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BIOGAS/ANAEROBIC DIGESTION

Our biogas experts and anaerobic digestion experts are a world class group, and biogas and anaerobic digestion consulting are vital parts of our business.  The Biogas/Anaerobic Digestion Division of Lee Enterprises consists of leading business, science and technology experts in the conversion of organic feedstocks to bioenergy, bioproducts and biofuels utilizing the latest technologies. The biogas can be used directly as biofuel for CHP units or it can be upgraded to natural gas-quality biomethane or bioCNG. The bioproducts include pathogen-free animal bedding and nutrient-rich organic fertilizer. The anaerobic digestion systems provide cost-effective solutions for efficient baseload bioenergy and for the mandated diversion of organics from landfills while reducing greenhouse gases and improving water quality. Our BIOGAS AND ANAEROBIC DIGESTION CONSULTING – together with all our renewable energy consulting, alternative fuels consulting, bioenergy consulting, renewable chemicals consulting, and biomass consulting –  is done by the top experts in the world!

WHAT IS BIOGAS?

Biogas is a product of bacterial action in which microorganisms break down biodegradable feedstocks in the absence of oxygen. Biogas consists of mostly Methane (CH4) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) with minor to trace amounts Nitrogen (N2), Hydrogen (H2), Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) and Oxygen (O2).

Biogas can be utilized to fuel internal combustion engines or micro-turbines to produce baseload bioenergy for the facility and/or to the grid. When fueling a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit, it can also produce thermal energy, usually in the form of hot water, to provide process heat and also heat for nearby homes, greenhouses and other facilities. It can also be used to fuel biogas boilers.

Biogas can also be upgraded to natural gas quality as biomethane, which can be sold to the local natural gas provider, or as bioCNG, which can be used and/or sold as vehicle biofuel.

Biogas is a renewable biofuel that can produce renewable energy, reduce our carbon footprint and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

WHAT IS ANAEROBIC DIGESTION?

Anaerobic digestion is a series of processes in the absence of oxygen in which bacteria convert organic materials to biogas, digestate and water.

The four process stages of anaerobic digestion are Hydrolysis, Acidogenesis, Acetogenesis and Methanogenesis. The two traditional operating temperature ranges of anaerobic digesters are: Mesophilic (300C to 380C) and Thermophilic (490C to 570C). There are three types of anaerobic digesters regarding the solids content: Dry, High Solids and Wet.

Typical feedstocks (substrates) for anaerobic digesters can include animal manures, wastewater sludge, pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste, certain farm crops, fats, oils and grease (FOG), de-packaged source-separated-organics and other organic byproducts.  In many jurisdictions, there are bans prohibiting organics from going to landfills. Since many of these organics are excellent feedstocks, anaerobic digesters can provide an excellent alternate in converting those feedstocks to energy and organic fertilizers.

The digestate (digester effluent) can be separated into a solid, which can be used as animal bedding or as a soil conditioner, and into a liquid, which can be used as organic fertilizer with high nutrient value. Since the separated liquid has a much lower solids content, it soaks into the ground easier and minimizes nutrient loss and pollution during large stormwater events. Since the nutrients are in much more readily available forms, there is much better nutrient uptake for the crops, increasing crop production and significantly reducing the need for chemical fertilizers. Typically, anaerobic digesters reduce the pathogens by at least 99% and reduce odors by 90%, or more.

In general, anaerobic digesters can provide an economical solution for baseload renewable energy, reduce the carbon footprint, provide animal bedding and organic fertilizer, improve crop production, lower costs, reduce odors and help the environment. This is certainly a win, win, win solution!