In biogas plant the waste is transformed into bioenergy and high quality fertilizers. Biogas is a result of a naturally working process, where micro-organisms degrade the organic matter under anaerobic conditions. The function of a biogas plant represents both waste management and decentralized production of renewable energy and fertilizers. After the establishment of the company in 2003 Watrec Ltd. has focused its efforts to create industrialized biogas plant solutions.
The first reference project was finalized in 2005, being the first large-scale co-digestion plant in Finland.
Producing biogas has many advantages: as a waste management solution biogas plant is clearly a forerunner by taking the advantage of waste raw materials to produce high quality fertilizers and energy. Biogas plant treating agricultural, industrial, and municipal wastes is one important – and sustainable - step towards closed nutrient cycle in our society.
A remarkable amount of CO2-reduction credits can be earned in the cases where not only the production of renewable energy but also the recovery of methane gas from wastes is considered when evaluating the total impact of the project to the global warming.
A biogas plant produce fertilizers that are hygienically safe and their nutritive values are in some occasions even comparable to synthetic fertilizers. The end products can also be gradually treated further, making the plant functionally adjustable and producing end-products to meet changes in customer demand and creating new logistic solutions. Treating the end-products further is not limited to nutrient products; also biogas can be upgraded for example to fuel for vehicles.
Considering the local impacts of biogas plant a big benefit is in its nature. As biogas plant is a closed system and treated materials are not in contact with atmosphere the typical negative impacts to neighborhood are minimized in totally different scale than with other waste management systems.
A biogas plant can be viable in the both large and small scale solutions.
Large-scale biogas plant with treatment capacity more than 20.000 tons/year of wastes can be viable in the both aspects as a waste treatment facility and energy production plant. Industrial solutions have to consider the continuous operation of the plant, minimized maintenance-related shut-downs and minimized negative impacts to plant vicinity. Therefore the economical viability improves with increasing treatment capacity; a capacity to treat more than 60.000 tons of municipal and industrial wastes is in most cases more cost-effective than competing solutions and enables also the treatment of agricultural by-products like manure.
If biogas can be utilized close to the plant, the production in small scale can be also feasible. Biogas plant with gross energy production of 150 – 500 kW can be suitable for primary production facilities such as pig and cow farms. The small-scale solution should however always consider the existing infrastructure in the farm to minimize the investment.
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