Thermo-System Industrie- & Trocknungstechnik GmbH

Biogas Plants

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The profitability of biogas plants can often be improved significantly by utilising existing waste heat. However, remote heating concepts often fail because distances are too great, or because the heat received is insufficient or not continuous.

The available waste heat can be utilised much better to dry fermentation residue. This involves complete utilisation on site all the year round. Drying reduces the removal and storage costs, concentrates the nutrients, and increases the worth of the end product for transportation. Dried fermentation residue can also be sold as high-quality organic fertiliser. If the fermentation is from NAWARO plants, it can even be used in organic agriculture (as defined in the  EU Eco Standard).

Thanks to our experience in the construction of over 150 substrate drying plants, we can offer practical and particularly fault-resistant solutions for drying fermentation residue and sewage sludge. With its robust, low-maintenance, automated equipment, our technology is ideally suited for agricultural companies.

Process description

Drying with the Electric Mole™ is a batch or semi-continuous process that always ensures optimal drying performance, independent of the characteristics of the fermentation residue, weather conditions and energy input. This means that drying works without problems even when the introduction of waste heat varies considerably, so that the fermentation residue can be dried to the desired final DR content at will.

Loading the plant

Liquid fermentation residue
Liquid fermentation residue is loaded into the dryer fully automatically directly from the re-fermentation tank by time- and volume-controlled pumps.

Separated fermentation residue
As a rule, separated fermentation residue is loaded by wheel loader or front loader. The fermentation residue only has to be roughly distributed.

Fine distribution of the fermentation residue in the drying chamber is always handled by theElectric Mole™, which his made entirely of stainless steel.

Drying with the Electric Mole

THERMO-SYSTEM plants always monitor all the relevant parameters, optimising them through fully automatic process controls. Our drying process is characterised by maximum drying performance at the given energy input with minimum operating cost.

To ensure efficient drying and to avoid formation of odours, the fermentation residue is turned and ventilated at intervals that depend on the progress of the drying process and the weather conditions. This task is handled by our  Electric Mole™, which has fully automatic controls.

Worldwide, there are already more than 300 Electric Moles™ in use around the clock.


The Electric Mole™
The intelligent solution: robust – maintenance-friendly – flexible

Removal and loading for transport

As a rule, removal and loading for transport are handled by wheel loader of front loader. While this work is in progress, air is continuously sucked out at the rear of the shed, so as to ensure optimal working conditions.

The loading of the dried material onto lorries may be carried out outside the shed, or in a special loading bay. It is also possible to integrate an optional silo-truck loading station in the rear of the shed.

In general, dried sludge can be stored temporarily in the sheds at any time, even during drying operations. This makes for considerable flexibility in removal and further use.

Benefits of drying with the Electric Mole™

1. Optimal drying performance:
The drying conditions within the drying chamber can be optimally adapted to the current DR content of the material at any time. This is not possible in the case of continuous processes, in which dry and moist fermentation residues are in one chamber at the same time.

2. Desired DR content achievable at will:
Climatic variations are completely compensated for. At removal time, all the fermentation residue in the shed automatically has a homogeneous DR content.

3. Flexible storage and quick loading for transport:
When drying is complete, the entire filling of a shed is ready for removal. Even large lorries can be loaded completely without separate, intermediate storage.

4. Minimum working times:
Loading takes only a little working time, and can be fully automated if necessary. The drying is also fully automatic. 

5. Minimal maintenance effort:
Because very few parts come into contact with the material, the maintenance effort is minimal. The ELECTRIC MOLE™ can be removed from the shed at any time and serviced in a suitable place.

6. Minimal energy requirement:
With the climatic controls, all units are operated only when it is really worthwhile. The intelligent drying and ventilation concept ensures that the energy requirement is extremely low.

7. Utilisation of waste heat:
Thermo-System solar drying plants optimally utilise low-temperature heat – even when the energy input varies, or the temperature level is low.

8. Maximal reliability of operation:
The batch operation makes the drying plant very tolerant. Faults are not time-critical. And the  ELECTRIC MOLE™ can be exchanged with just a few touches.

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