Energy

February 15, 2017, Rhodesdale, MD – Governor Larry Hogan and Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder recently toured the Murphy family’s Double Trouble Farm – the first Maryland poultry operation to install cutting-edge technology that converts poultry litter to energy. The Maryland Department of Agriculture awarded a $970,000 animal waste technology grant to Biomass Heating Solutions, Inc. (BHSL) for the manure-to-energy project and an additional $139,000 to monitor its operation for one year. “I am proud to recognize the Murphy family for bringing this innovative technology to Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “I commend the Murphy’s and the entire Double Trouble Farm team for leading the way for farmers to improve water quality, increase energy independence, and improve animal waste management to ensure the sustainability of animal agriculture in our state.” Maryland’s Animal Waste Technology Fund is a grant program that provides seed funding to companies that demonstrate innovative technologies to manage or repurpose manure resources. These technologies generate energy from animal manure, reduce on-farm waste streams, and repurpose manure by creating marketable fertilizer and other products and by-products. To date, the program has approved $3.7 million in grants to six projects. “Biomass Heating Solutions, Inc, with the support of Mountaire, has adapted innovative manure management technology to benefit the poultry industry and the Murphy family’s farm. The system utilizes poultry litter as a feedstock by converting it to energy to heat the farm’s chicken houses and generate electricity,” said Secretary Bartenfelder. “A great deal of credit goes to the Murphy family for taking the time and risk involved in being the test case for a promising new way of doing business.” This project has the following benefits: Reduced environmental impact: A reduction in the potential environmental impact of manure resources Lower energy costs: A reduction in energy costs through using heat from the manure as a source for heating poultry houses Improved animal welfare: Improved animal welfare, with improved health and reduced risk of diseases Improved performance: Faster growth – poultry reaching target weight more quickly Additional revenue: Potential expansion of revenue streams – earnings from the sale of excess electricity and a fertilizer by-product “I am excited that a unique piece of technology designed in Ireland is going to transform U.S. poultry production and play a crucial role in reducing the environmental impact of the industry on the Chesapeake Bay,” said Denis Brosnan, chairman of Biomass Heating Solutions, Inc. “I hope this pilot project is the start of a broader initiative to turn poultry manure from a potential pollutant into a valuable source of energy.” Biomass Heating Solutions, Inc. will use electricity generating technology (fluidized bed combustion) to process poultry litter into energy for heating two of four poultry houses during the demonstration period. The system is projected to generate 526 megawatts of electricity per year. Adding heat to poultry houses has been proven at other sites to improve the flock growth rate and overall bird health. These benefits will enhance potential profit margins, reduce payback period for the technology, and improve the likelihood of transferability to other poultry operations. The Murphys are working with BHSL to explore markets for the high-phosphorus ash by-product including Maryland fertilizer companies. As a result of energy production and marketing the ash, 90 percent of nutrients in the poultry litter produced by 14 poultry houses will have alternative uses. “Mountaire is excited about the potential that new alternative use technologies for litter bring to the poultry industry,” said Bill Massey, Mountaire director of housing and feed milling. “We will continue to work with the Murphys, MDA and BHSL on this manure to energy project. Our company and our industry continue to look for solutions to be good environmental stewards.”
  Aug. 27, 2015, Herefordshire, UK – Cargill’s European poultry business has signed a 20-year agreement to convert poultry manure to energy with technology from BHSL.
July 29, 2014, Baltimore, MD – The project seemed simple enough — build a waste-to-energy plant on the Eastern Shore fueled by poultry manure, keeping it from flushing into and polluting the bay, while creating green jobs and boosting Maryland’s fledgling renewable energy industry But 18 months after being heralded by Gov. Martin O'Malley, the $75 million project has been stymied after prospective sites and a potential partnership fell through. Now state officials are weighing giving Green Planet Power Solutions, the California-based company chosen to build the 13.4-megawatt plant, a nearly $35 million subsidy on top of what the state previously agreed to pay for its power. READ MORE
October 24, 2013, Annapolis, MD – An Annapolis firm sees a money-making opportunity in household garbage and chicken waste.Energy3 LLC is trying to interest Maryland municipalities in a procedure to gasify curbside garbage — and chicken manure — and then turn it into electricity. The power generated can be sold back to the grid and create another revenue stream for communities. READ MORE
October 2, 2013 – Waste from dairy farms and beer breweries could provide the necessary ingredients to grow algae-based biofuels, leaders of a project designed to research this technology said recently.Matt Cota, executive director of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded the association a $51,000 grant to research biofuel technology using algae during a news conference at the Nordic Dairy Farm in Charlotte. READ MORE
Sept. 20, 2013, Gettysburg, PA - The Gettysburg Nutrient and Recovery Facility plant burns through 240 tons of egg layer manure per day, turning it into valuable fertilizer, animal feed supplements and enough renewable thermal energy to power the plant and roughly 2,500 homes.The plant's ability to burn through nitrogen and phosphorus-rich chicken droppings in a useful manner drew the attention of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, which visited the facility as part of a field trip exploring alternatives to land applications of manure. READ MORE
Many would say that solids are the most critical component to handle in a digester, but water is a critical factor as well, logistically and financially.
April 13, 2017, Haverhill, MA — The city's board of health has approved a waste-to-energy digester for farm in Bradford.
April 4, 2016, Chilton, WI – DVO, Inc.’s Phosphorus Recovery system received honors at the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Nutrient Recycling Challenge Summit in Washington, DC. The goal of the challenge was to identify technologies that not only help farmers manage nutrients from livestock manure and create valuable products, but also protect the environment. “We are honored to be recognized for our innovative phosphorus recovery technology,” said DVO president, Steve Dvorak. “The practical ability to recover and recycle nutrients will make modern agriculture more sustainable and provide real benefits for our communities and the environment.” The Nutrient Recycling Challenge was launched by the EPA in late 2015 in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pork and dairy producers, and environmental and scientific experts. The EPA initially received 75 concept papers and recognized the top 10 submissions with awards. DVO received a spot in the top 10 with an Honorable Mention Award for its work on advanced phosphorus recovery. DVO’s Phosphorus Recovery (PR) system is a fully commercialized and economical treatment process that removes up to 95 percent of the total phosphorus from large-scale farm and commercial waste streams and up to 55 percent of total nitrogen content from digested wastes. By treating these wastes first in DVO’s patented Two-Stage Mixed Plug Flow anaerobic digester and then employing the add-on PR system, valuable nutrients are conserved and natural resources are protected by reducing the likelihood of runoff and water pollution. Doug VanOrnum, vice president of technology and strategy at DVO, accepted the award at a ceremony at the White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC on March 30. More information on the challenge can be found at nutrientrecyclingchallenge.org.
  In 2013, the Canadian Biogas Association issued a study identifying the opportunities in biogas production so provinces could develop policies to support this budding industry. It also developed farm-to-fuel guides to help farmers decide whether biogas production makes sense for them. The study determined biogas could make up three percent of Canada’s natural gas supply, Canadian Biogas Association executive director Jennifer Green told the 2016 Agricultural and Municipal Biogas Forum, held recently in Abbotsford, B.C. She calls biogas an “overwhelming” opportunity for agriculture, saying agriculture could produce about two-thirds of the biogas, or about 1.65 million cubic meters per year. While there are a growing number of anaerobic digesters on Ontario farms, there are only three in B.C., with one more under construction. The province’s first anaerobic digester began operation in rural Abbotsford about five years ago and is now producing gas from cull potatoes and other organic waste. Not long after, as part of its demonstration farm, Bakerview Dairy in Abbotsford put in a demonstration digester that utilizes manure from its tiny 50-cow herd to produce electricity for the farm. In early 2015, Seabreeze Farms in Delta fired up B.C.’s second large-scale digester, using manure from its 350 milking cowherd and cooking fats and oils. While one purpose of an anaerobic digester is to manage and create value from farm waste, it produces its own waste (digestate). The digestate includes most of the nutrients from the inputs, as they are not absorbed by the gas production process. This is a concern for both regulators and farmers as high livestock concentrations are already leading to nutrient overloading on many fields. Bringing in off-farm inputs only exacerbates the issue, leading to potentially serious environmental consequences. As a result, the digester “is only one piece of the equation,” says Chris Bush, who built the Sumas Prairie anaerobic digester, located outside of Abbotsford. That’s why researchers and industry are working on ways to manage the nutrients, particularly phosphate, to maximize their value while minimizing any detrimental environmental impacts. There are a number of ways to do that, says Henno Haaring of Dorset Green Machines, based in the Netherlands. The first step is to separate the liquid and solid digestate so each can be applied separately or, in the case of the liquid, re-circulated. Cheapest is a press screen, which provides good dry matter content in the solids but has poor nutrient recovery. Another low cost option, a drum filter, provides good phosphate recovery but is not very efficient, has highly variable results and requires a lot of filter maintenance. A decanter has high phosphate recovery and leaves little dry matter in the liquid but is expensive to buy and costly to operate. A belt press is very good at separating solids and liquids, removing enough dry matter to make the liquid treatable by filtration or reverse osmosis. However, it requires additives and a knowledgeable operator. Haaring says Dorset’s solution is to dry the digestate, which not only reduces the volume but creates a good final product. “We generate a product with 85 to 95 percent dry matter that is 10 to 25 percent of its original weight,” he says. Its nutrient content depends on whether the drying is done with or without first separating the digestate. “The dry product can be used as fertilizer, bedding or even fuel,” Haaring says. One of Dorset’s installations dries 100,000 tonnes of hog manure, producing 25,000 tonnes of solids. The solids go into a “phosphate factory” which further compresses them into 6,500 tonnes of pellets with a nutrient content of 2.1 percent N, 6.5 percent P and 1.5 percent K. The pellets are then exported from the intensive hog production area in the Netherlands to the north of France. Trident Processes of Abbotsford has integrated some of these technologies with ideas of their own to develop a complete nutrient recovery system, which it is now being tested at Seabreeze. The system first separates the fiber and conditions it for reuse as bedding in the barns, leaving four percent solids in the remaining wastewater. A second press removes most of the remaining water, creating a “sludge” with double the solids content and 85 to 90 percent of the phosphate, 54 percent of the nitrogen and 17 percent of the potassium, says Bush, now Trident’s operating manager. It then uses polymers to concentrate the sludge, complete with its nutrients, into a “cake” which contains 25 percent solids. The cake can be pelletized and sold off-farm as a nutrient-rich fertilizer. The remaining wastewater, which Langley environmental farm plan advisor and consultant Dave Melnychuk calls a “digestate tea,” contains very few nutrients. The Seabreeze dairy slurry generally contains 0.25 percent nitrogen, 0.05 percent phosphorus and 0.21 percent potassium. Once through the Trident process, the tea contains 0.16 percent N, less than 0.01 percent P and 0.12 percent K. In contrast, the bedding contains 0.40 percent N, 0.13 percent P and 0.11 percent K while the cake contains 0.68 percent N, 0.22 percent P and 0.12 percent K. Melnychuk believes the tea offers tremendous potential as it still includes some nitrogen but almost no phosphorus. Noting many farmers “have too much phosphorus but not enough nitrogen in their fields,” Melnychuk has started a three-year trial to find out how corn and grass respond to the tea. Even a low application rate produced a wet yield of 29 tonnes/hectare, higher than the 25 to 28 tonne average in B.C. fields. “We are very pleased with the initial results,” Melnychuk says. He notes there was less phosphorus in both the corn and grass fields at the end of the season than at the beginning. “If we can validate that for the next two years, it provides an option for phosphate rich soils.” University of B.C. civil engineering professor Victor Lo is trying a different approach: treating the manure before it even gets to the digester. He has spent the past few years developing a microwave-enhanced advanced oxidation system to reduce solids in the manure by 85 percent and extract the phosphorus and crystallize it as struvite, which is 95 percent pure phosphorus. Lo says nutrients can be captured more easily when the solids are broken down and microwave technology is the only way to do that. The system “reduces the amount of disposable solids and number of nutrients which need to be applied to the land.” Lo says the resulting largely liquid product “reduces the processing time in the AD.” He is now building demonstration units and conducting feasibility studies at both the UBC Dairy Education & Research Centre in Agassiz, B.C., and the James Wastewater Treatment Program in Abbotsford Although the system may not be a money-maker because of its high capital and operating costs, Lo believes it could solve some of the environmental issues farmers and waste treatment plants face.      
October 21, 2015, Boston, MA – At its third annual conference, the American Biogas Council (ABC) recognized 12 organizations for their leadership and innovation, which are helping to strengthen and grow the U.S. biogas industry. The award recipients were honored during the 2015 Biogas Industry Awards Reception held during BioCycle REFOR15 Conference and Expo. This year, the ABC recognized biogas industry leadership and innovation with three awards: Innovation of the Year, Project of the Year and the new Outside-the-Box award. "The Biogas Industry Awards not only recognize excellent projects and innovations," explained Bernie Sheff, chairman of the ABC board and vice president of engineering for ES Engineering Services. "They recognize great industry achievements and creative solutions to commonly faced issues that can be held out as an example to others." This year, the ABC expected to present six awards, one Innovation of the Year Award, one Outside the Box Award, and four Projects of the Year across four categories: agricultural, municipal, institutional and merchant. In the end, 12 were awarded. "The quality of innovation in the biogas industry is at a fever pitch today," remarked Patrick Serfass, executive director of the ABC. "We're excited to honor our winners for their steadfast commitment to overcoming obstacles and discovering new ways to help us deploy more biogas systems in the U.S." There are more than 2,100 operational biogas systems in the U.S. today with the potential for more than 11,000 new systems to be built. Winners Biogas Projects of the Year: The Furrer and Martin Families' project – Green Cow Power in Goshen, IN – was named agricultural Biogas Project of the Year for their complex project which uses manure from five dairies, plus large volumes of food waste, to generate more than 3MW of electricity, heat, digested liquids for fertilizer, and digested solids for cow bedding. quasar energy groups' project – Wooster Renewable Energy in Wooster, OH – was awarded the municipal Biogas Project of the Year for their project which digests biosolids, FOG and food waste at a volume that's five times the throughput of the city's original system to generate electricity in excess of the plant's needs, as well as heat and digestate used as fertilizer. The City of Gresham's Cogen Expansion and FOG Receiving Station project in Gresham, OR was awarded the municipal Biogas Project of the Year for their operation of a net zero energy, 10 MGD water resource recovery facility which uses biosolids, FOG from restaurants and food waste to generate 800 kW of electricity and heat, and digestate used as a fertilizer at local farms. In addition to the notable physical plant, its creative use of a wide variety of financing tools such as RECs, transferrable tax credits, and public funds from both the city and state sets this project apart from its peers. Minnesota Municipal Power Agency's project –Hometown BioEnergy in Le Sueur, MN – was awarded the municipal Biogas Project of the Year for their operation of a large Minnesota Municipal Power Agency digester which uses local manure, sweet corn silage, and FOG to generate 8 MW of electricity, heat, digested liquids for farm fertilizer and digested solids for cow bedding, burnable fuel or soil enhancement. The size of the system compared to other municipal biogas projects and its gas storage system which provides the option to only generate power during peak needs, sets it apart from its peers. Univeristy of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Foundation's Rosendale Biodigester project in Pickett, WI was awarded the institutional Biogas Project of the Year for their collaborative project between the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Rosendale Dairy, which uses manure from Wisconsin's largest dairy to generate electricity, heat, liquid digestate for fertilizer and digested solids that are pelletized for use as a soil amendment. Apart from the physical plant, this first of its kind learning facility serves as a teaching center for the development of technicians, scientists, engineers, and animal husbandry specialists sets it apart from its peers. CleanWorld's project – UC Davis Renewable Energy Anaerobic Digester (READ) in Davis, CA – was awarded the institutional Biogas Project of the Year for their innovative system which uses manure and 50 tons per day of food waste to generate digested liquids for fertilizer and biogas which is blended with landfill gas to generate electricity from several microturbines. What sets this project apart from its peers is the combination of wide variety of feedstocks, the blending of landfill gas with digester gas and the use of microturbines to power the university's West Village Project. Forest County Potawatomi Community's Renewable Generation Biogas Facility in Milwaukee, WI was awarded the merchant Biogas Project of the Year for their exemplary system that brings together many players, using food waste from local casino, grocers, the dairy, meat and beverage industries plus byproducts of pharmaceutical and methanol production to generate 2MW of electricity, heat, and digested solids for fertilizer. The successful operation of this enormously complex collection of partnered organizations and feedstocks – plus its performance, which has doubled expectations – sets this project apart from its peers. South San Francisco Scavenger Company's project –Blue Line Biogenic CNG Facility in San Francisco, CA – was awarded the merchant Biogas Project of the Year for their successful operation of a dry biogas system which uses commercial and residential yard and food waste to generate 120,000 diesel gallon equivalents of renewable natural gas each year for waste hauling vehicles and organic-certified compost. This exceptional physical plant plus the integration of dry digestion and vehicle fueling, where each collection vehicle will collect enough organic material on its route to fuel the vehicle for the day, sets it apart from its peers. Biogas Innovations of the Year: Magic Dirt, LLC's product, MagicDirt Premium Potting Soil, was named product Biogas Innovation of the Year because it represents both a product innovation for creating a sustainable, saleable product from digester-derived fiber and a marketing innovation for successfully selling a consumer product through major retailers such as Walmart. The success of Magic Dirt in the marketplace demonstrates that digester co-products can gain access to national retail markets, contribute to the greenhouse emission reduction goals of major retail chains, and attain consumer acceptance-all while contributing to the bottom line of the biogas project. quasar energy group's technology Phosphorus Recovery System was awarded the technical Biogas Innovation of the Year for its innovative and exemplary portable phosphorus removal system. This technical innovation, which has been proven at scale, will help farms with and without digesters plus water resource recovery facilities to remove 99 percent of phosphorus from organic material, both preventing it from entering our waterways and recovering it for use where the nutrients are needed most. The mobile and versatile qualities of the system plus the nearly complete recovery of phosphorus and proven performance make this technology stand out as an exemplary technical innovation. DVO, Inc.'s technology Phosphorus Recovery was awarded technical Biogas Innovation of the Year for its exemplary and innovative phosphorus and nitrogen removal system. This technical innovation has been proven to perform at scale and ultra-low cost removing 95 percent of phosphorus and 50 percent of nitrogen from digested material both preventing the nutrients from entering our waterways and recovering them for use where they are needed most. The nearly complete phosphorus recovery, impressive nitrogen recovery, proven commercial-scale performance and all at an ultra-low cost make this technology stand out as an exemplary technical innovation. Outside-the-Box Award: Newlight Technologies was awarded the Outside-the-Box Award for development and commercialization of its AirCarbon Greenhouse to Plastic technology. The AirCarbon process combines air and biogas with Newlight's biocatalyst to create a carbon-negative polymer at ambient operating conditions-no high pressures, high temperatures, or multiple major unit operations-generating significant savings in energy, water, capital costs, and carbon emissions. Turning biogas into cell phone cases and similar products is an innovation that should soon be "in the box" for the biogas industry.
October 19, 2015, Waunakee, WI – The operator of a troubled manure digester near Waunakee has tentatively agreed to sell the facility to a California firm. Clear Horizons, the Milwaukee-based company that has operated the facility since 2010, announced recently that it had signed a letter of intent to sell the digester to Clean Fuel Partners of San Francisco. READ MORE
 The pilot system at Scott Brothers’ converts about 88 percent of the dairy’s gasified manure into biochar and other products Sustainability in farming is a phrase that’s used a lot these days. In its simplest form, it’s about continual operation with minimal impact on the environment. At Scott Brothers’ Dairy Farms in Moreno Valley, Calif., sustainability has reached a never-before-achieved level, one that’s attracting attention from around the globe. Manure plays a central role in the farm’s ‘Circle of Energy’ concept: the 1,100-strong herd eats high-quality feed produced from the farm’s 700 acres, harvested with machinery powered by a no-sulfur diesel fuel derived from the cows’ manure. If that wasn’t impressive enough, the system also produces irrigation water, potable water, fertilizer, high-value wax, sulfur and valuable nutrients, which, according to Steve McCorkle, enables these and future farmers to truly control their own destinies. McCorkle is the CEO of Ag Waste Solutions (AWS) of Westlake Village, Calif., the designer and installer of the system at Scott Brothers. He got the idea of making diesel from manure during years travelling the globe working in the energy sector. “It appeared to me that farmers all over the world seemed to share two very strong, common goals: a desire to be the best possible stewards of their land, and a desire to be as independent as possible,” he says. At the same time, when McCorkle was working in remote deserts in the Middle East with no infrastructure for hundreds of miles, he and his colleagues had to convert waste gases into electricity and recycle wastewater. “I realized that if we could economically convert wastes into diesel fuel, we could literally fuel our own petroleum exploration – and also achieve what farmers wanted, to be much more independent of the world outside their farms,” he says. It seemed to him that there were two main factors that would make small-scale on-farm diesel production viable. One was modular and portable refining equipment, and, the second, a waste feedstock with a consistent chemical composition to make pre-conditioning less costly. With manure fitting the feedstock bill, McCorkle began in 2006 to work on the refining technology. By 2012, he was collaborating with the Scott brothers, who were looking hard at that point for solutions to deal with new groundwater and watershed salt load regulations – and an impending ban on applying manure to forage crops to boot. With some funding help from the California Energy Commission (CEC), the current pilot system was up and running at Scott Brothers by April 2015.   How it worksThe system first removes almost all suspended solids and 40 percent of dissolved solids from the dairy’s liquid manure. Some of the extracted water is further purified to make it potable (and therefore satisfy manure application requirements specific to a regional state regulatory agency). The solids go into a pyrolysis gasifier and the resulting syngas is purified. Using the well-proven 90-year-old Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process, the hydrogen and carbon in the gas is converted to completely sulfur-free renewable diesel products. A refined wax (worth up to three times the price of diesel) can be processed further and/or blended with fuels such as kerosene – a significant additional farm revenue stream. AWS can also recover elemental sulfur and other nutrients from the process for either sale or re-use on farm. Challenges along the wayAs might be imagined, significant hurdles presented themselves during the years of AWS tech development, with conventional thinking and regulations topping the list. “Operating permits are very difficult to obtain when the technology is new,” McCorkle explains. “Grants and incentives are generally available for new concepts and commercially-proven systems, but it’s not easy for ‘in-between’ tech concepts like what we’ve developed, using new enhancements to make the FT process economically viable on a small-scale, to gain financial support.” When it was time to install at Scott Brothers, more permit and funding issues came up. “We were not allowed to even move the AWS equipment to the farm until the ‘lead permit’ was secured (South Coast Air Quality Management District, SCAQMD),” McCorkle remembers. “Although AWS had obtained one of these permits at another farm site previously, and paid to expedite the Scott Brothers’ permit applications, it took a long time to obtain. We finally received help from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.” The CEC grant required that the project obtain an exemption from CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act), and the only way to do that was to build a temporary structure to shelter the AWS equipment. “This is a large fabric-covered structure that we anchored to the ground with standard shipping containers,” explains McCorkle. “The county stipulated that we needed to supply engineering drawings of the entire facility, including the stresses that the shipping containers would encounter. We had to hire an engineer to design modifications to address the wind and other transverse forces the shipping containers would encounter on the farm.” Taking the long view, AWS made sure its system exceeds the most stringent California regulations. “Scott Brothers convinced us that if we could meet and exceed these requirements, we could then meet and exceed any standards across the globe,” says McCorkle. “An example of this would be the Zero Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) mandate and salt loading restrictions in the watershed. We are proving that we can meet these tough requirements through technology alone, as we have done at Scott Brothers, by removing all of the salts and TDS from the water and producing a potable water discharge. Once that has been recognized, we may be able to prove that we can add certain amounts of TDS into the soil in the form of biochar.” McCorkle adds the AWS biochar combines the two key elements of healthy soil amendments, carbon and micronutrients, into one product, with the same content as raw manure but without the potential surface and groundwater issues. This is why he decided to concentrate the gasification efforts on producing a nutrient-rich biochar product, and capitalize on that before other manure gasifiers could get permitted in California to produce it. Currently, the pilot system at Scott Brothers converts about 12 percent of the dairy’s gasified manure to diesel fuel per day, and about 88 percent into biochar and other products. To be a commercially viable, 24-7 operation and complete the ‘Circle of Energy,’ the liquid fuels production module will have to be upsized. “We are now applying for a Phase II CEC grant to accomplish this,” says McCorkle. “We will then go to market with our new gasifier design, starting with biochar systems on farms to help farmers meet their permit requirements while selling and/or stockpiling biochar as a feedstock for future FT biofuel production at central plants. Biochar is an excellent feedstock for FT biofuel production that does not have a shelf life.”   In reflecting on the entire process, McCorkle has nothing but praise for Scott Brothers, which he describes as “an outstanding partner in overcoming the numerous challenges.” And while it was onerous, he believes the process of helping regulators understand the advantages of the AWS concept was very worthwhile because of the new standards and regulations that are being created. “Although this approach can be very time consuming and costly,” he notes, “we believe that working directly with regulators and stakeholders is ultimately the best way to have the AWS solution become standard for creating future profit centres from manure.” McCorkle strongly believes that creating viable profit centers from manure will have the highest impact towards making livestock operations more sustainable. “Once the AWS ‘Circle of Energy’ concept is working well on individual livestock farms, the circle will grow to include other farms and organic biomass feedstocks in the community, thereby reducing the carbon footprint of the entire community,” he says. “This will raise the resulting carbon credits and funding opportunities for sustainable solutions that will improve the agricultural economy as well as the environment. Many such community opportunities exist world-wide, and the AWS solution can be scaled and tailored to meet the needs of any community.” Biochar and water from food waste digestersAWS is also working to accept materials for its systems from anaerobic digesters that process food and other organic waste. In late July, AWS signed an agreement to perform a series of controlled greenhouse vegetable trials using biochar and fertigation water from an AWS system processing ‘food waste anaerobic digestate,’ in addition to biochar and fertigation water processed from manure. McCorkle says this is very exciting because anaerobic digestate is usually considered a waste that is increasingly difficult to permit for land application in its raw form, but value-added biochar and fertigation water can be readily permitted.      
September 1, 2015, Wicomico County, MD – Wicomico County will be the site of Maryland’s biggest attempt yet to find alternative uses for the Eastern Shore’s overabundance of poultry litter, state agricultural officials say. Renewable Oil International, an Alabama company, has received a $1.2 million state grant to test technology it says can reduce the volume of manure by 50 to 63 percent. The grant comes from the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Animal Waste Technology Fund. READ MORE
Because the United States is the world’s largest producer and exporter of poultry meat and second largest egg producer, there can be little doubt that managing poultry litter is no yolk.
April 25, 2017, Lincoln, NE – For a team of University of Nebraska-Lincoln chemical and biomolecular engineering students, biogas refining isn't just a senior design capstone project, it's a potential means of supplying Nebraska's rural communities with a renewable source of energy that comes from resources that are both local and plentiful.Tasked with helping Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) turn biogas into a more-refined form of natural gas, the team of Meryl Bloomfield, Heather Newell, K.J. Hafer and Dave Hansen saw that the state was among the nation's leaders in not only cattle population but in manure production.Using an anaerobic digestion process, the team proposes turning that manure not only into fertilizer for crops but natural gas that NPPD could also use to create electricity that powers farms and rural communities across the state."Compared to other renewable energy sources – like wind and solar – biogas is more consistent," said Bloomfield. "Cows are always going to produce manure. You don't have to rely on having a sunny day or a windy day, especially In Nebraska, where wind and solar plants might not be as reliable as in Arizona and California."According to The Cattle Network, Nebraska ranked second nationally in 2015 with approximately 6.3 million cattle or about seven percent of the U.S. population. One of the biggest uses of the manure produced by the cattle is the production of fertilizer.The student team worked to develop a method that would allow the production of natural gas and still maintain a viable supply for fertilizer production. But that led to it expanding on its goal by proposing a solution that could be an economic boost to the rural community – a biogas upgrade refinery that would be strategically located near Broken Bow.The refined natural gas from the Nebraska Biogas Upgrading Refinery would then be piped to NPPD's Canaday Station southeast of Lexington, where it could be used to create electricity."It would be centralized to where the cows are," Hansen said. "After designing the plant, we determined we'd need about a quarter of a million head of cattle to achieve the manure supply sufficient to reach the capacity NPPD is looking for.The natural gas that would be similar to the gas used in homes across the country, Hansen said, except it would be collected as part of a natural process rather than relying on traditional means of extracting the gas – such as fracking or refining fossil fuels.Newell also said the process would be more beneficial to the ecology."In doing this, we're reducing greenhouse gases from the cow manure that sits out and naturally becomes fertilizer," Newell said. "We're reducing the carbon dioxide and creating something useful from it."Though their proposal isn't guaranteed to be implemented, Bloomfield said thinking about the human impact made this senior capstone experience valuable for the entire team."Knowing that it could be even a stepping stone to something for NPPD changed how we approached it," Bloomfield said. "When you're thinking theoretically, you can go a lot of different directions. When you're thinking about how it affects people and their lives, that's when it gets real."
March 11, 2013, Washington, DC – The American Biogas Council (ABC) applauds the introduction of the Biogas Investment Tax Credit Act of 2013 (HR 860), which would provide a 30 percent investment tax credit (ITC) for qualifying biogas technologies. This bill would add biogas to the list of renewables that already receive a 30 percent federal investment tax credit. According to ABC executive director Patrick Serfass, projects that inject renewable natural gas into the gas pipeline or use the biogas to power vehicle fleets would benefit from the credit. “This tax credit will help a dairy farmer who makes biogas from cow manure and then uses it to heat the buildings and power the trucks that deliver the milk,” Serfass said. “Without it, the farmer may not be able to make that investment,” he continued. “Indeed, the ITC would also facilitate the conversion of food waste to biogas that can be injected into natural gas pipelines.” While biogas projects that generate electricity are eligible for a production tax credit under Section 45 of the federal tax code, currently no comparable tax incentive exists for the production of biogas when used for purposes other than electricity generation.
Feb. 12, 2013, Arcdale, NC - Matt Davidson has been appointed as the newest Project Manager in Vecoplan LLC's Waste Systems Center of Competency. Located in High Point NC, Vecoplan LLC is a worldwide leader in the design, engineering, manufacturing, installation, and commissioning of turnkey systems that process MSW, other waste streams and raw biomass for use as feedstock in the production of alternative fuels and energy. Prior to this appointment, Davidson held the position of Product Engineer at Vecoplan. In addition to his tenure with Vecoplan, Davidson worked as a Mechanical Project Engineering Manager at Crowder Construction Company and as a Mechanical Engineering intern with Square D. He earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University in 2007. Davidson's responsibilities will include coordinating the design and development of large scale, turnkey systems for the processing and production of Alternative Fuels from Biomass and Waste, as well as general Waste Treatment systems. In order to ensure continuous quality control, he will also oversee the manufacture and implementation of his projects once the engineering phase has been completed. "The rapid growth that we've experienced, especially in the design of large integrated systems, has made it necessary for us to expand both our capabilities and our personnel. We are fortunate to have someone of Matt's caliber and expertise, join our Waste Systems team here at Vecoplan," states Uwe Eschenhorst, VP – Center of Competence/Waste Systems at Vecoplan, LLC For more information visit www.VecoplanLLC.com, or call 336-861-6070.
February 5, 2013, London, Ont – Growth in the farm and rural biogas sector is steady and inevitable and the 2013 Canadian Biogas Conference is focussing on managing the sector and taking applications to the next step. Topics covered include: Biogas for electricity Biogas for Renewable Natural Gas and Biomethane Biogas heat use Plus much more The Canadian Biogas Conference will be presented at the London Convention Centre, London, Ont., March 4 and 5, 2013. Special added attractions, including the Technology Tours, will be held March 6. The Canadian Biogas Conference and Green Rural Opportunities (GRO) Summit share a joint exhibition of technologies, processes and programs. Registration for one of either the Canadian Biogas Conference or GRO Summit provides full access to the plenaries and technical sessions of both. Registration for associated events, such as the Technology Tours, dinner or add-on workshops is additional. For more information, click here.
Sept. 4, 2012 - WelTec BioPower has begun construction of a bio gas plant in Darżyno, Poland, that will be supplied with maize, manure and potato waste. According to Renewable Energy Magazine, the finished plant will posess four sorage tanks and a 50 cubic metre dosing feeder, to be operated by NEWD. The maize and manure will be supplied by local farmers, while a chip manufacturer will provide the potato waste. The plant is expected to be completed by summer 2013. For more on WelTec Power's new biogas plant, please see the article in Renewable Energy Magazine.
Jul. 17, 2012 - In May, Weltec Biopower GmbH started building a biogas plant with an electrical output of 370 kW in Bure in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. The plant‘s entire heat surplus will be used to heat the local training barracks. The plant site in the Swiss Canton of Jura boasts fertile soil and a lot of agriculture. Therefore, the "Bio.Etique. Energie SA“ plant will mainly process farm manure from the surrounding agricultural establishments and agro-industrial waste from the region, including liquid manure, dung, green waste, and grain waste. Owing to the composition of the organic resources, the Weltec plant will make use of wet fermentation. This technology, which is common in agricultural biogas plants, is especially suitable for the utilisation of heterogeneous wastes and does not require any additives.   The substrates are loaded into a fermenter of 3,994 cubic metres with the help of a 45 cubic metres solid matter dosing feeder. A gas-tight storage unit with a capacity of 4,078 cubic metres is large enough for storing the digestate. From November 2012, the Weltec plant will feed in a net electricity production of 3 GWh/year into the power grid, an amount is sufficient to continually supply 900 homes with power. The plant‘s excess heat of 2.6 GWh/year will be used to heat the barracks in Bure, which hosts up to 1,400 trainees. Apart from the smart extraction of the available heat, Claude Etique was impressed by the overall process concept of the WELTEC premium plants: „Compared to other concepts available on the market, Weltec Biopower is the right choice. The same also applies to the entire project organisation with French-speaking Weltec staff.“ In the future, clearly defined project processes could be decisive for the placement of biogas plant construction orders, as Switzerland, like Germany, decided in 2011 to gradually abandon nuclear energy. However, this will require substantial investments, especially for the development of the power production from renewable energy sources. The goal is to increase the power generation from renewable energies by one third by 2050. Due to the ongoing availability of the raw material and its positive eco-balance, biogas is considered to have a great potential as an energy source. According to a forecast, the Swiss could cover about 4.5 percent of their power requirements and 5 percent of their heat requirements from this energy source. Moreover, about half a million vehicles in Switzerland could run on biogas for an annual mileage of 15,000 kilometer. Resources for biogas are bountiful: About 20 million t of liquid manure, dung, organic waste, and crop residue, which are suitable for generating biogas, accumulate in the Swiss agriculture alone. The farm manure used in Bure only 1.5 percent of which are currently used in Switzerland for energy generation purposes has the greatest raw material potential. In 2011, Weltec Biopower GmbH, one of the first manufacturers of biogas plants, celebrated its 10th anniversary. Weltec is one of the pioneers of the constructors of biogas plants. Based on the modern approach of experienced engineers, the company from Vechta (Lower Saxony) with its expertise of a staff of close to 80, offers complete biogas plants from one source and has developed to a leading constructor of biogas plants in the world. As the hydrogen sulphide and ammonia compounds contained in biogas corrode unprotected parts, WELTEC builds the digesters from stainless steel. This ensures a long useful life of the plant. The manufacturing depth also guarantees a consistently high standard regardless of the location and ensures an export rate that is far above the industry average. The plants have a modular structure. Weltec Biopower uses only proven system components and develops most of the technologies along the entire value chain internally: digester technology, mixing technology, control technology, hygienisation systems, and digestate processing solutions originate from the company. By means of its comprehensive services, Weltec ensures the technical and economic stability of the biogas plants. The CHP service guarantees stable output, the biological supervision ensures continuous monitoring of the relevant parameters, and systematic repowering makes sure that the biogas plant is always up to date. Operators can choose from a range of service packages of different types and scope. One of the main strengths of the medium-sized enterprise is the ability to deliver individual and flexible solutions – from compact plants to large computer-controlled plants in the megawatt range, waste recycling plants, and biogas parks with gas processing technology.

Subscription Centre

 
New Subscription
 
Already a Subscriber
 
Customer Service
 
View Digital Magazine Renew

Most Popular

Latest Events

World Pork Expo 2017
Wed Jun 07, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Wisconsin Farm Technology Days 2017
Tue Jul 11, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Empire Farm Days 2017
Tue Aug 08, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Dakotafest 2017
Tue Aug 15, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
North American Manure Expo 2017
Tue Aug 22, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Farm Progress Show 2017
Tue Aug 29, 2017 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM