You are on page 1of 19


Break the ice

Sergi Astals & Joan Mata

EPROBIO - Foggia - June 2011



What is anaerobic digestion? Anaerobic digestion advantages Which waste can be digested? What is biogas? Biogas as a renewable source of energy

What come to your mind when you listen anaerobic digestion?

What is anaerobic digestion?

AD is a biological technology which, in the absence of oxygen, decomposes organic matter. The breakdown of the biodegradable organic matter produce stable organic residues and biogas (a mixture of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2)). Anaerobic conditions requires the absence of oxidizers compounds*: - Oxygen (O2) - Nitrate (NO3-) and nitrite (NO2-) - Sulphates (SO42-)
* Substances that have the ability to oxidize other substances. They gain electrons, they are reduced, so other compounds have to loss it (oxidized).

What is anaerobic digestion?

AD take place in the nature where organic matter is present and the oxygen concentration is negligible: - Stomachs of ruminants - Sediments of lakes - Landfills - Sewers -

Anaerobic digestion advantages

The main advantages of the AD technology are: - Stabilize organic matter - Feasible for a wide variety of waste and flow rates - Reduce greenhouse gases emission global warming - Low sludge production - Positive energy balance Energy from biogas Low operational cost - No or very little use of chemicals

Which wastes can be anaerobically digested?

AD has long been used to stabilize organic wastes before its final disposal.

Today, AD is a consolidated technology used to stabilize: - Sewage sludge from wastewater treatment plants - Municipal solid wastes (MSW) - Industrial wastewaters - Agricultural wastes - animal manure - crops waste

What industrial wastewaters are anaerobically digested?

AD is used as an end of pipe treatment for:

Agro-food industry: Sugar, potato, starch, fruit, vegetables, dairy, bakery Beverage: Beer, soft drinks, wine, fruit juices, coffee Pulp and paper industry: mechanical pulp, straw, bagasse Others: pharmaceutical, chemical, municipal sewage, landfill leachate

What is biogas?
Biogas is a methane rich flammable gas that results from the decomposition of organic waste materials. Which gases can be found in biogas: > Mayor compounds: - Methane (CH4) [60 70 %] - Carbon dioxide (CO2) [40 30%] > Minor compounds: - Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) > odour problems - Ammonia (NH3) - Hydrogen (H2) -

> odour problems

Biogas energy value

Biogas can be used in a combustion heat and power unit (CHP) to produce electricity and another form of energy (steam or hot water). > Methane lower heating value is 35,800 KJ/m3 > Natural gas* heating value is 37,300 KJ/m3

Biogas lower heating value range from 21,300 to 23,400 KJ/m3 as function of the % CH4 An estimation of the lower heating value of biogas can be done by:

Biogas heating value (kJ/m 3 ) =

35,800 100 % CH 4

* Natural gas is a mixture of methane, propane and butane.


Biogas energy value

Exercise a: How much water can be heat to 80 C with 1 m3 of biogas? Exercise b: How much water can be boil with 1 m3 of biogas? Exercise c: How much water can be boil with 1 m3 of biogas is the burner efficiency is 0.75? Data of water: Initial temperature = 25 C Latent heat vaporization ()= 2,260 KJ/m3 Heat capacity (C) = 4.18 KJ/(Kg C) Biogas lower heating value = 22,400 KJ/m3

Biogas energy value

Exercise a:
KJ 4.18 Kg C (100 20 C ) X(kg ) = 22,400 KJ
X = 66.99 Kg

Exercise b:
KJ KJ ( ) ( ) 4.18 100 20 C X kg 2260 + X(Kg ) = 22,400 KJ Kg Kg C
X = 8.64 Kg

Exercise c:
KJ KJ ( ) ( ) 4.18 + 100 20 C X kg 2260 Kg X(Kg ) = 22,400 KJ 0.75 Kg C
X = 6.48 Kg

Energy conversion factors

1 KWh = 3600 KJ 1 KJ 1 KWh = 2.34 10-11 ktep* = 0.8410-7 ktep

* tep: tonne of oil equivalent (the amount of energy released by burning one tonne of crude oil)


Biogas uses
Biogas, as a renewable source of energy, is becoming more important as petrol cost continue to rise. Even some AD plant still burn the biogas in flares, digester gases are used as fuel for: - Heating anaerobic digesters and plant buildings - To operate cogeneration unit - To operate blowers, pumps, Household and/or communities AD can use biogas for: - heat water - cook - light
EurObservER 2002

Biogas as renewable source of energy

Energy crisis of 1970s and 2000s promoted the development of the AD.
While the interest for the environment protection, mainly the depuration of the surface water is increasing.

EurObservER 2008

Landfill gas Urban sewage and industrial effluents Agricultural waste, MSW, OFMSW, co-digestion plants


EurObservER 2008 and 2010

Landfill gas

Urban sewage and industrial effluents

Agricultural waste, MSW, OFMSW, co-digestion plants


EurObservER 2010
The biogas sector has never before aroused so much attention as it does today. Interest has been fired by the introduction of regulatory directives - Council Directive 1999/31/EC of 26 April 1999on the landfill of waste - Council Directive 2008/98/EC on waste - Council Directive 2009/28/EC of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources Biogas is mainly produced form waste treatment. However, energy crops are growing Biogas production has been stimulated to farm holders to reduce their energy dependency and diversify their incomes. Countries want to reduce their dependency on natural gas, purify biogas to obtain biomethane which can be injected in the natural gas grid


Biogas price

Country Spain

Installed Power (kW) < 500 > 500 < 150

/ kWh 0,140 0,100 0,117 0,092 0,083 0,078 0,165 0,145 0,125 0,103 0,093 0,078


plus 0.07/kWh using energy crops plus 0.01/kWh if a 30% of manure is used plus 0.03/kWh for CHP unit


150 - 500 500-5000 5000-2000 < 100

minus 25% for co-digestion


100 - 500 500 - 1000 > 1000


< 150 > 2000

plus 0,02 for methanisation