Measuring gases in AD and landfill – which is the right product for your application - Case Study
With over 30 years’ experience in the landfill and biogas sector, Geotech is synonymous with gas analysis, supplying monitoring equipment to over half of the UK biogas and landfill market, with a further 4000 portable gas analysers sold throughout the world. Geotech’s product portfolio is tailored to satisfy a multitude of environmental monitoring requirements; our clients tell us the application they have and we find the right product to meet their needs.
Below are typical applications for which Geotech provides specific portable analysers, with a view to helping you understand which analysers are suitable for your environment.
Farm waste for AD, portable BIOGAS 5000
Many of our customers are small, individual farms where the farmer installs a small scale AD plant, fuelling the digester with their farm waste and crops to generate revenue. This process requires careful monitoring. The minimum CH4 level for engines to run is typically >50%, yet often small sites fall below this. Geotech’s portable analyser, the BIOGAS 5000 is the perfect tool for gas measurement within this environment. It is small, lightweight and simple to use meaning the user has the freedom to take measurements at various points within the plant to ensure the digester process is running efficiently. The BIOGAS 5000 can also be used for larger agricultural AD plants with the added benefit of being able to verify H2S levels, flow, temperature and pressure readings on site.
Mixed food waste for AD, BIOGAS 5000
Geotech works with local authorities and waste contractors who install AD plants to dispose of their mixed organic waste from which they generate revenue. As with landfill waste, the gas quality can change quickly with changes in feed stocks, the food comes from municipal waste, food processors and supermarkets to name but a few. The energy produced from the process is used for onsite and offsite heat and power, as well as electricity generation. The gases produced from food waste can be monitored by the BIOGAS 5000.
The portable analyser works alongside the fixed BIOGAS 3000 analyser to ensure that the AD process is running efficiently. H2S and O2 are monitored to protect against engine damage and potential expensive repairs; the CH4 output is optimised to maximise revenue potential from the gas.
Landfill gas field management / waste to energy, GEM5000
Landfill sites often produce large amounts of methane-rich gas. This gas can be destroyed to protect against greenhouse gas emissions or used as a valuable fuel for operators. With careful management of the many wells and manifolds across a landfill gas field, users can optimise the gas yield and therefore the power generated from the gas. Changes in waste can cause the gas mix to vary, for example gypsum (building waste) increases H2S, and fresh waste produces more H2. Geotech’s GEM5000 portable landfill gas extraction monitor is designed to aid balancing the gas field and maximise power output and revenue from CH4 extraction. It uses GPS to navigate users to their monitoring locations and calculates the potential KW/BTU output from the site using values of CH4, temperature, gas pressure and flow. This allows the user to make real-time adjustments on site to maximise gas flows and power generated.
Landfill perimeter monitoring, GA5000
In order to comply with environmental legislation, site permits and corporate responsibility, landfill operators are required to monitor borehole gas levels at the edge of landfill sites, to confirm that greenhouse, toxic or explosive gases are not migrating off the site towards the local population. Detailed data is demanded typically by environmental enforcement agencies. The GA5000 analyser has all the tools to meet the site permit requirements for gas monitoring safely, including GPS navigation and measuring important gases: CH4 (explosive), CO2 (asphyxiant), as well as levels of CO (compensated against H2 up to 1%) and H2S which can be indicators of other issues on site such as underground fires. Importantly it measures gas pressure and flow which help to determine if gas is building up and has the potential to migrate off site, so operators can act to resolve the situations quickly.
Data storage and analysis – GAM
All of Geotech’s portable analysers can be used with either basic download software or to help with data analysis, the more powerful Gas Analyser Management software (GAM). This software collects gas readings and other parameters on the analyser; this information is saved against specific IDs so location and time of reading is easily identifiable. GAM also works as a note book, sorting useful information about site and borehole conditions on each monitoring trip. It provides full traceability for the user, which is useful for site audits, accessing historical data and an easy way to analyse trends on the site. GAM software is most useful on landfill sites where typically more readings are stored and monitoring is more frequent.