Banbury STW food waste treatment

Client: EcoGenR8 Ltd
Location: London, UK
Service division: Engineering
Sector: Waste, Water, Power, Energy

EcoGenR8, together with planning advisors, GP Planning Limited, are working with Thames Water on proposals to build a renewable energy plant at Banbury sewage treatment works.

We propose to build an environmentally friendly treatment plant at the site. The plant would treat food waste, reducing the amount of food waste sent to landfill, and generate renewable energy.

A planning application was submitted on 2nd September 2013 and is available to be viewed on Oxfordshire County Council’s website.  Alternatively, copies of the application and supporting document are available below:

The planning application is due to be considered by the Planning & Regulation Committee on 2nd December 2013.

AFECO, as a trading name of EcoGenR8 Limited, have provided technical support in developing the application.

Food waste anaerobic digestion projects

Client: EcoGenR8 Ltd
Location: London, UK
Service division: Engineering
Sector: Waste; Water; Energy; Power

EcoGenR8 develops and manages waste treatment and renewable energy supplies in the UK with a primary focus on producing biogas through the anaerobic digestion of organic wastes. In 2011, EcoGenR8 were awarded a contract to develop a portfolio of energy from waste (food waste anaerobic digestion) projects with Thames Water, the UK’s largest water and sewerage company. Thames Water serve a population of 14 million across London and the Thames Valley including  an established network of over 30 anaerobic digestion sites.

Anaerobic digestion has been used to treat sewage sludge for many decades. As well as reducing pathogens in sludge, the process produces valuable biogas which is converted to electricity and heat through CHP (combined heat and power) engines, or upgraded to natural gas quality (biomethane) and injected directly into the gas grid.

EcoGenR8 partnered with Howard Tenens, a sustainable logistics company, to develop the Thames Water opportunity, the focus of which is to sweat existing assets and maximise synergies with current operations in order to develop a portfolio of sites that will have the capability to treat food waste and generate a combination of renewable electricity and biomethane. The project  incorporates detailed technical and commercial development, including:

  • Definition of the market potential
  • Development of technical and financial models
  • Identification of technology, waste, construction and operational partners
  • Planning and permitting applications
  • Securing contracts required for financing

AFECO are providing ongoing support to EcoGenR8 in developing the technical aspects of this project and in particular site investigations, technology evaluations and assessment of integration with existing assets.

Pilmico pig farm anaerobic digestion

Client: Pilmico Animal Nutrition Corporation
Location: Tarlac, Philippines
Service division: Optimisation, Engineering
Sector: Waste, Water

Pilmico Animal Nutrition Corporation own and operate a number of pig farms including a farm in the province of Tarlac in the Philippines which treats its own wastewater and slurry in dedicated anaerobic digester (AD) lagoons and uses the biogas produced by the process to generate electricity for use on-site. Since installation and commissioning, the performance of the AD and generating engines at one of the farms has been less than that anticipated by the design and Pilmico were keen to identify the reasons behind the underperformance and understand what measures, if any, could be taken to improve the situation.

AFECO were appointed to undertake a review of the pig farm operational practises, asset configuration, AD performance and generating engines to assess where possible improvements could be made and highlight any reasons for the underperformance. AF ECO carried out a site visit to the farm and used this visit together with background design information and operational data to fully analyse the plant performance. A process model of the site was composed and used to assess actual performance data and the original design data against the theoretical performance. The modelling highlighted that the original design significantly over-estimated the expected biogas production and that the current biogas production was, in fact, well in line with the theoretical expectations. As a result the generating engines were also over-rated and the down-turn required reduced the engine efficiency. A review of the engine specification also revealed their unsuitability to operate on biogas which potentially lowered the efficiencies even further.

The review highlighted a number of potential improvements that could be implemented to enhance the system performance. These improvements included modifications to the condensate trap to remove the moisture present in the biogas prior to entering the engines, improving their efficiency, and improvements to the existing sand/grit trap prior to the AD lagoon. A conceptual design and CAD drawings for the condensate trap and sand trap modifications were produced to accompany the report.

In summary, the review undertaken by AFECO avoided the need for costly modification works to the pig farm AD plant by demonstrating that the digester performance was in line with expectations and operational staff were carrying out their role effectively. The plant modifications recommended were simple and cost effective with the impact of sustaining the long term performance of the plant.

The services provided by AFECO included:

  • Site investigations
  • Process modelling
  • Process optimisation
  • Feasibility report
  • Conceptual design
  • CAD drawings