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Biogas Flares

Biogas Flares

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Published by: dit25195683 on Feb 16, 2009
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06/17/2009

 
Biogas Flares
State of the Art and Market Review
Topic report of the IEA Bioenergy Agreement Task 24 -Biological conversion of municipal solid waste
December 2000
IEA Bioenergy
 
Biogas FlaresState of the Art and Market Review
M Caine
Contents
INTRODUCTION1BIOGAS COMPOSITION AND RATES OF FORMATION2
Biogas Composition
2
Biogas Yields from Anaerobic Bioprocesses
2
COMBUSTION BASICS3FLARE DESIGN4
Operational Requirements5
Advanced biogas flare features
5
TYPES OF FLARE6
Open Flares6Enclosed Flares6
HEALTH, SAFETY, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT AND REGULATION7
Regulation operational standards7Regulation emissions standards8Recommended Monitoring Regimes8
SUPPLIERS AND PRICES9
Established Suppliers of Biogas flares
9
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the correctness of the contents of this report, neither the IEA, nor any of the participants guarantee the correctness of the data and information herein. Theopinions and conclusions expressed are those of the authors and not of the IEA or participants.Published by: AEA Technology Environment, Culham, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK 
 
1
Introduction
The action of micro-organisms upon organic matter under anaerobic conditions producesbiogas which is typically a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide as well as a many trace gasesand vapours. This action is harnessed within a number of anaerobic bioprocesses such asAnaerobic Digestion (AD) and Landfill for the stabilisation of polluting organic mattercontained with a range of solid wastes and wastewaters.Within the anaerobic conversion of organic material over 90% of energy available in the organicpollutant is retained within the biogas as methane - very little is used to form sludge and this is amajor benefit when compared with aerobic bioprocesses. A consequence of this is that themethane rich biogas has a high calorific value and can be used as a fuel. There are also serioussafety and environmental considerations associated with biogas because methane is a potentgreenhouse gas and forms explosive mixtures when mixed with air.Therefore for reasons of safety and in order to realise the full environmental benefit from theseanaerobic bioprocesses the biogas must be collected and burned with the energy recovered.Energy recovery schemes may be direct where the gas is used to provide heat to meet a localdemand or indirect where the biogas is utilised within engines to raise power or drivemachinery or vehicles.Where there is more gas than can be used in the energy recovery system (through unusuallyhigh gas production rate or through breakdown/maintenance of the energy recovery system)then additional measures are necessary to eliminate the safety risks and protect the environment.There are three options
 
storage
 
additional energy recovery systems
 
flareStorage of biogas is possible for short periods without compression, but for periods of more thana few hours is generally impractical due to the large volume. Compression and high pressurestorage is performed but is always linked to biogas upgrading due the problems of corrosion andhigh cost.Additional energy recovery systems can be provided to give a level of redundancy to the boileror gas engine. This may be a cost effective measure, but there have to be sufficient (and secure)outlet for the energy.Biogas flares are used to safely burn biogas that is surplus to the demand of energy recovery plantor where recovery plant fails. They may also provide the only means of safely disposing of biogas produced by anaerobic bioprocesses where the economics of energy recovery have notproved viable.This paper reviews the technology of flares as applied for the combustion of biogas andsummarises the suppliers and costs of flare equipment.

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