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Superyacht sewage system optimisation


Client: Confidential
Service division: Optimisation; Engineering
Sector: Marine


AFECO was commissioned by a privately owned superyacht to act as independent process experts in identifying the causes of the poor performance of the on-board sewage treatment system to support an on-going warranty claim. The installed sewage treatment system was designed to meet the effluent standards detailed in the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) resolution MEPC.2(VI) which was subsequently replaced by resolution MEPC.159(55) but had failed to meet operational standards since its installation.

AFECO was commissioned to survey and re-commission the plant to determine whether the system could be optimised to meet consent requirements as well as to assess the systems performance and carry out an evaluation of the design and previous performance information. The system was re-commissioned following an extensive on-board survey which included identifying all possible sources of influent to the system and reviewing the products used for cleaning to ensure they were suitably biologically friendly. The process performance was evaluated using supporting laboratory analysis and the causes of the operational problems identified and detailed in an extensive report.

The work carried out by AFECO included:

  • Design evaluation
  • Plant loading assessment
  • Full system evaluation including tracing of all possible plant inputs and yacht product usage
  • Process performance evaluation including laboratory analysis
  • Identification of process problems
  • Recommendations for system improvement supported by detailed reporting

AFECO exhibiting at Biosolids Conference

AFECO is exhibiting at this years 17th European Biosolids and Organic Resources Conference to be held on 19th – 21st November 2012 at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.

The conference, organised by Aqua Enviro, is widely regarded as the leading conference for the biosolids industry in the UK and it well attended by water utilities, design, construction and technology companies.

AFECO is exhibiting jointly with Aquamatix and EcoGenR8 to launch their range of WorX software platforms. AFECO has jointly developed the SludgeworX platform, a cloud based system which enables performance data to be combined with asset data to provide a valuable operational and optimisation tool which can be viewed and controlled from any location. This platform enables our team to assess the performance, capacity, condition and reliability of plant and equipment, minimising operational costs and equipment downtime and maximising overall plant performance.

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

 

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