Anaerobic Digestion

The Anaerobic Digestion (AD) and Biogas sector is currently experiencing a massive growth surge in the UK and around the world. Using what had previously been categorised as biowaste to create a self-sustaining power source with the option of selling any excess back to the national grid is becoming increasingly popular. In 2017, the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) found that AD plants across the UK now have enough capacity to power over a million homes, with the potential to reduce greenhouse emissions by 4% and employ up to 35,000 people.

The use of rich feedstocks to improve output generates high levels of foam during the biological reaction that converts waste to biogas. This uncontrolled foaming is a significant issue for operators. Industry reports state that excess foaming generated in the Anaerobic Digestion process can reduce gas production by up to 40%. Not only that, but excess foam can damage gas compressors, block safety valves, and even rupture entire digesters, leading to months of downtime and repairs that can cost tens of thousands. As a consequence of this risk, rising insurance costs are also a significant concern for the industry. Besides the financial implications, there are also issues of serious pollution, damage to reputation and potential revoking of permits as a result of a severe incident.

The challenge, therefore, is to maintain foam at the optimum production level with correctly-applied chemicals, liquids, or other control methods - maximising the digestion process while reducing any risk. Previous attempts at utilising conventional level monitoring equipment to achieve this have failed; however, the application of specialised technology has proven highly successful.

Hycontrol’s foam control technology offers a practical solution to all of the above AD & biogas issues, reducing both risk and costs. Foam can be measured and controlled using the new SureSense+ system to administer the preferred control method (for example, by reactively dosing the correct amount of anti-foam chemicals). This technology keeps digesters operating at the optimum level, preventing damage to both equipment and vessels and eliminating the risk of pollution. Additionally, it can improve efficiency (and cost-effectiveness) if using anti-foam, as well as enhancing insurance ratings by demonstrating effective control. Please read the datasheet below for more information, and contact Hycontrol to arrange a site survey.

Bringing Anaerobic Digester Foam Under Control - White Paper
Risks of Foam in Anaerobic Digesters - Application Datasheet
SureSense+ Foam Control System - Datasheet

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