BioCycle announced the site tours for its 19th Annual Conference on Renewable Energy From Organics Recycling (BioCycle REFOR19), October 28-31, 2019 in Madison, Wisconsin. Facilities to be toured on Oct. 31 (Halloween costumes are optional!) are:
1) GL Dairy Biogas Project: Gundersen Health System and Dane County in Wisconsin partnered with three farm families in Dane County to create an anaerobic digestion facility that codigests dairy manure and food waste, and composts the solids.
2) Statz B Digester and Biogas Upgrading: Statz Farm installed a dairy manure digester in 2009, and expanded to a second farm, Statz B, where a second digester was built. A biogas upgrading facility is being installed to produce renewable natural gas (RNG).
3 Dane County Landfill RNG Facility: In May 2019, Dane County started injecting renewable natural gas (RNG) into the interstate pipeline. The RNG facility has a biogas offloading station to allow other biogas producers, like manure digesters, to inject their gas into the pipeline.
Washington, DC: Review Of Renewable Fuel Standard — Comment Period Open
The U.S. EPA published a notice in the Federal Register June 24 announcing it has opened a review of the Renewable Fuel Standard under Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The notice states that the review aims “to determine if the provisions that could affect small entities should be continued without change, or should be rescinded or amended to minimize adverse economic impacts on small entities.” As part of the review, the agency said it will consider and solicit comments on several factors, including the continued need for the rule; the nature of complaints or comments received concerning the rule; the complexity of the rule; the extent to which the rule overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with other federal, state or local government rules; and the degree to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in the area affected by the rule.
The EPA has established an official public docket for the 610 review of the RFS on www.regulations.gov under docket identification number EPA-HQ-OAR-2019-0168. The comment period is open through Aug. 22.
Atlanta, Georgia: UPS Purchases 170 Million Gallons Of RNG
In late May 2019, UPS announced an agreement with Clean Energy Fuels Corp. to purchase 170 million-gallon equivalents of renewable natural gas (RNG) — 22.5 to 25 million-gallons annually — through 2026. RNG is a key part of UPS’s strategy to increase alternative fuel consumption to 40 percent of total ground fuel purchases by 2025, supporting the logistics leader’s efforts to reduce the absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of its ground fleet 12 percent by 2025. UPS has used more than 28 million gallons of RNG in its ground fleet since 2014. This means the company will now be using nearly as much RNG in one year as it has used over the past five years combined. UPS vehicles will fuel at 18 company-owned and operated natural gas stations across 12 states, leading to as much as 1.07 million metric tons reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over the life of the agreement. Clean Energy is providing its Redeem RNG at the UPS fueling stations.
Muscatine, Iowa: Food Waste Processing Facility
A contract for construction of a food waste receiving facility at a former recycling center was approved by the Muscatine City Council, moving the city one step closer to development of its Muscatine Area Resource Recovery for Vehicles and Energy program (MARRVE). This station will receive FOG (fats, oils and greases) from commercial kitchens and food scraps from homes, businesses and industries. Muscatine will utilize a Scott Equipment depackaging unit to open food packaging. Processed food waste and FOG will be stored for metered injection into the digesters at the Water & Resource Recovery Facility.
Water and Resource Recovery Facility Director Jon Koch announced he had been working with Conservation Design Forum, an ecological design firm, to develop a test pilot to determine how best to clean, transport and sell the biogas. “They will conduct research at our facility to identify uses for the biogas and biosolids, then conduct a two-day visioning and planning workshop for our staff and stakeholders like Alliant Energy.”
Ulster, Northern Ireland: AD Grows In Northern Ireland
Anaerobic digestion was specifically selected as a way of producing green electricity for Northern Ireland because of the technology’s ability to operate on a 24/7 basis, according to an article in Farming Life, a Belfast-based publication. Another factor is the proven track record of operators to achieve plant efficiency levels of around 90 percent on a consistent basis. Capital spending on AD in Northern Ireland is currently running at around £200m ($253 million), and will likely increase by another 25 percent given the number of new facilities in the planning stage. Another benefit cited by the article is the “creation of high-skill jobs in rural areas, which has the potential to inject £30m ($38 million) annually in the AD support sector in addition to the income-generating potential of growing feedstocks for the AD plants.”
Los Angeles, California: Gas Utility Gets Go-Ahead For Dairy Biomethane Projects
Southern California Gas Co (SoCalGas) was granted approval in May by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to proceed with the next phase of construction of four dairy biomethane projects in California. The regulator approved contracts that SoCalGas signed with project developers to build the infrastructure needed to connect the four biomethane facilities to the SoCalGas pipeline system. Completion is anticipated by December 2020, at which point biogas from anaerobic digestion systems at 35 dairies will be collected and cleaned to produce renewable natural gas for general public use. The facilities are expected to produce enough pipeline-quality gas to serve close to 40,000 households annually, according to SoCalGas.
Südtirol, Italy: Waste Heat Recovery
The average mid-sized supermarket in Europe produces enough waste heat from its refrigeration and air conditioning units in one year to be able to provide the thermal energy needs of 200 homes over the same period. “It’s not just our supermarkets producing this kind of waste — there are data centres, factories, hospitals, offices and many other buildings and institutions in towns and cities all over Europe producing this energy as a by-product of their activities, all too often just wasted into the atmosphere,” states a press release from Life4HeatRecovery, an EU LIFE program funded project looking to use wasted energy recovered from different sources and apply it to district heating systems. To do this efficiently, the project is developing complete, prefabricated “skids” that collect the waste energy using heat pumps.
“The heat pumps are used in two ways,” explains Roberto Fedrizzi of EURAC Research, who coordinates the Life4HeatRecovery project. “The low temperature waste heat can be warmed to a level that is useful for district heating by connecting a heat pump to this waste source, which increases the temperature of the available heat from around 10° to 30°C to 70° to 80°C. This is then connected to the district heating system and made available for traditional district heating networks. The other possibility, however, is for a new generation of district heating networks that directly distribute the waste heat through the network. This heats the water in the network to around 10° to 20°C, which is distributed to the door of the buildings on the network. It can be warmed up to a useful heat at the individual buildings using heat pumps. The low-temperature water does not suffer heat losses along the network pipelines.”
An abundance of waste heat can be used in this way. The project is working at four demonstration sites: a foundry in Italy, a hospital and a detergents factory in the Netherlands, and an application in Germany where waste heat is being recovered from sewers from warm water that leaves people’s bathrooms.
Burley, Idaho: Biogas Projects Planned On Six Idaho Dairies
GESS International is investing $240 million in six anaerobic digesters at dairies near Burley, Idaho, to process manure and agricultural residue into renewable natural gas, reports the Capital Press. GESS will purchase manure from the dairies, creating a new revenue stream for the farmers and reducing the environmental impacts. Digested solids will be used as fertilizer on the dairies’ cropland, and the liquid stream will be further cleaned and used for irrigation.
GESS International chose the area because of the high concentration of dairy cattle, reports the Capital Press. Each digester will utilize an estimated 170,000 tons of manure from dairy cattle and 80,000 tons of agricultural residues annually to produce 550,000 million BTUs (MMbtu) of renewable natural gas. Construction is scheduled to start in late 2019.