Anaerobic Digest

BioCycle November 2012, Vol. 53, No. 11, p. 17

Diamond Bar, California: RFP For Emission Control Technologies For Biogas Engines

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) has released an RFP to solicit proposals for the deployment of selective noncatalytic reduction (SNCR) emission control technologies for internal combustion engines operating on landfill and/or digester gas (biogas) to meet AQMD’s January 1, 2016 Rule 1110.2 emission limits (11 ppmvd NOx, 30 ppmvd VOC and 250 ppmvd CO). Due to the nature of the potential projects, the actual award amount cannot be determined at this time. The successful bidding entities should have proven expertise in working directly with SNCR technologies and biogas renewable distributed electrical power generation. Proposals that include a host site demonstration partner, located in the South Coast Air Basin with landfill or digester gas application will be awarded additional points during the evaluation process. The complete RFP can be downloaded at http://www.aqmd.gov/rfp/attachments/2013/P2013-13.doc. Proposals must be submitted to the AQMD on or before 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 19, 2012. Questions regarding this solicitation can be directed to Alfonso Baez, (909) 396-2516, abaez@aqmd.gov.

Tamworth, New Hampshire: New Data On Biogas Production At WWTPs

In late October, the North East Biosolids and Residuals Association (NEBRA) unveiled a new website that provides updated data on anaerobic digestion and biogas production at wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) across the United States. The website, www.biogasdata.org, offers key information about the potential for biogas production as a renewable fuel. The survey project, led by NEBRA and Black & Veatch, compiled a total of 5,127 WWTPs in its data base; most of the plants treat above one million gallons/day. Of those, 1,238 treat the solids via anaerobic digestion (AD). The remaining 3,889 WWTPs do not have AD (or it was assumed they do not), so there is clearly potential for considerably more biogas production from wastewater.

Use of biogas at wastewater facilities is also underdeveloped: the data show that one-third of the treatment facilities that produce biogas do not put it to use for energy (e.g., to combust in plant boilers), and only about 300 use it to generate electricity. Seed funding for the data collection was provided by the Water Environment Federation. Funding for the initial website development was provided by Cambi, the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority, and the National Biosolids Partnership, with significant in-kind contributions by project team members, including American Biogas Council, Mid-Atlantic Biosolids Association, NEBRA, Black & Veatch, and 350 Technologies. “This field has needed quality, shared data,” says Ned Beecher, Executive Director of NEBRA, co-principal investigator. “The data we present today are not perfect, but they are a major step forward. And, thanks to 350 Technologies, we now have a central web-based platform for biogas and biosolids data that we hope will be expanded and improved over the years, through the same collaboration.”

Tillamook, Oregon: New Digester For Port Industrial Park

Port of Tillamook Bay (POTB), the 1,600-acre industrial park on the Oregon coast, is planning for early-spring completion of its new $5.6 million manure anaerobic digester and 1.2 MW electricity generator. The new facility, designed and built by DariTech, Inc., will replace the smaller, plug-flow digester POTB has been using since 2003. That system produces enough electricity to power about 400 homes, about half the generating capacity of the system under construction, says POTB General Manager Michele Bradley. Construction, which began in late July, will be complete by mid February, with commissioning to take about two months, according to DariTech spokesman Steve Peerce. “Hand off” to the Port is expected in mid-May.

New digester for Port of Tillamook Bay industrial park

New digester for Port of Tillamook Bay industrial park

The plant, sited within the foundation of a former World War II blimp hangar, will process manure from the equivalent of 5,000 milking Holsteins from Tillamook community dairies. Manure will be delivered in tanker trucks; treated effluent will be returned to the dairies for agricultural application. A touch screen at the load/unload station communicates directly with the system PLC, allowing tracking of all incoming and outgoing material. No substrates will be digested with the manure. The new system has three 1-million gallon insulated tanks — two for digestion and a third for “finishing” the effluent, according to Bradley. There are also two 250,000-gallon storage tanks, one for receiving manure and the other for off-load back to the farms that are bringing manure to POTB. A 4,400 square foot building will house solids dewatering and fiber processing operations. The plant will provide electricity to the Tillamook People’s Utility District. A 2G Cenergy 1.2 MW combined heat and power system is being installed. POTB plans to sell the fiber by-product to nurseries and other horticultural users across the Pacific Northwest and northern California.

Washington, DC: Agstar, State Partnership Webinar

U.S. EPA AgSTAR is holding a webinar on December 5, 2012 to discuss partnership opportunities between EPA and state and nongovernmental allies to promote the planning, deployment and long-term success of anaerobic digester (AD) projects. AgSTAR is a voluntary outreach program, housed in EPA’s Climate Change Division, which is dedicated to economic and environmental advancement through methane recovery systems in livestock waste management operations. “Benefits of the State Partnership Program include opportunities to collaborate on projects and network with organizations, learn about successful policies and programs in other states and shape national priorities,” explains Allison Costa, AgSTAR’s national program manager. Eligible partners include nonprofits and universities, state environmental and agricultural agencies, local governments and policy/regulatory officials.

EPA’s responsibilities in the partnership program are to assist in project development by providing technical and economic evaluations, information on financial assistance, market data, industry contacts, outreach and education and AD project data; collaboration on establishing an active network of organizations involved in AD issues; assist the State Partner in evaluating potential and existing policies and programs that impact AD projects; and publicly recognize the Partner’s participation in AgSTAR and AD project development. State Partner responsibilities are to coordinate with AgSTAR to update data on AD projects within the state and identify potential project sites; promote AD project development within the state through outreach and education initiatives; review state regulations and policies to explore opportunities for overcoming barriers to AD energy recovery projects; and work with AgSTAR to consider new policies, mechanisms, and incentives that recognize the full environmental, energy and economic value of AD energy projects in the state. To sign up for the webinar on December 5 at 2:00 pm (EST), RSVP to stormont.caitlin@epa.gov.

Exeter, Maine: 1 Mw Digester On Family Farm

Stonyvale Farm, a fifth-generation, family-owned dairy farm in Exeter, has installed a 1 MW anaerobic digestion system to process animal and food wastes. The $5.2 million facility uses a mixture of 75 percent manure slurry with 25 percent food waste in two mesophilic, stirred tanks. All the electricity generated is sold to ISO New England; in turn, the farm buys back the energy it needs from the utility. The combined heat and power unit was assembled by Martin Machinery and uses a Guascor engine. The Stonyvale system produces about 4 million BTU/hour of heat. About half is used to heat the digesters, as well as two 26,000 gallon underground tanks that hold the food waste brought in to mix with the manure, according to Adam Wintle with Biogas Energy Partners, which manages assets for Stonyvale Farm and Exeter Agri-Energy, a subsidiary of the farm.

Manure from roughly 2,000 dairy cows is piped to the digester tanks, each 20 feet tall and 62 feet in diameter, with rubber membrane roofs inflated by the biogas. Wintle says he spent about two years assembling the financing for the system (federal and state grants paid about $2.8 million of the cost), developing a power purchase agreement, choosing equipment and handling other logistics. The digesters began operating at the end of 2011, and have been running continuously since March. The operation will eventually include a heat transfer system using glycol circulated through the engine to provide heat and hot water to the farm’s dairy operation. That should be up and running by mid-2013, notes Wintle. The digester system was supplied by CH-Four Biogas.

Berkeley County, South Carolina: Mixed Organics Digester

A new anaerobic digester located at the Berkeley County landfill in the Charleston metro area is scheduled to start up before the end of the year, according to Tripp Ballard, Business Development Manager with GenEarth/ BioEnergy Technologies, LLC. The facility has processing capacity of 60,000 to 75,000 wet tons/year of mixed organic residuals, including municipal biosolids, food processing wastes and FOG (fats, oils, grease). GenEarth is using a 1.6 MW Caterpillar 3520 CHP unit, and has a power purchase agreement with Santee Cooper. “The pasteurization step in the digester will yield digestate/biosolids with an ‘unrestricted use’ designation under the US EPA 503 Class A Exceptional Quality rules,” Ballard says. Berkeley County also is working with McGill Environmental Systems, who is building a mixed organics composting facility nearby at the county’s wastewater treatment plant (see “Composting Roundup” in this issue).

Ontario, California: Fuel Cell Power Plant

A 2.8 MW fuel cell power plant recently came on-line at the Inland Empire Utilities Agency’s (IEUA) Water Recycling Plant located in Ontario (Regional Plant No. 1). Installation of the fuel cell plant assists IEUA with implementing its renewable energy program and removes a significant risk factor regarding compliance with any future changes to clean air regulations, according to IEUA. Biogas from the digesters at the treatment plant has historically been used to fuel cogeneration engines that provided energy to other processes within the facility. However, since regulatory requirements regarding power generation emissions continue to become more stringent, IEUA entered into a private-public partnership with Anaergia, Inc. to efficiently convert the waste biogas into clean electricity via fuel cells. Its subsidiary, Anaergia Services, owns and operates the renewable energy plant under a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with IEUA. The Regional Plant No. 1, which can treat up to 44 million gallons a day of wastewater, purchases base load power from Anaergia to offset approximately 60 percent of the grid power previously used by the facility to treat wastewater.

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