Anaerobic digestion in full swing – #1 Waste to Energy?

ALERT – I made a big mistake. I did not research enough of this “Natural Gas” issue. You can find out what needs to be done first, HERE, before we can Happily go ahead with waste to fuel.

In this post:
Incinerating – Sweden came the closest,
Is Smaller Better?,
Tools for organic waste-to-energy anaerobic digestion solutions,
Impact Bioenergy™ – a solution for any size
…a list at the bottom of other posts about WasteRushes…..

Anaerobic digestion

anaerobic digestion on farm- Anaerobic digestion in full swing - #1 Waste to Energy?

A bit of the Waste to energy time line

1940 – First Waste to Energy Plant is built in Sweden- sophisticated incineration.
1965 – Solid Waste Disposal Act, first federal solid waste management law
1965 To 1970 – The Mobius Loop is introduced – for Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
1987 – The Garbage Project at Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, begins to excavate modern landfills like ancient archaeological sites to determine how much of it biodegrades
1988 – Mr. T. Boone Pickens (Clean Energy Fuels Corp.) gets behind organic natural gas for cleaner transportation fuel, marketing to commercial fleet trucks
2000 – The EPA confirms link between Global Warming and Waste, showing that reducing our garbage cuts down greenhouse gas emissions.
2008Future of WTE – The waste-to-energy developments changing the industry
2012 – Sweden imports 800 000 tons of trash from neighboring Norway for incineration and gets paid for it. They return the byproducts to Norway to landfill.
2012Release of EMF animation: Re-thinking Progress: the circular economy
2015 – Renewable Natural Gas: Redeem (Clean Energy) sales top 50 million GGEs
2018 – A waste-to-energy plant is built in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is Africa’s first energy plant that converts trash into electricity – incineration.
2019 – Clean Energy Fuels Corp. operating 530+ natural gas fuelling stations in 43 states + Canada
2019The global waste to energy market was valued at approximately USD 28.43 billion in 2017 and is expected to generate revenue of around USD 42.74 billion by the end of 2024, growing at a CAGR of around 6.00% between 2018 and 2024.
201920,000 full-scale anaerobic digestion systems world-wide and over 1,000 new projects per year

Could we rid the world of landfills by making green fuel?
One way is Anaerobic digestion!

We know people are working on it. Where are we with this? ……closer than you think!

Waste to Fuel
There are now, a number of companies out there that have very recently developed equipment that literally takes the ‘Residual Waste’, including the organics, dirty plastics, paper, cardboard, and diapers and sends it directly to a facility/technology that turns it into non-fossil fuel.   They are rather fancy expensive operations that for the most part have only recently proven their technology. But, what they do is so exactly what this burning planet needs.   

When you search on the web for “waste-to-energy solutions” you can find thousands of companies that feel that they have the best solution for “waste-to-energy”. They are trying to find investors to build prototypes and scale up to commercial operations. You can tell which are only at the beginning; their news is not about their company, almost no contact information, not even their address, one project “under construction”, a picture is like a thousand words – but of what?, etc.
Like this one that already is dead:

This is the Waste Rush ! (like the Gold Rush) Every one is trying to be the big winner! But if you ask me, there will be many winners and all on different levels.

Early on it was garbage incineration, and Sweden has come the closest with this method, but like big horizontal axel wind Turbines, this solutions has it’s problems:

Sweden (and every city in it) has a slightly different approach to zero waste. It fuels itself off of trash, burning about 2 million tons of trash a year in waste-to-energy facilities,
replacing a not-insignificant amount of the nation’s fossil fuel use
-drastically reducing landfill waste.
This, however, has caused a problem: Sweden has also become so efficient at recycling and reducing waste that it doesn’t have enough trash to burn to power its facilities. It imports about 800,000 tons of trash annually from neighboring countries to feed its incinerators.

(This is one of the problems with direct trash incineration to energy. You have to keep the incinerators fed all the time. We need a system that will use what it gets, and then wait until there is more feedstock.)

Waste not, want not: flexible solutions to our garbage dilemma

In the short-term, flexibility is essential for effective waste management, as the situation in Sweden so reveals. Garbage is actually viewed as an exploitable resource rather than a burden, and that attitude has led the country’s citizens and political leaders to embrace both recycling and incineration.

(This is another problem with direct trash incineration to energy. There must be strict regulations for the emissions from incinerators to eliminate as many of the pollutants that come from incineration as possible.)

If you ask me, the world is looking seriously at Sweden, as a way to tackle garbage, because the “garbage problem” is becoming an epidemic!

waste indonesia- Anaerobic digestion in full swing - #1 Waste to Energy?

Indonesian president tells cities to build waste-to-energy plants
July 2019, Indonesian President Joko Widodo issued a regulation in April last year pushing regions to set up eco-friendly plants to turn waste into electricity.
Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said cities including Jakarta, Surabaya, Bekasi and Solo had pledged to build such plants, which incinerate trash to drive turbines to create power.

“This is not about the electricity, this is about taking care of the trash,” Widodo said on the cabinet secretary’s website, where he also questioned why there had not been more progress.”

Landfills disappearing into clean fuel would be better than incineration ….and it is being talked about everywhere.

The closest we have gotten, so far, at commercial scale is Renewable Natural Gas from “organic waste” or landfill gases. This is turning into a grid of bio-gas in the pipe lines and filling stations across the USA, if not other countries.

Anaerobic digestion

Return on Investment, Return on Investment, Return on Investment, Return on Investment, Return on Investment, Return on Investment

  • Everyone continues to worry about “Return On Investment” (ROI) .
  • Scared to try. I do not blame them, but….
  • If you ask me, the time has come to take all the risks!
  • Governments, at any level, and citizens/businesses with significant organic waste volumes, should find a waste to “bio-energy” solution and spend the money.
  • Most of them yield some kind of product at the end of the cycle, if not fuel…. there is more to ROI than just expenditures!

Is Smaller Better?

We find that the world populations are moving more and more into cities, but there is a movement that believes that smaller is better and that “local commerce” will form part of the economies of the future. I have not researched this very much, except to point out that long distance shipping is maybe not the greatest idea. Smaller “waste-to-energy solutions” would be a little less risky and quicker ROI.

organic waste-to-energy solutions – local focus, how to build anaerobic digesters, how to regulate them…..

Anaerobic digestion

>>Information about legislating for organic waste-to-energy solutions:

New Toolkit Aims to Keep Food Waste Out of Landfills
July 2019, The toolkit outlines organic waste bans – their potential to reduce food waste and strengthen local economies.

Organic waste bans are an innovative policy solution to divert food waste from landfills. These policies limit the amount of organic waste, including food waste, that businesses and individuals can dispose of in landfills. Organic waste bans thus drive more sustainable practices, such as food waste preventionfood donation, sending food scraps to animal feed operations or sending food waste to composting or anaerobic digestion facilities. Just 10 years ago, these policies were largely unheard of; today, six states and seven municipalities have passed organic waste bans.

“Bans and Beyond: Designing and Implementing Organic Waste Bans and Mandatory Organics Recycling Laws,” published by the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) in partnership with the Center for EcoTechnology (CET), is a printed resource Tool to help and advise states and localities address food waste through policy.

Covanta Incinerator not Anaerobic digestion- Anaerobic digestion in full swing - #1 Waste to Energy?
Covanta Incinerator

Burning food can’t count as recycling, according to Murphy veto
August 2019 – On Friday, The governor Mr. Phil Murphy announced a conditional veto of a controversial bill that had originally been designed to curb food waste in New Jersey — but was given major loopholes for landfills and incinerators in last-minute amendments.

“I am concerned that these exemptions will disproportionately impact environmental justice communities that are already overburdened by waste facilities, especially incinerators which emit significant amounts of greenhouse gases contributing to global warming,” said Murphy in a statement.

Waste Company is First to Inject Biogas into California Pipeline

October 2018, “Cities that contract with us see their grass clippings and food waste come back to them as an ultra-clean fuel that powers the trucks that run in their communities,” says Paul Relis, senior vice president of CR&R.

CR&R’s endeavor was a pilot project of sorts. It used the established New Zealand Greenlane biogas clean up system but added a Portuguese system to produce a cleaner gas. This is the first time the Portuguese technology has been used in North America, according to Relis, who says it is how the company met California’s pipeline quality fuel mandate of 99 BTUs (British thermal units).

“We have folks visit from China, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, France and other countries as well as from all over the U.S. They are reporting they have nothing that’s this technologically sophisticated,” says Relis

The project was attractive to SoCalGas, which recently announced it will streamline processes to support RNG projects. SoCalGas recently launched a new Renewable Gas website to provide general information on biogas derived renewable natural gas. It also developed a RNG gas toolkit for producers and developers wanting to interconnect to the pipeline.

>>Information about connecting biogas to a grid:

RENEWABLE NATURAL GAS TOOL KIT – if you want to connect to the grid

SoCalGas stands ready to support biogas producers and to pursue renewable gas projects with pipeline injection. We created this tool kit to assist producers with information and technical guidance to support the interconnection process, including:

*how to connect
*gas quality standards
*SoCalGas regulations
*present bio-gas suppliers across USA & Europe

Maybe try a small scale project for Anaerobic digestion

biogas world logo- Anaerobic digestion in full swing - #1 Waste to Energy?


Although anaerobic digestion of small amounts of organic waste was considered unprofitable a few years ago, it is growing today with a new model of biogas production: small-scale digestion (or micro-scale digestion). By the end of 2016, 130 micro-scale digestion facilities were in operation in Europe. Smaller, less expensive, easily self-sufficient, these production units attract farmers, but also investors in eco-neighborhoods, wishing to develop new sources of clean energy.

Funded by the European Union under the Intelligent Energy Europe Program, the project BioEnergy Farm 2 aims to open the market for micro-scale digestion. The project was carried out by a large consortium, representing 7 European countries. …..

>>How to build a small-scale Biogas facility:

Implementation Guide For Small-Scale Biogas Plants
a 50 page guide on how to build a small-scale anaerobic digestion facility and another 90 pages of EU country regulatory information needed to pursue such a project.
This publication was created within the EU-Project “BioEnergy Farm II – Manure, the sustainable fuel for the farm”.

The project is co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme of the European Union. This handbook is based on the implementation guide “Implementing a bioenergy plant” (D 6.2) from the EUProject “BioEnergy Farm”, written by B. Castillo of University of Stuttgart and contains contributions and results obtained by the partners of the BioEnergy Farm II-Project.

PART WAY THERE: Anaerobic digestion

BioGas World and/or I would be delighted to help you find a waste-to-bio-energy company or project near you.

For smaller communities, businesses and/or industrial zones, etc. There are organizations that are all ready to help you set up your own anaerobic digester based on your size and economic restrictions.

Here’s one compact Anaerobic digestion system!

Impact Bioenergy’s prefabricated bioenergy units are engineered and sized to fit the unique requirements of organizations and communities for onsite bioenergy food/organic waste diversion and produce useful products that substantially contribute to faster ROI.

Impact Bioenergy™ is an experienced team of professionals with a singular focus: create a community of bioenergy customers who operate as part of an open-source network of small, decentralized facilities wherever high operating costs, environmental and social principles are moving consumers away from disposal/landfills.

We build engineered products and provide the necessary support services to our customers to make new resources from organic materials. We make bioenergy systems happen quickly and cost-effectively. 


Impact Bioenergy unit for Anaerobic digestion- Anaerobic digestion in full swing - #1 Waste to Energy?
Impact Bioenergy – Technology

Portable Bioenergy Systems in the size and capacity that You need, that can convert 1,000 to 35,500 lbs per week of organic waste into renewable energy and biofertilizer. These micro-digester systems can be used in communities, campuses or farm type environments, have odor control and semi-automatic or automatic operation.

Impact Bioenergy creating circular economy on Vashon Island

June 2019 – Vashon Island is a 37-square-mile island with a population of roughly 11,000 people. Currently, the waste on Vashon Island is transported to Cedar Hills Regional Landfill, 45 miles away.

Impact Bioenergy’s new digester, NAUTILUS, is converting tofu manufacturing plant’s leftovers into fuel and probiotic plant food.

Vashon Bioenergy Farm, located at Island Spring Organics tofu factory, is a community-scale bioenergy system that is designed to convert food and beverage “waste” into the cleanest fuel commercially available and organic plant food.

This summer, the new digester will start converting commercial food waste into bioenergy and plant food. Others feedstock on the island may also be diverted to the digester in due time, which is designed to generate enough fuel to power a small fleet of trucks or provide clean energy to more than 40 homes.

Benefits of generating bioenergy and other products from digesters:
-Diverts waste from landfill, saves landfill capacity and transport
-Generates renewable natural gas to power vehicles or heat and power homes
-Creates local jobs
-Waste can be used locally to increase soil nutrients through soil and organic produce
-Provides organic plant food for farmers and residents
-Decreases costs for small producers like Island Spring Organics tofu factory
-Reduces landfill, fertilizer, and vehicle source greenhouse gas emissions

1:22 minutes – Impact Bioenergy NAUTILUS AD 185 RNG series

Impact Bioenergy basic units/products:

HORSE AD25 SERIES – High-solids Organic-waste Recycling System with Electrical Output
NAUTILUS AD185 SERIES – High-solids Organic-waste Recycling System with Electrical Output
 OX AD550 series solid-phase continuous flow anaerobic digester- also completely portable ranging in size from 8,300 to 42,300 lbs. per week. The OX can digest commingled food, paper, wood, and landscape materials.
BUFFALO Biogas System – designed for offshore fabrication and international markets and is sized for up to 6,700 lbs. per week.  It is based on the HORSE but is more cost-effective for developing nations.

The company manufacturers the equipment in the Pacific Northwest and considers simplicity, local equipment sourcing, and local empowerment to be the foundation of success. We focus on proving that a new model of local energy, recycling, and food production can be made possible for any type of need.

What can it cost?
The big commercial digesters run from $5-50,000,000. An Impact Bioenergy unit “costs about what a Tesla costs” ~ $70,000.

Our focus is on macro/micro-scale anaerobic digestion using cost-efficiency, quick deployment, zero waste and waste diversion, distributed and on-site energy production, and improving the triple-bottom line. Our business is biomimicry in every sense of the word by using natural systems. We can provide LEED based systems, Living-Building Challenge solutions, B-Corp solutions, and solutions that address quadruple-bottom line objectives.

Impact Bioenergy is presently working on orders coming in across the USA. For potential projects outside of the North America, please feel free to use this link, for interested people to provide more unformation: or contact one of our team.

Anaerobic digestion for your Community ?…………….

If Toronto can, maybe your community can too!

Toronto Garbage Trucks Will Soon Be Powered by Biogas From the Very Food Scraps That They Collect

The City of Toronto, in partnership with Enbridge Gas Inc., began installing new biogas upgrading equipment at the Dufferin Solid Waste Management Facility in 2019. The new technology will allow the City and Enbridge to transform the biogas produced from processing Toronto’s Green Bin organic waste into renewable natural gas (RNG) and inject that gas into the natural gas grid. Once in the grid, the City will be able to use the RNG to fuel its collection trucks.

The City of Toronto’s existing and closed landfill sites and anaerobic digestion (organics processing) facilities are some of the largest producers of biogas and landfill gas in Ontario. Over the last few years, the City has been looking for opportunities to harness the green energy potential of these gases and identified renewable natural gas (RNG) as a top priority for biogas management.

Circular model showing how waste can ultimately be used to create green energy.

Anaerobic digestion- Anaerobic digestion in full swing - #1 Waste to Energy?

ASK Impact Bioenergy !
Impact Bioenergy’s OX AD550 series solid-phase continuous flow anaerobic digester- also completely portable ranging in size from 8,300 to 42,300 lbs. per week. The OX can digest commingled food, paper, wood, and landscape materials.

OR Anaerobic digestion for one-family? …………….

How does HomeBiogas work?

>>HomeBiogas is designed so that the ordinary person will be able to easily assemble it, no professional or technician needed! Set aside 1-2 hours with a friend or family member to complete the job. 
>>You can activate HomeBiogas one of two ways: 1) the natural way, using 100 liters of animal manure from your local farm or ranch, or 2) you can purchase a bacteria starter kit.
>>Once you have activated your system and have a healthy colony of bacteria growing in the digester, it’s time to start feeding the system with your food scraps and/or animal waste. Generate up to 2 hours of cooking gas and fertilizer DAILY.

You can feed your HomeBiogas system approximately 6 liters of food waste or up to 40 liters of animal waste daily. An equal amount of water should be added with the waste when you put it into the inlet of HomeBiogas.
What Else Can You Put into HomeBiogas? 

I see liquid fertilizer, but what about the solid part of the waste?:  The sludge that accumulates at the bottom of the digestion tank should be removed once every 5 years. The sludge can be applied directly as fertilizer. 

Biological breakdown
To produce biogas, organic matter ferments with the help of bacterial communities. Four stages of fermentation move the organic material from their initial composition into their biogas state.
1. The first stage of the digestion process is the hydrolysis stage. In the hydrolysis stage insoluble organic polymers (such as carbohydrates) are broken down, making it accessible to the next stage of bacteria called acidogenic bacteria.
2. The acideogenic bacteria convert sugars and amino acids into carbon dioxide, hydrogen, ammonia, and organic acids.
3. At the third stage the acetogenic bacteria convert the organic acids into acetic acid, hydrogen, ammonia, and carbon dioxide, allowing for the final stage- the methanogens.
4. The methanogens convert these final components into methane and carbon dioxide- which can then be used as a flammable, green energy. 

homebiogas anaerobic digestion- Anaerobic digestion in full swing - #1 Waste to Energy?
homebiogas unit anaerobic digestion- Anaerobic digestion in full swing - #1 Waste to Energy?

We took our basic solution, the HomeBiogas 2.0, and thought about how we could use that existing technology for the important goal – “safe and clean toilets for all.”” said Oshik Efrati, CEO and co-founder of HomeBiogas. “We researched today’s solutions and visited target populations. We developed the HomeBiogas 2.0 and Bio-Toilet Kit.”

Simple “do-it-yourself assembly” complete with assembly and maintenance instructions,” makes it quick and easy to set up and does not require a technician to put it together.   HomeBiogas is off-the-grid!

Anaerobic digestion

Other posts on the subject of WASTE to Energy

Anaerobic Digestion In Full Swing – #1 Waste To Energy?
CNG, LNG, RNG Fuelling Stations – #2 Waste To Energy
#3 Municipal Solid Waste – MSW To BioFuel? Yes!
Useful Green WASTE Business Ideas That Scale To Any Size
Harvesting Waste Ideas. Waste Rushes? NOW!

Too Much Methane !
The Greenhouse Gases List …..A Re-Review

Can We, Are We Pulling In The Excess CO₂ ?
Fuel From Air? – Capture CO₂
Cellulosic Ethanol – One Of Many DSM Sustainability Projects
Industrial Zone – Closed-Loop Networking
Shipping’s Carbon Footprint And Your Small Business >> Your Vote
Climate Retrofits On Land Or At Sea

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