Biogas or BioMethane is generated from Anaerobic Digesters, Anaerobic Lagoons, Biomass Gasification, Biogas Recovery, BioMethane, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, Landfill Gas to Energy and Methane Gas Recovery. Unlike most companies, we are equipment supplier/vendor neutral. This means we help our clients select the best equipment for their specific application. This approach provides our customers with superior performance, decreased operating expenses and increased return on investment.
Our company provides turn-key project solutions that include all or part of the following:
- Engineering and Economic Feasibility Studies
- Project Design, Engineering & Permitting
- Project Construction
- Project Funding & Financing Options
- Shared/Guaranteed Savings program with no capital requirements
- Project Commissioning
- Operations & Maintenance
What are BioMethane, BioMethanation and Methanogenesis?
BioMethane is generated from organic materials as they decay. Sources of BioMethane include; landfills, POTW’s/Wastewaster Treatment Systems, and from animal operations where manure can be collected and the BioMethane is generated from anaerobic digesters where the manure decomposes.
BioMethane, after installation of the requisite equipment, is essentially free, as opposed to buying natural gas, presently costing around $6.00/mmbtu.
Methanogenesis is the production of CH4 and CO2 by biological processes that are carried out by methanogens. Again, unlike the price of natural gas, this has been around $6.00/mmbtu for the past year.
The process of Biomass Gasification produces BioMethane. BioMethane is also produced in anaerobic digesters, in the process called anaerobic digestion. BioMethane is a renewable energy resource, as opposed to natural gas (methane), which is a non-renewable energy resource. BioMethane has similar qualities of methane and both are used in interchangeably, and each may be a substitute for the other.
The production and disposal of large quantities of organic and biodegradable waste without adequate or proper treatment results in widespread environmental pollution. Some waste streams can be treated by conventional methods like aeration. Compared to the aerobic method, the use of anaerobic digesters in processing these waste streams provides greater economic and environmental benefits and advantages.
As previously stated, Biomethanation is the process of conversion of organic matter in the waste (liquid or solid) to BioMethane (sometimes referred to as "BioGas) and manure by microbial action in the absence of air, known as "anaerobic digestion."
Conventional digesters such as sludge digesters and anaerobic CSTR (Continuous Stirred Tank Reactors) have been used for many decades in sewage treatment plants for stabilizing the activated sludge and sewage solids.
Interest in BioMethanation as an economic, environmental and energy-saving waste treatment continues to gain greater interest world-wide and has led to the development of a range of anaerobic reactor designs. These high-rate, high-efficiency anaerobic digesters are also referred to as "retained biomass reactors" since they are based on the concept of retaining viable biomass by sludge immobilization.
Biomass Gasification and the Production of BioMethane
Biomass is a renewable energy resource which includes a wide variety of organic resources. A few of these include wood, agricultural residue/waste, and animal manure.
Biomass Gasification is the process in which BioMethane is produced in the BioMass Gasification process. The BioMethane is then used like any other fuel, such as natural gas, which is not a renewable fuel.
Historically, biomass use has been characterized by low btu and low efficiencies. However, today biomass gasification is gaining world-wide recognition and favor due to the economic and environmental benefits. In terms of economic benefits, the cost of the BioMethane is essentially free, after the cost of the equipment is installed. BioMethane, probably the most important and efficient energy-conversion technology for a wide variety of biomass fuels. The large-scale deployment of efficient technology along with interventions to enhance the sustainable supply of biomass fuels can transform the energy supply situation in rural areas. It has the potential to become the growth engine for rural development in the country.
Principles of Biomass Gasification
Biomass fuels such as firewood and agriculture-generated residues and wastes are generally organic. They contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen along with some moisture. Under controlled conditions, characterized by low oxygen supply and high temperatures, most biomass materials can be converted into a gaseous fuel known as producer gas, which consists of carbon monoxide, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrogen. This thermo-chemical conversion of solid biomass into gaseous fuel is called biomass gasification. The producer gas so produced has low a calorific value (1000-1200 Kcal/Nm3), but can be burnt with a high efficiency and a good degree of control without emitting smoke. Each kilogram of air-dry biomass (10% moisture content) yields about 2.5 Nm3 of producer gas. In energy terms, the conversion efficiency of the gasification process is in the range of 60%-70%.
Multiple Advantages of Biomass Gasification in Methane Production
Conversion of solid biomass into combustible gas has all the advantages associated with using gaseous and liquid fuels such as clean combustion, compact burning equipment.
High thermal efficiency and a good degree of control. In locations, where biomass is already available at reasonable low prices (e.g. rice mills) or in industries using fuel wood, gasifier systems offer definite economic advantages. Biomass gasification technology is also environment-friendly, because of the firewood savings and reduction in CO2 emissions.
Biomass gasification technology has the potential to replace diesel and other petroleum products in several applications, foreign exchange.
Applications for Biomass Gasification
Thermal applications: cooking, water boiling, steam generation, drying etc.
Motive power applications: Using producer gas as a fuel in IC engines for applications such as water pumping Electricity generation: Using producer gas in dual-fuel mode in diesel engines/as the only fuel in spark ignition engines/in gas turbines.
Publicly Owned Treatment Works ("POTW’s") or Wastewater Treatment Systems
More and more, cities, counties and municipalities are faced with greater environmental compliance issues relating to their municipally-owned landfills, Publicly Owned Treatment Works ("POTW’s") or Wastewater Treatment Systems.
A city’s landfill and/or POTW provide an excellent opportunity for cities to reduce their emissions as well as provide an additional revenue stream. These facilities may have valuable gases that our company recovers and pipes to one of our clean, environmentally-friendly cogeneration or trigeneration energy systems.
Our company provides economic and ecological solutions for cities and municipalities and provide a new cash flow simultaneously. We offer turn-key solutions for cities that includes the preliminary feasibility analysis, engineering and design, project management, permitting and commissioning. We provide very attractive financing packages for cities that does not add to a city’s liability, yet provides a valuable new revenue stream. And, we are also able to offer a turn-key solution for qualified municipalities that includes our company owning, operating and maintaining the onsite power and energy plant.
At the heart of the system is a (Bio) Methane Gas Recovery system similar those used in Flare Gas Recovery or Vapor Recovery Units. Methane Gas Recovery, Flare Gas Recovery, Vapor Recovery, Waste to Energy and Vapor Recovery Units all recover valuable "waste" or vented fuels that can be used to provide fuel for an onsite power generation plant. Our waste-to-energy and waste to fuel systems significantly or entirely, reduces your facility’s emissions (such as NOx , SOx, H2S, CO , CO2 and other Hazardous Air Pollutants/Greenhouse Gases) and convert these valuable emissions from an environmental problem into a new cash revenue stream and profit center.
Methane Gas Recovery and vapor recovery units can be located in hundreds of applications and locations. At a landfill, Wastewaster Treatment System (or Publicly Owned Treatment Works – "POTW") gases from the facility can be captured from the anaerobic digesters, and manifolded/piped to one of our onsite power generation plants, and make, essentially, "free" electricity for your facility’s use. These associated "biogases" that are generated from municipally owned landfills or wastewater treatment plants have low btu content or heating values, ranging around 550-650 btu’s. This makes them unsuitable for use in natural gas applications. When burned as fuel to generate electricity, however, these gases become a valuable source of "renewable" power and energy for the facility’s use or resale to the electric grid.
Additionally, if heat (steam and/or hot water) is required, we will incorporate our cogeneration or trigeneration system into the project and provide some, or all, of your hot water/steam requirements. Similarly, at crude oil refineries, gas processing plants, exploration and production sites, and gasoline storage/tank farm site, we convert your facility’s "waste fuel" and environmental liabilities into profitable, environmentally-friendly solutions.
Our Methane Gas Recovery systems are designed and engineered for these specific applications. It is important to note that there are many internal combustion engines or combustion turbines that are NOT suited for these applications. Our systems are engineered precisely for your facility’s application, and our engineers know the engines and turbines that will work as well as those that don’t. More importantly, we are vendor and supplier neutral! Our only concerns are for the optimum system solution for your company, and we look past brand names and sales propaganda to determine the optimum system, which may incorporate either one or more; gas engine genset(s) or gas turbine genset(s), in cogeneration or trigeneration mode – in trigeneration mode, we incorporate absorption chillers to make chilled water for process or air-conditioning, fuel gas conditioning equipment and gas compressor(s).
Our turn-key system includes design, engineering, permitting, project management, commissioning, as well as financing for our qualified customers. Additionally, we may be interested in owning and operating the flare gas recovery or vapor recovery units. For these applications, there is no investment required from the customer.
For more information, please provide us with the following information about the flare gas or vapor:
- Type of gas being flared or vented (methane, bio-gas, digester, landfill, etc.).
- Chromatograph Fuel/Gas analysis which provides us with the btu’s (heating value) and the composition of the gas and its’ impurities such as methane (and the percentage of methane), soloxanes, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, and any other hydrocarbons.
- Total amount of gas available, from all sources, at the facility.
Many industrial processes generate large amounts of waste energy that simply pass out of plant stacks and into the atmosphere or are otherwise lost. Most industrial waste heat streams are liquid, gaseous, or a combination of the two and have temperatures from slightly above ambient to over 2000 degrees F. Stack exhaust losses are inherent in all fuel-fired processes and increase with the exhaust temperature and the amount of excess air the exhaust contains. At stack gas temperatures greater than 1000 degrees F, the heat going up the stack is likely to be the single biggest loss in the process. Above 1800 degrees F, stack losses will consume at least half of the total fuel input to the process. Yet, the energy that is recovered from waste heat streams could displace part or all of the energy input needs for a unit operation within a plant. Therefore, waste heat recovery offers a great opportunity to productively use this energy, reducing overall plant energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Waste heat recovery methods used with industrial process heating operations intercept the waste gases before they leave the process, extract some of the heat they contain, and recycle that heat back to the process.
Common methods of recovering heat include direct heat recovery to the process, recuperators/regenerators, and waste heat boilers. Unfortunately, the economic benefits of waste heat recovery do not justify the cost of these systems in every application. For example, heat recovery from lower temperature waste streams (e.g., hot water or low-temperature flue gas) is thermodynamically limited. Equipment fouling, occurring during the handling of “dirty” waste streams, is another barrier to more widespread use of heat recovery systems. Innovative, affordable waste heat recovery methods that are ultra-efficient, are applicable to low-temperature streams, or are suitable for use with corrosive or “dirty” wastes could expand the number of viable applications of waste heat recovery, as well as improve the performance of existing applications.
Various Methods for Recovery of Waste Heat
Low-Temperature Waste Heat Recovery Methods – A large amount of energy in the form of medium- to low-temperature gases or low-temperature liquids (less than about 250 degrees F) is released from process heating equipment, and much of this energy is wasted.
Conversion of Low Temperature Exhaust Waste Heat – making efficient use of the low temperature waste heat generated by prime movers such as micro-turbines, IC engines, fuel cells and other electricity producing technologies. The energy content of the waste heat must be high enough to be able to operate equipment found in cogeneration and trigeneration power and energy systems such as absorption chillers, refrigeration applications, heat amplifiers, dehumidifiers, heat pumps for hot water, turbine inlet air cooling and other similar devices.
Conversion of Low Temperature Waste Heat into Power –The steam-Rankine cycle is the principle method used for producing electric power from high temperature fluid streams. For the conversion of low temperature heat into power, the steam-Rankine cycle may be a possibility, along with other known power cycles, such as the organic-Rankine cycle.
Small to Medium Air-Cooled Commercial Chillers – All existing commercial chillers, whether using waste heat, steam or natural gas, are water-cooled (i.e., they must be connected to cooling towers which evaporate water into the atmosphere to aid in cooling). This requirement generally limits the market to large commercial-sized units (150 tons or larger), because of the maintenance requirements for the cooling towers. Additionally, such units consume water for cooling, limiting their application in arid regions of the U.S. No suitable small-to-medium size (15 tons to 200 tons) air-cooled absorption chillers are commercially available for these U.S. climates. A small number of prototype air-cooled absorption chillers have been developed in Japan, but they use “hardware” technology that is not suited to the hotter temperatures experienced in most locations in the United States. Although developed to work with natural gas firing, these prototype air-cooled absorption chillers would also be suited to use waste heat as the fuel.
Recovery of Waste Heat in Cogeneration and Trigeneration Power Plants
In most cogeneration and trigeneration power and energy systems, the exhaust gas from the electric generation equipment is ducted to a heat exchanger to recover the thermal energy in the gas. These heat exchangers are air-to-water heat exchangers, where the exhaust gas flows over some form of tube and fin heat exchange surface and the heat from the exhaust gas is transferred to make hot water or steam. The hot water or steam is then used to provide hot water or steam heating and/or to operate thermally activated equipment, such as an absorption chiller for cooling or a desiccant dehumidifer for dehumidification.
Many of the waste heat recovery technologies used in building co/trigeneration systems require hot water, some at moderate pressures of 15 to 150 psig. In the cases where additional steam or pressurized hot water is needed, it may be necessary to provide supplemental heat to the exhaust gas with a duct burner.
In some applications air-to-air heat exchangers can be used. In other instances, if the emissions from the generation equipment are low enough, such as is with many of the microturbine technologies, the hot exhaust gases can be mixed with make-up air and vented directly into the heating system for building heating.
In the majority of installations, a flapper damper or "diverter" is employed to vary flow across the heat transfer surfaces of the heat exchanger to maintain a specific design temperature of the hot water or steam generation rate.
In some co/trigeneration designs, the exhaust gases can be used to activate a thermal wheel or a desiccant dehumidifier. Thermal wheels use the exhaust gas to heat a wheel with a medium that absorbs the heat and then transfers the heat when the wheel is rotated into the incoming airflow.
A professional engineer should be involved in designing and sizing of the waste heat recovery section. For a proper and economical operation, the design of the heat recovery section involves consideration of many related factors, such as the thermal capacity of the exhaust gases, the exhaust flow rate, the sizing and type of heat exchanger, and the desired parameters over a various range of operating conditions of the co/trigeneration system — all of which need to be considered for proper and economical operation.