S.K. Euromarket Ltd

- Anaerobic Digestion Systems In Bolted Tanks

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Mesophylic digesters for treatment of solidwaste and feedstock manure, slaughterhouse residues. The produced biogas is burnt by the integrated CHP unit providing either heat or electric power according to the particular needs. Digestate is the other byproduct of the process which makes an excellent soil improver.

Our anaerobic digestion plants are tailor made to the specific characteristics of the application. Their design is determined by:

  • The type of incoming stream (solidwaste, feedstock manure, slaughterhouse residues)  
  • The capacity and feed rate of the of the incoming stream:
  • The available space for installation

  • Concrete tanks or bolted stainless steel circular reactors
  • Feeding and discharge systems
  • Internal mechanical mixers
  • Heating system and thermal insulation for the reactor
  • Biogas membrane holders
  • Dehumidification system
  • Desulphurization systems for biogas
  • CHP unit cogeneration of heat and electric power

All components and pieces of equipment such as feeding and discharge units, controls, biogas membrane holders are sourced by reputable international manufacturers with whom we have long term partnerships. 

Modular bolted stainless steel tanks and mixing devices are in-house designed and manufactured to the highest specification standards and with materials and processes that fit for each particular purpose.

Anaerobic digestion is a biological process that occurs naturally when bacteria break down organic matter in environments with little or no oxygen. In wastewater treatment processes, the breakdown of organic waste through anaerobic digestion is performed under controlled conditions in enclosed digesters.  Almost any organic material can be processed with Anaerobic Digestion, including sewage, food waste, animal manure and other waste, industrial effluents, food leftovers etc 

A valuable product of the anaerobic digestion process is biogas.  Biogas is typically comprised of approximately 60% methane and 40% carbon dioxide. Biogas can be used to generate electricity through a combustion process, or be used as a fuel for other purposes.
 
Another product of the anaerobic digestion process is a solid and liquid remainder called digestate, which can be used as a soil conditioner or fertilizer. 
 
The quantity of biogas and the quality of digestate are heavily dependent on the characteristics of the feedstock used and can be estimated through engineering process calculations.  

Advantages - Benefits of the Technology

Anaerobic digestion technology allows the conversion of waste into valuable energy and beneficial digestate in an all around environmentally friendly way.

Anaerobic digestion is a green, climate friendly waste treatment process. The use of anaerobic digestion to treat sewage waste reduces CO2 emissions by 16% compared to conventional sewage treatment processes.  The use of digestate as soil amendement also brings climate benefits.  The beneficial use of digestates as soil amendments amounts to carbon sequestration, that is carbon storage in the soil, and reduced use of high carbon footprint fertilizers. Synthetic mineral fertilisers are not environmentally friendly because they require significant amounts of energy to produce. 
 
The biogas from an anaerobic digestion plant can be burnt in a combined heat and power (CHP) plant, generating renewable-only energy.
 
Because of its multiple environmental benefits, anaerobic digestion is nowadays widely used all over the world and especially across Europe.

Applications

There are two ways of seeing anaerobic digestion. The first is that of waste treatment and the second that of renewable energy production. Therefore, there are applications geared towards facilities that seek a treatment process for their waste and applications geared towards facilities focused on renewable energy production. Regardless of the original need, both application categories benefit from both waste reduction/consumption and energy - digestate production.

Just to name a few, facilities that produce manure (from pigs, cattle or poultry), processing residues (from milk, dairy, brewery, oil or fish), municipal waste or food waste could successfully employ Anaerobic Digestion.
Basic Process Stages

The digestion process takes place in a warmed, sealed airless container (the digester) which creates the ideal conditions for the bacteria to ferment the organic material in oxygen-free conditions. This digestion tank needs to be warmed and mixed thoroughly to create the ideal conditions for the bacteria to convert organic matter into biogas.

 
The material to be processed can be shredded, prior to entering, to increase the surface area available to microbes in the digester and hence increase the speed of digestion.
 
The first stage of Anaerobic Digestion is a chemical reaction called hydrolysis, where complex organic molecules are broken down into simple sugars, amino acids, and fatty acids with the addition of hydroxyl groups.
 
This is followed by three biological processes:
  • acidogenesis - further broken down by acidogenic bacteria by into simpler molecules, volatile fatty acids (VFAs) occurs, producing ammonia, CO2 and hydrogen sulfide as byproducts.
  • acetogenesis - the simple molecules from acidogenesis are further digested by bacteria called acetogens to produce CO2, hydrogen and mainly acetic acid. 
  • methanogenesis - methane, CO2 and water are produced by bacteria called methanogens.
As fresh feedstock is added to the system, excess digestate is pumped out from the digester.  
 
The produced biogas is collected in a storage compartment before combustion in a combined heat and power (CHP) plant. The heat that the CHP plant produces serves the needs of the digester itself as well as the needs of the production facility (e.g. the farm). The CHP plant also produces electricity that is either consumed by the production facility or supplies electricity to the grid.

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