Anaerobic digestion (AD) technology - that can combat rising water effluent and energy costs - is being made available to the processing industry at no capital cost.
Biogas utilisation specialist ENER-G has launched a complete outsourced anaerobic digestion service. This includes the design, installation and operation of anaerobic digestion renewable energy facilities.
Because ENER-G will finance the project, there is no upfront cost or financial risk to the customer. ENER-G recovers its investment by sharing savings with the customer over the contract period, with the customer receiving 20-50% of the annual savings.
The AD process generates renewable energy from the organic by-products of production. Biogas created during the digestion process fuels a CHP engine to create renewable heat and electricity. This type of combined waste management and energy efficiency system immediately reduces the user’s energy costs and carbon footprint.
In addition, the digestion process can reduce the Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) content of effluent by 80 to 95%, dramatically reducing effluent costs and offering potential for water recycling once solids are removed. Effluent bills have risen sharply since recent modifications were made to the Mogden Formula, which is the calculation used to set costs for discharging trade effluent to the sewer.
ENER-G's complete AD package is suitable for a variety of industrial processors, such as brewing, distilling, soft drinks, dairy, bakery and many other sectors. It is open to processing facilities of all sizes, but the minimum requirement to qualify for funding is a liquid effluent stream of at least 3,000 Kg of COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) per day.
Scott Tamplin, Director of AD Development at ENER-G, said: " The increasing cost of waste and effluent disposal, coupled with rising energy costs and environmental legislation is prompting renewed interest in AD. Our outsourced build-own-operate model means that cash strapped companies can benefit without raiding their own capital or trying to raise finance themselves.
"We will design, install, operate and own the complete anaerobic digestion plant - shouldering all the financial risk and sharing operational savings with customers over an agreed contract term of 10, 15, 20 or 25 years. This provides businesses with a steady and attractive income stream."
UK-based renewable energy group ENER-G has extensive experience of designing, manufacturing, installing, financing and operating combined heat and power (CHP) systems for AD plants across the UK.
As an independent company, ENER-G can partner with the best digester equipment suppliers to provide the optimum solution for the front-end of the process. All elements of the project are managed by ENER-G, starting with an assessment of the client’s process waste by an independent laboratory to ascertain the type of AD technology best suited to the waste stream.
The specification process also involves calculating the potential heat and electricity yield and specifying and supplying an appropriately sized CHP system. As part of the after service, ENER-G manages the process of connecting to the national network for the export and sale of electricity, and manages claims for renewables incentives, such as the Feed in Tariff.
Scott Tamplin added: "The UK processing industry has been slow to adopt anaerobic digestion, largely because of high capital cost and lack of knowledge. By removing both these barriers, we hope to accelerate deployment of AD in the sector. As a global engineering company with a long track record, we have a portfolio of established investors who will partner with us to deliver the complete financed package to industry."
A recent ENER-G anaerobic digestion project at North British Distillery in Edinburgh, which was implemented in conjunction with HydroThane UK, recently won the ‘Best integration of AD into a food and drink business’ category in the AD & Biogas Industry Awards 2013.
North British Distillery, a joint venture between Diageo and Edrington, is one of the largest grain whisky producers in Scotland. The £6 million green technology facility has reduced the distillery's carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 9,000 tonnes per year. The AD plant is capable of treating 27,000 Kg of COD per day and produces up to 24 000 MW hours of renewable energy in the form of biogas.
A high efficiency 500kW ENER-G CHP system and a 1 000 kW steam boiler convert the biogas into steam and electrical energy for use on-site. These two energy streams dramatically reduce the distillery’s reliance on the use of fossil fuel based energy inputs from the national gas and power grids.
Other anaerobic projects completed by ENER-G industry include a 190 kW unit at a dairy in Dorset, on-farm AD facilities and projects in partnership with Local Authorities and water treatment companies. Other AD projects in the confectionery, dairy and drinks sector are under construction.