Struggling biogas plant doubles efficiency after overhaul

UK: Crop-fed facility suffered a complete digester failure in 2017

A crop-fed biogas plant has been turned around in just six months by consultancy FM BioEnergy.

According to FM BioEnergy the 1MWe biogas plant, based in Consett, Durham, was operating at just 40% efficiency and was suffering from biological instability.

However, FM BioEnergy said that after an overhaul and successful recommissioning the plant was now operating at more than 80% efficiency.

The plant, which is now operated by Generation X, was formerly owned by Hallwick Energy project and was initially started by contractor MT-Energie in 2015. ENDS understands when MT-Energie entered insolvency in 2015, fellow Germany-based Envitec finished the facility.

The plant is a simple, single-stage mesophilic design and coped well with the initial 100% maize feedstock, which is easy to digest. However, it was a different story with the more complex feedstock mix.

Just a year after it was commissioned, the facility was averaging only 40% electrical output and was in a biologically and financially precarious position. By October 2017, the biological issues proved too great to overcome and the plant suffered a complete digester failure.

FM BioEnergy used a dedicated BC ProStart micro/macro nutrient product, backed up with an iron supplement Atox:SCon, to create optimal digester conditions for the bacteria to reproduce.

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