Here’s an overview of key biogas news.
The PTC’s enduring cycle of expiration and retroactive reinstatement – typically for one to two years at a time – has long hindered meaningful WTE, biomass, biogas and hydropower infrastructure development, Energy Recovery Council President Ted Michaels told Waste Dive. “If you’re trying to line up funding and you’re relying on the tax credit, the lender will want to know that the tax credit will be available to you,” explained Michaels. “When it’s only available for very short windows at a time, it doesn’t give much confidence to lenders.” H.R. 4186, Michaels said, “provides a larger window than we’ve had in a long time” – and notably applies to both new constructions and expansions of private facilities.
Santa Barbara County, California, has buried about 200,000 tons of trash annually in its Tajiguas Landfill since 1967. The landfill was on track to reach its capacity by approximately 2025, but a renewable energy project being instituted in the area is expected to extend its life by an additional decade. The ReSource Center project, which broke ground last winter, is a $130 million effort to reduce the area’s carbon footprint by reclaiming recyclable or compostable items heading to landfill to raise the region’s landfill diversion rate above 85 percent.
The Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre (GRREC) has just opened at Polmadie on the south side of Glasgow. Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, officially opened the centre and commented that the GRREC will “transform the way in which we manage waste in our city and will be crucial to helping us deliver against the ban on municipal waste going to landfill due to come into effect in 2021.” Operated by recycling and energy recovery company Viridor, which has signed a 25-year contract with the city council, the 17-acre GRREC will use three main types of state-of-the art technology to divert 200,000 tonnes of Glasgow’s waste from landfill each year, generating enough electricity to power 26,496 homes.
In Canada, the city of Montreal is investing $167 million (nearly $126 million USD) to build a plant on an old quarry site that will convert organic waste into renewable gas energy via biomethanation. The Montreal Gazette reports that it will cost $129.8 million for its design and construction and that maintenance for five years after it begins operations will cost another $37.2 million (Canadian dollars). The facility will process approximately 60,000 tones of organic waste and produce enough renewable gas to power about 3,600 homes. The plant is expected to be in operation in 2022.
Representatives from Middlebury College, Vanguard Renewables, Vermont Gas, Goodrich Farm, and the State of Vermont gathered on August 20 at the farm in Salisbury, Vermont, to mark the groundbreaking for an anaerobic digester. The facility will combine cow manure and food waste to create Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). The facility will be the largest anaerobic digester east of the Mississippi River. “One of the key components of Middlebury’s Energy 2028 plan is to shift the College completely to the use of renewable energy,” said David Provost, Middlebury’s executive vice president for finance and administration. “The digester is fundamental to this change.”
US start-up company Electro-Active Technologies has licensed two biorefinery technologies to convert organic waste into renewable hydrogen gas for use as a biofuel. The technologies were invented and patented by the Tennessee start-ups co-founders, Abjijeet Borole and Alex Lewis, while working at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, according to a report by Renewable Energy Magazine. The system combines biology and electrochemistry to degrade organic waste such as biomass or food waste, to produce hydrogen. Alex Lewis, the company’s CEO, said: “There are usually thousands of microbes that are required to convert a complex organic mixture from biomass into electrons.
US-based power company Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods through their joint venture (JV) firm Align Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) are set to start construction on a renewable natural gas (RNG) project in North Carolina, US. Located in Duplin and Sampson counties of the state, the ‘manure-to-energy’ project will be designed to capture methane emissions from pig farms and convert it into RNG to provide electricity to homes and businesses in the region. Smithfield Renewables and Smithfield Foods production environmental affairs senior director Kraig Westerbeek said: “Breaking ground on this project with Dominion Energy is an exciting first step in bringing Align RNG to life.
A laboratory in Yucatán, Mexico has developed a prototype system that converts seaweed into biogas. Scientists started experimenting with sargassum after large quantities of the seaweed began washing up on the Yucatán coast. Raúl Tapia Tussell, head researcher in the renewable energy unit at the Yucatán Scientific Research Center (CICY) told newspaper El Economista (reported by Mexico News Daily) that work began in 2017. He said: “The problem wasn’t as big then as it is now but from that time…we started to work with the seaweed that arrived at the port of Progreso.”
The proportion of biomethane found in vehicle grade gas at Swedish refueling stations continues to increase. New figures from Statistics Sweden (SCB) for the first half of 2019 show that the share of renewable natural gas (RNG) in vehicle gas is just over 94 percent. New statistics from Statistics Sweden (SCB) show that the proportion of upgraded biogas (also known as biomethane, green gas or renewable natural gas – RNG) in vehicle gas used by motorists in Sweden continues to increase. In the first half of 2019, it reached 94.3 percent. The upward trend in vehicle gas sales also seems to continue, with an increase of 5 percent compared to the second half of 2018 – measured in energy content.
Good food waste management is now a pre-requisite for any successful and conscientious foodservice business. FEJ therefore rounded up a string of the sector’s leading experts and asked them to share their top tips for best practice. 1. The scale of the problem and its implications. The scale of the food waste challenge in the UK is an enormous one — but if every foodservice operator was able to do their bit the overall scale of it could be dramatically reduced. Lee Shelton, head of sales at The Filta Group, describes: “Over 10 million tonnes of food and drink waste is produced each year in the UK, according to the government, and worldwide this figure ramps up to 1.3 billion tonnes.