BioCycle February 2019
Perris, California: Carbon Intensity Of Biogas To CNG Pathway
CR&R Incorporated/California Renewable Power LLC (CR&R) submitted a California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Tier 2 application for its biomethane from anaerobic digestion of green waste to compressed natural gas (CNG) pathway, with a requested carbon intensity (CI) of 0.34 gCO2e/MJ. CR&R produces biomethane at its digester facility in Perris, which is co-located with CR&R’s material recovery facility and transfer station (see “High Solids Digester Services California Municipalities,” May 2017). The raw biogas is upgraded to SoCalGas Rule 30 pipeline quality biomethane and injected into the utility’s pipeline. In turn, CR&R takes an equivalent amount of the biomethane it injected out of the SoCalGas pipeline, compresses it and dispenses CNG into its truck fleet.
Although the input feedstock consists of limited food scraps (<5%), CR&R is seeking to register a provisional pathway of biomethane from anaerobic digestion of 100 percent green waste with this application. The CI value is based on life cycle analysis conducted using a modified version of the High Solids Anaerobic Digestion (HSAD) calculator under the CA-GREET 2.0 Tier 2 methodology. California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff reviewed the CR&R application and replicated, using the modified version of the HSAD calculator, the CI value calculated by CR&R. On the basis of these findings, CR&R’s Tier 2 Provisional CI pathway was approved by CARB on December 20, 2018. Increasing the amount of food waste in the digesters would result in a lower (more negative) CI.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: New AD Pilot Plant
Solid waste management in Rio de Janeiro is handled by the City Company of Urban Cleaning (COMLURB), which operates a mixed waste material recovery facility (MWMRF), along with a composting plant that receives the organic fraction from the MWMRF. COMLURB recently commissioned a pilot anaerobic digestion plant to handle the organics fraction. After a month of operation, the pilot plant — with capacity to process 33 tons/day of material — was able to extract 100 to 150 cubic meters of biogas per processed metric ton (3,200–4,800 cubic feet/ton), with 50 to 60 percent methane concentration.
The technology was developed by the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), in partnership with Methanum Tecnologia Ambiental and COMLURB, and funded by the Brazilian Development Bank. The unit consists of modules that are about the size of shipping containers. Incoming waste is loaded into a container, which is sealed for two to three weeks. Microorganisms are sprayed into the modules through pipes. Sensors and meters enable control and optimization of biogas production. A generator produces electric energy from gas combustion.
Washington D.C.: Electricity Generation From Renewables And Natural Gas
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest inventory of electric generators in the U.S., 23.7 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity additions and 8.3 GW of capacity retirements are expected for the U.S. electric power sector in 2019. Utility-scale capacity additions consist primarily of wind (46%), natural gas (34%), and solar photovoltaics (18%), with the remaining 2 percent consisting primarily of other renewables and battery storage capacity. A total of 10.9 GW of wind capacity is currently scheduled to come online in 2019. Planned natural gas capacity additions are primarily in the form of combined-cycle plants (6.1 GW) and combustion-turbine plants (1.4 GW).
Scheduled capacity retirements for 2019 primarily consist of coal (53%), natural gas (27%), and nuclear (18%, including the last operating unit at the Three Mile Island Power Station in Pennsylvania). Also included is a single hydroelectric plant in the state of Washington and other smaller renewable and petroleum capacity accounting for the remaining 2 percent.
Varennes, Quebec: Organic Waste To Biogas Plant
BTA International GmbH and its North American partner, CCI BioEnergy Inc., have completed construction of a major waste to biogas facility in Varennes. The $45 million (Cdn) (about $35 million US) project is designed to process up to about 45,000 tons annually of kitchen scraps, soiled paper, pet waste, grass clippings and soft yard trimmings from the 92,000 households in 27 rural and suburban municipalities that make up the Regional County Municipalities (RCM) of la Vallée-du-Richelieu, Marguerite-D’Youville and Rouville on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River east of Montreal. The facility is owned by SÉMECS, a public-private partnership between Biogaz EG and RCM.
Solid organics and septage will be fed directly to a hydro-mechanical pretreatment system, configured with a waste pulper and two grit removal systems. Liquid organics sourced from the industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sectors will be fed directly to the digesters. The BTA technology employs a wet digestion process in the mesophilic range using two continuously stirred tank reactors. The digestate is continuously recirculated through heat exchangers to maintain the required operating temperature. A portion of the biogas will fuel the boilers to produce the required heat for the facility and the biological processes. The remaining biogas will be upgraded to produce biomethane that will offset natural gas use at the Greenfield Ethanol facility located on the site.
Digestate will be dewatered using rotary presses and the liquid fraction will be reclaimed and reused. Solids will be land applied on the more than 400 farms that grow the corn to supply the ethanol facility. Any excess liquids will be treated in an on-site wastewater treatment plant before being discharged to the St. Lawrence River.
Johnston, Rhode Island: Food Waste Digester Plans Winter Opening
An anaerobic digester in Johnston designed to process food waste opened briefly in August 2017, after a two-month delay. But the equipment that separates plastic and other inorganic items from food scraps didn’t operate properly. Other equipment retrofits were made, such as winterizing pipes. The facility now expects to take feedstock and be fully operational over the 2018-2019 winter. It has capacity to process about 250 tons/day of organics. Biogas will be used to generate up to 3.2 megawatts of electrical output that will be utilized for plant operations or fed to the grid.
The $18.9 million project broke ground on May 28, 2015, with a goal of opening by the end of the year. But there were permitting delays and financial restructuring by its owner, Blue Sphere Corp., based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Orbit Energy Rhode Island LLC now runs the project, which is co-owned by Blue Sphere and Entropy Investment Management, also based in Charlotte. The facility will accept large-scale shipments of liquid and solid organic waste from food manufacturers, schools, and grocery stores. Tall crates containing organics that are tightly wrapped in cardboard and shrink-wrapped and fastened to pallets can’t be accepted yet, however the contents of those containers can be processed using equipment to remove individual packaging made of plastic, cardboard, and metal. A second system is designed to accept unpackaged liquefied organics, or slurry, from 6,000-gallon tanker trucks. Orbit is seeking feedstock contracts from food waste generators across southern New England.
Rialto, California: Large-Scale Food Waste And Biosolids Digester
Anaergia, Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based organic waste technology firm, began construction of its Rialto Bioenergy Facility (RBF) that is designed to process 770 tons/day of food waste and 330 tons/day of biosolids. Organics will be extracted from incoming municipal solid waste using Anaergia’s OREX extruder. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2020. The facility will service food waste and other generators in the Los Angeles region, and produce the equivalent of 13 MW of energy. The facility is in Rialto, a city about 50 miles east of Los Angeles, near the center of the Agua Mansa Industrial Corridor, in an area zoned for heavy industry. The site is adjacent to the City of Rialto’s wastewater treatment plant.