Ready for the next step for biogas based on animal manures

Xergi receives Danish government subsidy to optimise its NiX® technology which can be used to increase the gas yield from animal manure significantly.

Denmark has set itself a goal that 50% of all animal manures is to be used in biogas plants by 2020. This means that biogas plants that are exclusively based on animal manure will presumably be required. But so far this type of biogas plant has not made financial sense.

This is why Xergi has now initiated the next phase of development of its patented NiX® technology with the purpose of enabling biogas plants to run profitably on animal manure alone.

Promising results

NiX® is a pressure cooker used to pre-treat very nitrogen-rich biomass before it is placed in the biogas plant digester tank. During the process, a base is added to remove nitrogen which is collected for subsequent use as fertiliser. Nitrogen often presents a problem in biogas plants as high concentrations of nitrogen are toxic to the bacteria that convert the biomass in the digester to biogas.

"The development of our NiX® technology has shown promising results in three areas, namely chicken manure, dehydrated pig manure and bedding from cattle and calves. Preliminary results have shown that NiX® can increase gas yield from these types of manure by up to 40-45% and simultaneously remove approx. 70% of the ammonia content. This means that our technology will be able to improve the financial performance of a number of biogas projects based on animal manure," explains Xergi's Technical Manager Frank Rosager.

Optimisation system and process

He says that Xergi is ready to supply biogas plants based on NiX® technology, but has also taken the next step in the development of the technology as the company has identified a number of optimisation routes.

"During 2012, we will be working on optimising both our NiX® technology system structure and its process parameters. This will involve finding new components to reduce investment, streamline price parameters and thereby achieve the best financial model," explains Frank Rosager.

He says that the Danish government is supporting the optimisation phase with DKK 3.6 million from EUDP - the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme. Total costs of this phase of the project amount to DKK 9 million.

"The optimisation of NiX® will be piloted in our test facility in Foulum in Denmark. We expect to have the results of the optimisation process ready soon. We are currently working to find a suitable location for a full scale project to be built to document and demonstrate the potential for commercial use based on 100% animal manures," says Frank Rosager.

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