renewable energy per year – enough to power about 10,000 homes for a year. “It is encouraging to see the technological advances that allow waste to energy projects in North Carolina to be done in an environmentally responsible and cost-effective manner for our customers,” said David Fountain, Duke Energy President, North Carolina. Expanding the utility's renewable energy output, the captured methane will be treated, injected into the pipeline system and used at four Duke Energy plants. Funding for Californian biogas facility An AD project in California has been given a $3m grant from the California Energy Commission. The planned plant at the Ellis Water Recycling Facility in Petaluma will produce 150,000 gasoline gallon equivalents (GGE) of renewable natural gas (RNG) made from food and beverage waste. The RNG will be used as a fuel replacement in up to 19 diesel waste hauling trucks, displacing the consumption of approximately 21,200 gallons of diesel annually associated with hauling wastes. In addition to the $3m contribution, the city of Petaluma will provide over $12m in match funding. As well as the digester, the project will include a biogas purification unit, a compressed natural gas fuelling station and waste treatment facility.



South America Turning Chilean wine waste into biogas Chilean wine producer VSPT Group has opened a biogas plant that runs using waste from its own harvest. The Viña San Pedro plant will supply around 60 per cent of the energy needs of one of the company’s biggest facilities in Molina, while the resulting digestate will be used to improve soils in the vineyard. VSPT Chief Executive, Pedro Herane, said: “We hope that this will be the beginning of new developments in environmentally-friendly energy in Chile and around the world.”

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Global News Barcelona’s first LNG station set to open Spanish energy companies Gas Natural Fenosa and Petronieves have signed a contract to build a compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) refuelling facility at the Petronieves fuel station in Barcelona. This will be the first LNG station for trucks in the city, and is expected to become operational by the end of 2016. Petronieves aims to transform 25 of its diesel trucks to natural gas in the coming years, which will reduce CO2 emissions by 4,300 tonnes, NOx by 234 tonnes and PM10 by 9.5 tonnes.


Indonesia’s ambitious biogas plans The Indonesian government is aiming to increase the electricity generating capacity of AD plants to 14.8 MW by 2025. Currently, 25 companies have applied for permits to install biogas plants. The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has emphasised the importance of the development of new and renewable energy sources, as the country currently imports around 800,000 barrels of fuel a day. Malaysia’s AD industry set to expand GE has signed a memorandum of understanding to work with Cenergi SEA Sdn Bhd to aid the development of the biogas industry in Malaysia. The two companies have been working together since 2013, with Cenergi running GE’s Jenbacher gas engines on its biogas projects, which process palm oil mill effluent (POME). Cenergi has a combined generating capacity of 4,388 kW. “It is our hope that this collaboration will encourage the adoption of biogas to power solutions for palm oil mills in Malaysia, as well as increase the renewable energy contribution to the country’s energy generation mix,” said Azli Mohamed, Chief Operating Officer, GE Malaysia.


South America needs you! A project to promote low emission technologies in Brazil is looking for EU-based biogas companies to promote their services in South America. The EU-funded project ‘Low-carbon Business Action in Brazil’ needs around 20 European-based companies to take part in a match-making mission to deliver and provide their products and services. Companies with expertise in biogas systems, purification systems, monitoring/metering and quality control equipment, dual fuel conversion kits for diesel trucks and stationary power generation engines are all needed. Expenses will be paid for the trip. For more information, contact esparta@lowcarbonbrazil.com

Cooking with biogas in Kenya More Kenyan farmers can now afford a basic home biogas unit thanks to one-year loans from government development agencies in Germany and Japan. Biogas is fast becoming an alternative fuel for cooking in the country as traditional fuels like kerosene remain expensive, despite lower world oil prices. Demand for biogas in Kenya has also been spurred by legislation restricting timber harvesting, and a growing appetite for solid and liquid waste management within county governments.

For more international biogas news, come to UK AD & Biogas 2016. With over 300 exhibitors and 4,000 visitors from around the world, it’s the perfect place to find out the latest from the global AD community. Register now at adbioresources.org

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UK AD & Biogas 2016 & Industry Awards Preview

The best of the biogas world under one roof


here are now just a few weeks to go until the global AD and biogas community comes together under one roof for the first time. After a successful six-year stint as the UK’s leading industry trade show, UK AD & Biogas 2016 has now gone global and will bring together the world’s leading AD operators, developers, equipment suppliers, manufacturers, technology providers, and end-users at the NEC Birmingham, UK, on 6-7 July.

What’s on offer? • Over 300 exhibitors • 4,000+ international attendees • Two-day conference • Seminar programme • Research and Innovation Hub • Biomethane and vehicle area • One-to-one advice clinics • AD plant visits

Sponsored by

Featuring over 300 exhibitors, 22 seminars and a packed conference programme – with high profile speakers from the UN, Committee on Climate Change and international biogas trade associations – the event looks set to break all records. Whether you’re a biogas expert or an industry newcomer, you’re sure to find everything you need to make your next AD project a success at UK AD & Biogas 2016. Register your FREE attendance today at adbioresources.org

High-profile global speakers UK AD & Biogas 2016 features a full conference and seminar programme, covering topics such as: COP21; sustainable farming; the EU Circular Economy Package; biomethane for transport; AD finance; bioplastics; operational performance; and much, much more. Our confirmed speakers include: • Dr Mushtaq Ahmed Menon, United Nations Environment Programme • Dr David Joffe, Committee on Climate Change • Representative from the American Biogas Council • Jorge Antonio Hilbert, National Agricultural Technology Institute • Representative from the Department of Energy & Climate Change • Henry Ferland, Global Methane Initiative Secretariat • Fran Lowe, Environment Agency • Chris Huhne, ADBA Strategic Advisor

“Each time the event gets bigger and better. Particularly interesting are the exhibition booths and conferences/ seminars, where you can obtain a good update about market trends and evolution.”

“An excellent industry event – a must for anyone involved in the sector. Whether you’re looking for a chopping pump or £5m of finance, it’s all there at a very convenient venue.”

Luis Vergara, Ultrawaves

Gareth Lay, Bruton Knowles

R&I Hub

FREE site visit

Discover the latest research and innovation shaping the future of the industry. Situated in the centre of the exhibition, our R&I Hub will feature sessions on microbial profiling, organic acids production and struvite precipitation, plus many more.

UK AD & Biogas 2016 also includes a free site visit to Channing Digester on-farm AD plant. Based at Brandon, near Coventry (close to the NEC Birmingham), the 499 kW plant was built by MT Energie and is fed with maize silage, pig manure and poultry litter. Places are limited – to book contact gayle.brandonkirby@adbioresources.org



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UK AD & Biogas 2016 & Industry Awards Preview

Join us for the AD industry’s biggest party Following a record number of entries – 40 per cent more than last year – this year’s AD & Biogas Industry Awards (6 July, The Vox Conference Centre, Birmingham, UK) is shaping up to be a night to remember. As our shortlist shows, this year’s nominees cover every facet of the global AD and biogas community, demonstrating the strength and breadth of our industry, and highlighting innovation and achievement across the world. As well as celebrating the best the AD world has to offer, this black-tie event will also feature entertainment and a three-course gala dinner with wine, plus unrivalled networking opportunities. To book your place at the industry’s biggest night of the year, go to http://bit.ly/1XBYpyF

The shortlist Congratulations to all our shortlisted entrants – and good luck for 6 July!

Innovation in sewage treatment through AD • Landia • Symbiona SA • Veolia UK & Ireland • Weltec Biopower (UK) Ltd

Best food waste collection system • BASF SE • Bio Collectors • DS Smith & Tesco • SWR & Edinburgh Airport

Best process optimisation • Eco Sustainable Solutions with Landia • FM BioEnergy • Green Creative • HRS Heat Exchangers • Pentair Haffmans • Uniflare Ltd

Making the most of digestate • Altaca Energy • Fattoria Garofalo • HRS Heat Exchangers • Muntons • Vogelsang

Making the most of biogas • Biogest • Clearfleau • Edina Group with Guy & Wright Farm • Limejump & Malaby Biogas • Pentair Haffmans • Uniflare Ltd

Sponsored by

Hero of the year • Dr Ulrike Etheridge, Biotrix Asia Company Limited • Les Gornall, Capita PROjEN • Rich Clothier, Wyke Farms • Stuart Bennett, Heat and Power Services Ltd

AD team of the year

Sponsored by • Agrivert • Edina Group • Iona Capital • Landia/Edina/Biodome Asia/Uniflare • RUR3 Environmental Ltd • Uniflare Ltd

Best on-farm AD plant • ComBigaS with Landia • Edina Group with Springvale Farm • Foresight Group • Old Court Farm with AD4Energy

Best food waste AD plant Sponsored by • Agrivert • Bio Collectors • Clearfleau • Edina Group with Biffa • Xergi Ltd & Willen Biogas

Best food & drink industry AD project • Clearfleau Ltd • Muntons • Weltec Biopower (UK) Ltd • Wyke Farms

Best AD support (technical) • Capita PROjEN • Energyst Rental Solutions • Eurovacuum Products Ltd • FM BioEnergy • Livelab • Uniflare Ltd

Best AD support (legal/accounting/ consultancy) • Capita PROjEN • Cranfield University • RUR3 Environmental Ltd • Stephens Scown LLP

Research project award • WRAP

Best international agricultural plant • CIB-Consorzio Italiano Biogas e Gassificazione with Agripower Company • Cooperative la Speranza • Xergi A/S

Best international municipal plant • Host

Best international commercial plant • Altaca Energy • Biotrix Asia Company Limited • Landia, Edina, Biodome Asia and Uniflare with Richgro AD Plant • Symbiona SA • Weltec Biopower (UK) Ltd

Best international micro-scale plant • Biogest www.adbioresources.org adbioresources.org



Feature – Benefits of AD

Anaerobic digestion – a global problem-solver One of the main selling points of anaerobic digestion (AD) is its versatility. Unlike many other renewable technologies, it doesn’t just generate energy – it’s also helping to treat a variety of issues right around the world. We take a look at how AD is fast becoming a global problem-solver… Improving sanitation

While AD may have proven its environmental and economic worth across a range of European business sectors, in developing countries it is changing the lives of people who have a far more basic need. This is no more evident than in India, where according to the 2011 national census almost half of the country’s 247m households lack access to a toilet, leading to outbreaks of diarrhoea, dysentery and other serious bacterial infections. Based on a two-pit, pour-flush design, household toilets developed by Sulabh International store solid waste that can then be used as a natural fertiliser. The company’s public toilet complexes, meanwhile, are connected to anaerobic digesters that produce biogas for lighting, cooking and generating electricity.

Turning waste into an asset

In Malaysia, the problem lies with a different kind of waste. The country’s palm oil industry uses large quantities of water in mills where oil is extracted from the palm fruits. The palm oil mill effluent, or POME, is usually discharged into the country’s waterways, where it causes significant pollution. It is estimated that for every tonne of crude palm oil produced, up to 7.5 tonnes of water ends up as POME. However, as POME contains a high organic content, it makes an ideal feedstock – rather than polluting the environment, it can be processed through an AD plant, generating renewable energy and biofertiliser. Such is its potential that in Malaysia, all palm oil mills are required to have an on-site biogas plant by 2020 or face closure.

Water hyacinth is strangling the livelihoods of Lake Victoria’s communities

All new buildings in Philadelphia are to be fitted with food waste disposers linked to anaerobic digesters

Combating aquatic pollution

In Uganda, it’s a naturally occurring problem in water that’s posing a challenge. Water hyacinth, which has spread from South America and can double its mass in a fortnight, is affecting fresh water bodies and choking the livelihoods of those who rely on it. When repeatedly harvested, the weed can produce 80 tonnes of dry matter per hectare a year, making it perfect for processing in an AD plant. A pilot biogas project is being established in the Ssese Islands on Lake Victoria, home to 42,000 people. As well as helping to free the lake from the pervasive weed, once digested, the harvested water hyacinth will provide energy to local communities.

Treating domestic food waste

While the USA has more than 2,000 biogas plants, the majority of these are at wastewater treatment and landfill sites. However, as the world’s largest consumer nation, accounting for an astonishing


Making soils richer

UK research published by WRAP as part of the DC-Agri project recently confirmed that ‘the increased nutrient supply from organic materials, including digestate and compost, can produce higher crop yields of equal quality to crops grown with bagged fertilisers’. British dairy farmer and cheese-maker Stephen Temple realised the potential of using digestate as a fertiliser to boost

UK farmer Stephen Temple is reaping the rewards of digestate

Processing palm oil mill effluent through an AD plant turns this pollutant into an asset 10

29 per cent of the global market, the potential for wider-ranging deployment across the business and domestic sectors is huge. Philadelphia’s Mayor, Michael Nutter, has realised this and recently signed a law requiring in-sink food waste disposers to be installed in all of the city’s new residential buildings. The disposers convert food scraps into a slurry that passes through pipes and sewers to water resource recovery facilities, where digesters turn it into biogas. The resulting digestate is being sold as a first-class fertiliser to farmers.

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Feature – Benefits of AD crop yields many years ago. His 170 kW digester, built in 2009, processes slurry from the farm’s 100 milking cows, whey from cheese-making, maize silage, energy beet and wholecrop cereals. As well as bringing a financial return, the AD plant produces digestate which provides a nutrient benefit, improves soil structure and reduces the use of manufactured fertiliser, as Stephen explains: “There is a considerable return from the sale of electricity and savings made by not having to buy energy, but the digestate also delivers reduced fertiliser costs, and improves the fertility and value of our farmland.”

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

would also create a better marine environment and reduce nitrogen load to the sea. Anaerobic digestion is clearly far more than just a renewable energy technology. As these examples demonstrate, its potential to help solve problems in all corners of the globe, for all kinds of businesses and communities, is huge. This is only the beginning...

Biomethane is a key transport fuel in Sweden

Reducing the amount of synthetic fertilisers used in agriculture will bring significant environmental benefits. However, researchers in Hungary have shown that by capturing methane – a gas that is 21 times more harmful than carbon dioxide – during the digestion process, AD itself also has the ability to slow the effects of climate change. A study of the lifetime emissions of a 600 kW Hungarian AD plant established that the carbon footprint of the complete energy production life cycle was 208,174 kg CO2e. If the country’s fossil-fuel energy facilities produced the same quantity of energy, GHG emissions would be 15 times higher.

Decarbonising transport

Other European countries have already made great strides in reducing their dependence on fossil fuels thanks to AD. Government backing in Sweden has led to buses, trains, lorries and cars all using biomethane, upgraded from biogas, as a vehicle fuel, with filling stations across the country being adapted to meet the demand. Sweden’s ambition is to be the first fossil-free European country, something that the European Parliament wants to see driving change in other Member States.

Improving marine environment

The Environment Committee of the European Parliament said last year that advanced biofuels sourced from seaweeds and other wastes should account for at least 1.25 per cent of energy consumption in transport by 2020. Denmark is already exploring how it can use seaweed – which causes foul odours on public beaches – as an AD feedstock, and then upgrade the biogas for injection into the transport network. The project is still in its early stages, but scientists believe that as well as the obvious benefits of cutting transport emissions, removing the seaweed

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Business Without Borders

Biogas companies with global ambitions


s UK AD & Biogas 2016 will demonstrate, the UK’s AD industry is still very much open for business. With over 480 biogas plants now in operation, treating everything from food waste and sewage to crops and slurry, the knowledge and expertise that has helped to build Britain’s thriving AD sector is now spreading its wings. Here, three companies talk about their overseas activities, and why having a solid UK base is helping them to realise their international ambitions...

Collaboration is key to Landia’s success Hugh Vaughan, Director of Landia UK & Eire, explains how working closely with fellow ADBA members has helped the pump and mixer manufacturer to expand into international markets. “Right now, we’ve never had so many overseas enquiries. When Landia first became a member of ADBA back in 2009, I had high hopes, but I didn’t think we’d have our AD equipment installed as far afield as Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, South Korea and the Solomon Islands.

Landia’s Hugh Vaughan (L) in Malaysia, just one of the international territories in which the company is now operating

From the word go, the annual UK & AD Biogas exhibition has been a must-attend event for everyone in this industry. The contacts we’ve made have become key to the increasing amount of international business we and other ADBA members are now benefitting from. We work with some very good suppliers of tanks, pipework, CHP, double membrane covers and, of course, gas equipment manufacturers. They share our problem-solving knowledge, enthusiasm and pride in wanting to get the very best results for our customers, so together we can present a very attractive AD package. One example is an Australian customer of ours, who visited the UK AD & Biogas show to meet the companies that we were recommending. The show brought everyone together in the right environment for productive meetings on how to make the client’s new AD plant as successful as possible. As well as visitors from down under, we recently hosted a large group of delegates from South Korea, who came to see our GasMix digester mixing system in operation at what is becoming our UK flagship plant at Eco in Piddlehinton, Dorset. Making a two-hour presentation via a translator



wasn’t the easiest of tasks, especially with all the very detailed questions that came afterwards, but with the help of our UK colleagues, we secured a significant GasMix order. With so much dialogue taking place, there is perhaps a danger of offering too much free advice, only to find it being sold on to a third party, so be warned. There’s a fine line between being a very helpful supplier to inadvertently serving everything up on a plate – only to then find that the enquiry goes cold. But, in the vast majority of cases, sharing knowledge with our fellow ADBA members has created a very healthy relationship with the international AD marketplace.” www.landia.co.uk Visit Landia at stand J201 at UK AD & Biogas 2016, 6-7 July, NEC Birmingham, UK

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Business Without Borders BioConstruct says growth opportunities remain in Europe

German AD plant builder BioConstruct GmbH has 15 years’ experience in the biogas industry. Key Account Manager for the UK, Andreas Bröcker, says that good business opportunities remain for the company, despite some challenging market conditions. “Our German parent company is based in Melle, Lower Saxony, but we set up a sister company, BioConstruct NewEnergy, in the UK when one of our main customers asked us for operational support and maintenance. It was a fairly simple decision because this partnership approach is a win-win for everyone involved in the development of an AD plant. It simplifies BioConstruct has worked on over 300 AD plants globally

the development and improves the chances of project realisation if the technological partner is involved as a long-term partner or shareholder. In the past 15 years we have worked on over 300 AD projects globally. We currently have six AD plants either operational or under construction in the UK, comprising three on-farm plants, two waste to energy facilities and one gas to grid site. Our plants range from 499 kW to 5 MW, however, tariff degression and volatile exchange rates are making it more difficult for foreign companies to compete. But there are still unexplored projects where the feedstock is free of charge, such as abattoir waste, or where the energy or heat usage on-site is high. Furthermore, gas to grid projects might still provide attractive returns to funders in the future. We are also looking at which other European countries offer opportunities for growth. We think France offers growth potential, along with Turkey and Greece. In addition, we believe that Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic are also still good business opportunities.” www.bioconstruct.com Visit BioConstruct at stand E603 at UK AD & Biogas 2016, 6-7 July, NEC Birmingham, UK

QUBE’s small scale digesters deliver big benefits

QUBE Renewables provides micro and small scale biogas systems, ranging from 3-30 kWe. Director Mark Clayton believes the company’s AD technology has the potential to help some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. “For us, the big focus is on driving down the cost of AD. Our design philosophy is to make everything quick to install, modular and scalable, so our clients can easily grow their business or social, energy and sanitation opportunity. Our systems can be used to provide biogas for cooking, heating, hot water and electricity, and our kit comes in rapidly deployable units ready to plug and play – just add waste and produce biogas!

The powerQUBE is helping communities in Malaysia

We’ve carried out some feasibility work for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, looking at how our flexible quickQUBE digester can help in remote locations and aid camps, converting human waste into energy. There is big potential for quickQUBE to assist with sanitation and energy requirements in rapid deployment situations, such as disaster zones, as well as in the commercial field. We’ve had good enquiries from New Zealand, Australia, Mexico and Madagascar. We are actually working with another sanitation company, LooWatt, on a community energy project in Madagascar, where we’re providing the technology to turn human waste into energy and fertiliser for local communities. In Canada, where there are very big drivers for AD around sustainable fuel supplies and decarbonising their energy supply, we have recently agreed a contract with CCI BioEnergy, who have become our latest registered installer. Located in Ontario, the team have an in-depth knowledge of both the Canadian and US renewable energy market and we’re excited to be working with them to spread the word about the benefits of QUBE’s digesters for businesses, communities and municipalities alike.” www.quberenewables.co.uk

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Doing Things Differently Murcia, Spain: Making on-site AD work in the face of zero subsidies Matt Hale of HRS Heat Exchangers outlines how his firm’s technology is helping a Spanish farming company make a success of on-site AD, despite a lack of government subsidies. of material produced each day. The concentrated digestate will be used as a biofertiliser while the water which is taken off will be cleaned and used to irrigate suitable crops such as salads and vegetables. As well as treating the digestate, the DCS integrates well with the existing plant, reusing the thermal energy generated in the process, which might otherwise be wasted, to increase the overall efficiency of the entire AD process.

The on-site AD plant is generating vital energy and biofertiliser for Kernel Export

“At the beginning of 2012, the Spanish government effectively withdrew subsidies for renewable energy, including biogas production, following a moratorium on support as part of wider economic austerity measures. Despite this, there are still forward-thinking companies making AD work for them. With two production sites in Los Alcazares in Murcia, Spain, Kernel Export is a leading producer of crops, including salads, melons, herbs, courgettes and pumpkins, to markets across Europe. Its 400 kW anaerobic digestion plant, commissioned in 2015, turns by-products and crop waste from some of the 2,000 hectares the company farms into renewable electricity and digestate. In fact, the plant produces enough heat and electricity for 50 per cent of the needs of Kernel Export’s packing and storage facilities. As well as significant cost savings on energy, it is estimated that the plant will save more than 2,000 tonnes of CO2e each year, equivalent to the energy used by 200 homes. Although the plant received match-funding from the European Union, as anaerobic digestion in Spain does not receive a Feed-in Tariff, it is the use of the generated energy which makes the project financially feasible, as well as a reduction in fertiliser costs by using the digestate. Under local rules, unprocessed digestate cannot be applied in Murcia. However, Kernel Export has overcome this by installing a Digestate Concentration System (DCS) from HRS Heat Exchangers to process the digestate while ensuring that all the valuable crop nutrients are retained in a more concentrated form. 14


The DCS employs a multi-effect concentration process using forced recirculation. In this case the system will provide a two-stage concentration system to increase the dry matter content of the digestate from between 2.4-4 per cent to 9-15 per cent. This enables Kernel Export to use its digestate more effectively, reducing storage requirements and transport costs for the 50 tonnes

“We had been looking for years for a system to optimise the waste from salads and vegetables from our two production sites, and we found the answer in a biogas plant to generate electricity and heat. This is then used to process the liquid and solid fraction after digestion to obtain a bio-compost that we can use back on our production fields. The project has been a real challenge, as nothing similar has ever been built, with the focus on reusing and recycling salad and vegetable waste to return it back to the land for future production.” Jose Antonio Cánovas Martínez, General Manager of Kernel Export

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Since subsidies for renewables were effectively withdrawn in 2012, a lot of organic waste in Spain has not found a use. The solutions chosen by Kernel serve as an example to the rest of the agricultural industry in Spain, demonstrating how crop waste can be converted into energy and high quality fertiliser to deliver financial and environmental benefits.” www.hrs-heatexchangers.com Visit HRS Heat Exchangers at stand D501 at UK AD & Biogas 2016, 6-7 July, NEC Birmingham, UK

“The three principles behind this project were waste reduction, the generation of electricity and the production of quality organic fertiliser for the farming business. Concentration systems like the DCS are becoming more important when developing anaerobic digestion plants as we need better, more profitable solutions for handling digestate.” Luis Puchades, Account Manager for plant builder Ludan Renewable Energy

Hear more global success stories at UK AD & Biogas 2016 With a packed seminar programme featuring case studies from around the world, discover how to make AD work for your company at UK AD & Biogas 2016 (6-7 July, NEC Birmingham, UK). Register now at adbioresources.org

International Policy News Funding for farm-based AD in the US On-farm AD plants in the US are set to benefit from a multi-million dollar grant scheme from the US government. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making up to $44m available to farmers, ranchers and businesses through its Value-Added Producer Grant program. The grants may be used to develop new products and create additional uses for existing ones, which includes developing new or upgrading existing anaerobic digesters.

Tax relief for French on-farm plants French agricultural biogas plants are permanently exempt from paying tax as of 2016. A typical plant with a drying solution and a rated output of 200 kWe will benefit from annual tax relief of around €15,000. To be eligible for exemption, farmers should have a direct or indirect stake in the biogas operating company of 50 per cent or more, and at least 50 per cent of the substrates must come from agriculture.

New EU rules for waste-based fertiliser The European Commission has proposed a new Regulation to make access of organic and waste-based fertilisers to the EU single market easier. Commission Vice President, Jyrki Katainen, said: “Our farmers are using fertilisers manufactured from imported resources or from energy-intensive processes, although our industry could valorise these biowastes in recycled nutrients. This Regulation will help us turn problems into opportunities for farmers and businesses.” However, the AD industry has some concerns – you can read more about the UK response in this month’s AD & Bioresources News.

Green deals go Dutch The Dutch government has created several new green incentives to boost the bioenergy industry in the Netherlands. Dutch Economic Minister, Henk Kamp, said he will work with businesses to “unlock knowledge, break bottlenecks and create solutions so that biomass is a fully fledged green resource”. The announcement included the creation of Green Deal 197, which aims to promote the sustainable use of biomass and the production of biogas.

Join the UN, CCC and leading speakers from around the world The two-day Conference at UK AD & Biogas 2016 includes speakers from the United Nations Environment Programme, the Committee on Climate

Change and the American Biogas Council, to name but a few. Register your attendance today at adbioresources.org

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Ad & Biogas News International - June 2016  

Ad & Biogas News International - June 2016

Ad & Biogas News International - June 2016  

Ad & Biogas News International - June 2016