Testing facility strengthens development of biogas technologies
- Published: Tuesday, 19 March 2013 12:44
When Xergi launches new innovative technologies, they are not only based on 25 years of experience in the construction of biogas plants, but also thoroughly assessed in the company's testing facility. Here Xergi also tests new biogas concepts for its customers.
Xergi's new standard concept for agricultural biogas plants is based on 25 years of experience in design and construction. But more innovative key elements have also been assessed in Xergi's test plants which form part of the world's largest biogas testing facility in the small town of Foulum in Denmark.
Chicken manure in pressure cooker
Xergi is currently testing its NiX pre-treatment system. This is a pressure cooker in which a base is added to remove nitrogen from certain types of biomass. This process has a patent pending, and Xergi is the co-owner of the process rights. Anders Peter Jensen, head of Xergi's development division, explains:
- We have just completed a project that documents that it is possible to construct a biogas plant based solely on chicken manures with minimal use of water and in which the degassed material is recirculated. This may signal great, new opportunities for Xergi as chicken and hen manure is becoming a growing problem for poultry breeders and egg producers.
- One problem with chicken manure is its high content of nitrogen which is poisonous to methane-producing bacteria. That is why we use pressure cooking and add base to remove the nitrogen from the biomass before it is placed in the digester. The nitrogen is collected for later use as fertiliser. The pressure cooking increases the gas output and makes it possible to handle a higher content of solids, he explains.
Testing for customers
Xergi also uses its testing facility in Denmark to test new biogas concepts in partnership with its customers.
- As we speak, there is a truck on its way from France with a load of biomass which we will be testing on behalf of a customer. We will be running biomass tests for five months and will be testing whether the biomass provides the expected gas output and examining the quality of the degassed biomass. The purpose is, of course, to find out whether the project is commercially viable, says Anders Peter Jensen.