September 22, 2008 | General

Renewable Energy Marketplace

BioCycle September 2008, Vol. 49, No. 9, p. 48
Introducing you to the vendors showcasing their equipment and services at the 8th Annual BioCycle Conference on Renewable Energy From Organics Recycling, October 6-8, 2008 in Madison, Wisconsin. For the full Conference Program, to register for the event and view an up-to-date list of exhibitors, visit

Acterra Group, Inc. provides project development, finance and construction services to energy and clean energy companies. Renewable energy projects include anaerobic digestion, wind and biomass power. Acterra also offers construction services for small to medium sized biofuels facilities (less than 15 mgy) and biofuel distribution systems. The company is working on development of an anaerobic digestion project in western Iowa to process dairy manure with other feedstocks including ethanol solubles and brown grease. Acterra Group is handling all development, engineering and construction activities; the project is in the design and permitting stage with site construction scheduled for late 2008. Project size exceeds $10 million.
ADI Systems, Inc. is a treatment technology and turnkey solutions provider for the industrial wastewater marketplace, covering high-strength wastewater treatment, water reuse/recycling, stillage and waste solids digestion, energy recovery and biogas handling. ADI’s technologies are offered in a package or on a design-build basis and include start-up, commissioning, training and aftercare support to ensure optimal performance. Bench- and pilot-scale studies are often done in advance of full-scale installations to confirm treatability. A recent ADI project involved anaerobic digestion of thin stillage from a corn-to-fuel ethanol plant and cheese whey from a nearby cheese factory. Biogas is utilized to generate steam and electricity for the ethanol plant, enabling the facility to become completely energy self-sufficient and improve the overall economics of its production process.
AgrEnergy LLC helps clients “harvest” energy from sustainable sources including wind, sun and biomass. From a successful beginning in the biogas industry, AgrEnergy continues to expand and enter new markets by adapting state-of-the-art technologies and hardware. Its biogas energy installations include above-ground, complete-mix digesters managed by web-based SCADA systems, providing project or plant sustainability while minimizing operating and management costs. AgrEnergy’s “market channel” partners include Clear Horizons and Lüthe GmbH. The partners are working together to install a Lüthe digester at Crave Brothers Farm LLC in Waterloo, Wisconsin. This will be the farm’s second digester. Crave Brothers is part of the BioCycle Renewable Energy Conference Tour on Wednesday, October 8th.
Applied Technologies, Inc. (ATI) is a multidiscipline engineering firm specializing in conversion of organic material to biogas and utilization of biogas in both the public and private sectors. It is involved in municipal, industrial and agricultural wastewater treatment and covers all phases of project development, from facilities planning through design and construction management, to start-up and systems operations. Recent ATI projects include permitting, design engineering and start-up assistance with KB Compost Services, Inc.’s installation of a Schmack Biogas digester at the City of Akron, Ohio’s biosolids composting plant and design and construction of an expansion project at the City of Burlington, Wisconsin’s Water Pollution Control Facility that includes upgrades to the existing biogas handling system and cogeneration engine. The company also works with numerous farm-based anaerobic digestion projects.
Arrow Ecology, Ltd.’s ArrowBio technology is designed to process mixed municipal solid waste (MSW). At the front-end, gravitational separation in water, aided by hydraulic, mechanical, electromagnetic and pneumatic devices, recovers recyclables and removes nonprocessible materials. Biodegradables dissolve or are reduced to fine particulates. At the back end, the isolated organics undergo acidogenic followed by methanogenic digestion of the upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) type. Capital cost for a 300 tons/day (tpd) plant is about $29 million. The ArrowBio reference plant at the Tel Aviv (Israel) MSW transfer station has been operating since 2003. A 300 tpd plant in suburban Sydney, Australia is in the commissioning phase and will be fully operational in early 2009. It is the key element of the comprehensive Macarthur Resource Recovery Park, which includes a commingled recyclables MRF, yard trimmings composting, a “swap shop” and an educational center.
Bandit Industries, Inc. manufactures high-quality equipment for the tree care, forestry and waste reduction industries. Its line includes high-powered whole tree chippers as well as versatile, high-efficiency Beast® Recyclers. More recently, Bandit has focused its attention on developing equipment for production of fuel wood for biomass applications. The whole tree chippers produce a dimensional chip for use in wood-fired power plants. Bandit also recently introduced the Beast Knife System, which enables current owners to convert their horizontal grinder into a high-capacity whole tree chipper with a simple exchange of traditional cutterbodies for cutterbodies with knives. Developed in part for the European fuel wood markets, this system produces a screened chip suitable for use in wood-fired power plants and pellet operations.
Boerger, LLC supplies rotating equipment for anaerobic digestion and manure handling solutions. Products include a Rotary Lobe Pump, Multicrusher (twin shaft grinder) and Multichopper (single shaft grinder) and the Powerfeed-SSR, which meters feed of corn silage into digesters. The heavy-duty rotary lobe pump with individually replaceable rotor tips is well-suited for versatile applications including central anaerobic digestion feed pumping stations. The company’s macerating technology provides protection of downstream equipment as well as process improvements.
Continental Biomass Industries (CBI), a manufacturer of grinders, shredders and chippers for the wood and waste industries, has developed a heavy-duty drum chipper rotor in response to customers making quality, uniform micro chips for emerging fuel markets (e.g., pellets and boiler fuel). The Magnum Force 6400 Series has four field-swappable rotors – solid steel for contaminated waste streams, forged drum for grinding clean wood and mulch and two drum chippers for making custom-sized chips ranging in size from 1/16-inch to 1.25 inches. Track, stationary and mobile units are available.
Over 20 years ago, a sawmill in New Hampshire partnered in a joint venture to build Hemphill Power and Light – a 16-MW cogeneration facility. Initially by-products from the sawmill were converted to biofuel for the power plant. Eventually, additional biomass was needed, including pallets, dimensional lumber, kiln-dried wood, brush, oversized logs, stumpwood etc. To process this mixed bag of biomass, the company purchased a CBI Magnum Force 4000 grinder to make a consistent biofuel. Today, the power plant consumes 195,000 green tons of wood fuel/year and yields 120,000 MW hours/year of renewable electricity for the Lake Sunapee (New Hampshire) Region.
DODA USA, Inc. is a partner and distributor of all DODA products and services in North America. Equipment distributed includes chopper pumps, separators, agitators, biogas mixers and numerous accessories and specialty devices. DODA manufactures and markets its products worldwide, and is known throughout Europe for its waste handling products and solutions.
DODA was instrumental in supplying and developing equipment used in the Rivalta Energy Project in Rivalta, Italy. This 1 MW anaerobic digester uses a diverse substrate mix. DODA designed and built the following components: bag opener for municipal bagged garbage; chopper pumps for emulsifying the varied input products; Bio Separator for removing foreign material from the slurry produced from the municipal garbage; Bio Box to allow automatic movement of substrates throughout the four digester cells with one pump; biogas mixers for complete mixing in the digester cells; and liquid/solid separation equipment used on the back end once substrate exits the digester.
Energies Direct, LLC is an environmental engineering and construction company specializing in converting all types of organic waste into energy. Energies Direct constructs and maintains digesters, combined heat and power plants (CHPs), wastewater treatment plants and gas purification units. Its technologies are suitable for a wide range of wet and dry biological waste and by-products generated by farms, food processing plants, slaughterhouses, local governments, ethanol plants, zoos, etc. Energies Direct is building turnkey Total Mix Biogas Digestion Systems including the CHP plant. These systems produce energy from organic waste. Its dairy manure digester plant in Green Bay, Wisconsin produces 650 kW/h from 2,500 dairy cows. Once a planned expansion is approved, the facility will produce around 900 kW/h, enough energy for 1,080 homes.
FABCO Power Systems is the authorized Caterpillar (CAT) engine distributor for Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. FABCO specializes in packaging CAT engines and/or generator sets into combined heat and power (CHP) systems for operations using renewable energy fuel sources that include landfill gas, digester gas, synthetic biogas from biomass gasification and biodiesel.
Since 1995, Fiber Recovery Corporation has been utilizing landfill gas from the Marathon County landfill to dry wood waste from local Wausau, Wisconsin papermills. This dried material is processed into pellets and sold back to the papermills as a supplemental boiler fuel source. Because the papermill waste could be processed within a standard 8-hour workday, landfill gas was being flared the remaining 16 hours of the day. FABCO provided Fiber Recovery with three CAT G3516LE biogas generator sets to utilize the landfill gas 24 hours/day, producing renewable electricity for the local utility, recovering thermal energy from the engine jacket water to heat the manufacturing facility, and utilizing the engine exhaust gas to dry the papermill waste.
Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Its information, resources and financial incentives help implement projects that otherwise would not be completed, or to complete projects sooner than scheduled. The organization’s renewable energy initiatives include wind, solar, biomass combustion and anaerobic digestion. Information on Focus on Energy grants, including those available for installing or expanding commercially available biogas digestion systems, is available at
GHD, Inc. has been designing and installing its patented mixed plug-flow digesters across the U.S. for almost 20 years. Its digester installations, which require little maintenance, yield odor reduction, marketable biogas, solids utilized as high-quality cow bedding or soil amendment, heat in the form of hot water to supplement dairy operations, and an inorganic liquid that can be applied directly to crops to enhance yield. An anaerobic digester designed by GHD will be installed at Big Sky Dairy, near Gooding, Idaho, to capture manure from 4,700 cows. To be operational by early 2009, it is expected to generate more than 1 MW/hour of electricity from the biogas, which will be sold to the grid. The digester also will create carbon and renewable energy credits. Digestate will be used as either soil amendment or bedding.
Inland Power Group/GE Jenbacher is the authorized dealer in the Midwest for General Electric Energy’s Jenbacher gas engines that produce electricity and heat with high efficiency and low emissions. Inland Power Group provides service, training and parts in its equipment package. It offers the complete line of Jenbacher gas engines ranging from 330 kW to 3 MW. To operate a Jenbacher cogeneration plant with an electrical output of 500 kW, manure from about 2,500 cows, 15,000 hogs or 300,000 laying hens is required. More than 1,150 Jenbacher biogas systems with a total electrical output of about 800 MW have been delivered worldwide. Recently, Inland Power sold two 335 kW gas engines to Schmack BioEnergy for its new anaerobic digester in Akron, Ohio.
Integrys Energy Services, Inc. develops, acquires, owns and operates renewable energy projects across the full spectrum of renewable resources, including biogas and landfill gas, throughout the U.S. and Canada. Integrys also provides gas and electricity off-take services for third-party owned projects, and works with large commercial, industrial and utility customers to design and select economical energy solutions. It collaborates with developers of wholesale energy projects to overcome challenges associated with integrating the technical, regulatory and financial aspects of their projects. Integrys recently completed and owns a 6.4 MW landfill gas-to-electricity plant in Rockford, Illinois, located at the Winnebago Landfill. The Winnebago Energy Center was created in partnership with a developer as well as the landfill operator of the landfill. Integrys provided equity financing and monetization and marketing of renewable energy production tax credits.
Kraft Power Corporation provides engineering design and expertise in power generation systems for prime power, cogeneration/CHP, standby power, pump and digester power systems. Kraft Power’s products run on gas, diesel, natural gas, propane, biodiesel and biomass, and can be custom-designed to suit the needs of most facilities. Field services include planned maintenance, emergency repair, load bank testing and emissions testing. Kraft Power installed an anaerobic digester system for a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Nashua, New Hampshire. Digester gas is used to generate electricity, making the WWTP, which treats 12 to 18 million gallons/day, nearly energy self-sufficient. A Waukesha VGF series engine/generator package was installed. The dual-fuel, high-speed, continuous-duty, low-emission 12-cylinder engine produces 365 kW of continuous power at 1200 rpm.
Martin Machinery/GEN-TEC, LLC provide products and services for renewable energy plants, from custom generator sets and heat recovery units to process control technologies. Martin Machinery first entered the biogas industry in 1982. It supplies electric biogas generator systems ranging from 50 to over 3,000 kW. In 2004, Martin Machinery started GEN-TEC, a separate company, to build utility paralleling gear and custom designed paralleling switch gear. It designs new and rebuilt electric generator systems to operate using biogas, and services biogas units powered by engines with 460-cubic-inch to 7,040-cubic-inch engine blocks. A skid assembly with a 180 kW electric generator was delivered in the winter of 2007 to Terryland Farms, Inc. in St. Eugene, Ontario. The farm installed a 1,000 m3 Genesys Biogas anaerobic digester to process manure from the dairy farm with about 260 cows. The digester and genset went online last fall.
Mid-State Technical College, one of only two colleges in Wisconsin offering degree-based training in renewable energy, has three new Associate Degree programs available. The Biorefinery Technology program trains technicians to perform operations and maintenance tasks in the expanding biofuel and biogas production and biorefining industries. The Renewable Electricity Technician program prepares students to design, install, operate and maintain solar and wind electricity generating systems, while the Renewable Thermal Energy Technician program focuses on design, installation, operation and maintenance of solar, geothermal and biomass heating systems for residential and light commercial applications. Online and hybrid training opportunities are expanding.
Starting in 2009, students and their instructors, in cooperation with experienced contractors, will begin installation of solar photovoltaic, solar hot water and small wind energy systems on the college campus. These installations will provide students with hands-on training exercises and experience, as well as supply a portion of the energy required to operate the college facility.
Morbark, Inc., based in Winn, Michigan, has been an innovator and manufacturer of durable, high performance equipment for the sawmill, forestry, tree care, bioenergy, and recycling markets for over 50 years. The company produces a full line of Chiparvestors, flails, whole tree chippers, brush chippers, grinders and more to helps customers harvest, process and convert wood and other organic materials into valuable, useful and profitable products. Biomass is most efficiently converted to energy when it has a high level of uniformity across a range of properties such as size, density, surface area and moisture content. Morbark grinders are used to convert wood scraps from a variety of sources into consistently sized, uniform and predictable fuel for its generators. The company is working with a major private electricity producer whose core business is development and operation of power stations that run on renewable energy.
Patz Sales manufactures compost mixers, belt and chain conveyors, mulching choppers, slurry pumps, alley scrapers, material movers and conveying systems. Its largest distributor of the compost mixers in the U.S., BW Organics, recently sold the Patz Model 400 Stationary Single Screw Vertical Mixer with 140 to 180 cubic feet of capacity to an anaerobic digester facility in Washington State as part of a package to blend digestate with amendments prior to composting.
Pneumatech, LLC is a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of compressed air and gas treatment equipment. Pneumatech has been active in the manufacturing of biogas dryers and treatment equipment for nearly 25 years, and brings nearly 80 years of engineering experience to this marketplace. Pneumatech is a subsidiary of Atlas Copco, the world’s largest manufacturer of compressed air and gas equipment.
QuestAir Technologies, Inc. is a developer and supplier of proprietary gas purification systems. QuestAir’s products, which incorporate its patented fast-cycle Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) technology, are used in a range of refinery, industrial and fuel cell applications, including a hydrogen fueling station, as well as for methane recovery from biogas.
QuestAir Technologies Inc. has supplied PSA systems to upgrade biogas and landfill gas to natural gas quality in a number of installations worldwide, including the Rumpke landfill in Cincinnati, Ohio operated by Montauk Energy, the Scenic View Dairy anaerobic digester system in Fennville, Michigan, and the Widnau farm in Switzerland operated by Biogasanlage Widnau. Upgraded biogas from QuestAir’s PSA systems meets the natural gas quality specifications required of gas utilities, or can be used as a renewable fuel for compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.
Reynolds, Inc./Entec Biogas USA is a partnership between Entec Biogas, GmbH, a European biogas digester technology firm and Reynolds, Inc., a water specialty firm. Entec Biogas USA offers full performance guarantees on proven digester technology design and full service construction and commissioning implementation. Its first U.S. project is at the den Dulk dairy farm in Ravenna, Michigan, which is processing manure from over 700 cows. The digester generates 55 cfm of biogas continuously, which is fed into a Capstone microturbine. Separated solids are used by the farm as bedding.
Rotochopper, Inc. manufactures a complete line of horizontal grinders available in electric or diesel models with infeed widths ranging from 24 to 66 inches and horsepower ranging from 75 to 750 HP. The 475 HP engine is well-suited for grinding slash into biomass at forestry operations. For greater efficiency, the MC266F is built to match the capacity of trucks and forwarders that bring material to forest landings to be ground, and then haul the material out of the woods. Rotochopper also offers wood chip processors designed for the arborist or anyone with too many chips on their hands. The CP 118 converts low value chips into high value colored or natural landscape mulch in one quick pass through the machine. In addition, Rotochopper manufactures mobile bagging plants.
SCARAB Manufacturing is a pioneer and innovator in custom-design, engineering and manufacturing of windrow composters for 38 years, both domestically and internationally. Although its primary focus is on building the best windrow turners available in the market, SCARAB is working with leading edge technologies in renewable energy and other biomass applications to integrate SCARAB-designed equipment and composting technologies into economical renewable energy solutions of the future. Recent senior executive additions bring management, chemical production, renewable fuels and sales and marketing expertise to fortify SCARAB’s core business and capitalize on emerging opportunities.
Somat Company manufactures waste handling equipment for the foodservice industry, specializing in pulpers and food waste dehydrators. Somat’s Waste Pulping Systems and eCorect Food Waste Dehydrators are installed at schools, colleges and universities, prisons and a variety of commercial foodservice applications. Its pulpers are being used in ever increasing numbers to shred and dewater food waste as a pretreatment prior to composting. The U.S. House of Representatives in Washington DC recently installed a pulper in conjunction with a composting program and annually diverts tons of food waste and compostable products from landfill. Material generated by the pulper also can be processed via anaerobic digestion. Somat introduced the eCorect Food Waste Dehydration Machine this year, which is designed to reduce food waste by 90 percent in weight and volume. Waste Management and Marriott Hotels have used the new deyhdrator recently in pilot programs, producing an end product suitable for use as a soil amendment.
Unison Solutions, Inc. biogas conditioning systems have been installed around the world at landfills, wastewater treatment facilities, dairies and food processing plants. The systems are custom engineered and fabricated based on site-specific data. Unison Solutions’ in-house shop designs and assembles each UL (Underwriters Laboratory) control panel hand in hand with its gas conditioning equipment. The systems are extensively tested before leaving its facility. Unison Solutions is committed to offering the complete line of renewable energy services, not only from design to start-up, but continuing on through field maintenance and repair.
University of Wisconsin, Platteville (UWP), a liberal arts campus of 7,000 students, initiated a Renewable Energy Minor in 2008 designed to provide an in-depth and interdisciplinary understanding of issues related to energy, products made from traditional and renewable resources, and their associated markets. Students can use the minor to complement their major area of study such as Biology, Business Marketing, Chemistry, Industrial Studies or Engineering.
UWP has a number of projects related to organic recycling and renewable energy. For over five years, it has been working with industrial leaders to develop new products from digested manure solids. This has led to a patent application for potting mixes as well as work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to manufacture particleboard using a mix of sawdust with digested solids. UWP is also carrying out a feasibility study to install a small or large-scale digester either in collaboration with the City of Platteville wastewater treatment plant or in isolation on the university farm.
WesTech Engineering, Inc. supplies equipment for water, wastewater and industrial applications, including mixers and covers for anaerobic digesters. Its DuoSphere™ gasholder structures made from high-strength fabrics are a cost-effective biogas storage solution that range in gas-holding volumes from 20 to 5,000m3. They also are designed to regulate pressure and flows from digesters as gas is utilized to produce heat and/or electricity. During the past year, the DuoSphere™ Digester Cover has been installed at a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Ohio and at a WWTP in Georgia, which mounted the cover on a 100-foot diameter digester to provide gas storage for a cogeneration system. A project in California is relying heavily on the DuoSphere’s flexibility to provide buffer storage and pressure regulation through gas scrubbers and into cogenerators.
Williams Engineering Associates provides design services and start-up assistance for anaerobic digester projects on dairy farms and other facilities with suitable organic waste streams. Doug Williams, principal and owner has over 30 years experience in digester design, feasibility studies and pilot plant studies. He was professor of BioResource and Agricultural Engineering at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo for 22 years and is responsible for six full-scale commercial digester projects on dairy farms and pig farms in California and Southeast Asia.
One project is at Joseph Gallo Farms in California, where a large-scale manure digestion and power generation system was constructed for its 5,000-cow Cottonwood Dairy in 2004. Approximately 1.5 million gallons of flushed manure and cheese plant wastewater are pumped daily to a seven-acre covered lagoon digester. About 432,000 cf of biogas/day are piped to the company’s cheese plant where it is used to fuel two engine generators producing a total of 700 kW/day of electricity. Heat from the generator engines and exhaust system is captured and used to produce steam, saving 300,000 gallons/year of propane.
Wisconsin Distributed Resources Collaborative (WIDRC) is a nonprofit, voluntary organization committed to fostering market-based development of distributed resources and distributed energy generation in Wisconsin. Members include utilities, advocacy groups, academia and government. WIDRC facilitates the successful deployment of economic, efficient and environmentally responsible distributed resources such as small-scale electric generation, energy storage, load management and efficiency technologies. The Collaborative also promotes the common business interests of the distributed energy resources industry, encouraging use of all environmentally responsible technologies and energy efficiency measures without promoting specific products.

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