A holistic agricultural cycle for biogas production & refinement with built-in mineral fertiliser production
Generating your own electricity and heat on demand is possible with our new patented VapoCircle Technology.
The problem & the solution
Electricity or fuel from renewable energy sources is not always available just when it is needed. These fluctuations are common with renewable energies – wind turbines only produce electricity when the wind blows and solar plants need the sun to generate power.
As a result, there is either a surplus or a shortfall of energy in the power grid at certain times. This is where the great advantage of renewable storage power plants comes into play.
A renewable storage power plant combines power plant and energy storage in one unit. It produces electricity and heat on demand – exactly when needed.
The generated electricity can be fed into the public power grid at times of peak prices, thus generating higher revenues that increase plant profitability.
The operator receives revenue from different sources, among others from the basic compensation according to the Renewable Energies Act or the flexibility bonus.
The 2021 Renewable Energies Act continues to subsidise flexible power stations. The flexibility requirements stipulate that flexible biogas plants must be able to provide at least 85 percent of their installed capacity at least for 1,000 hours per year (4,000 quarters of an hour).
Operators can choose one or more of the following gas refinement options:
The operator decides whether the gas is fed into the gas network or whether it is sold directly by trading the electricity at the exchange.
Another benefit for the operator is the heat utilisation afforded by a large buffer storage to supply electricity to the buildings belonging to the farm and other loads, such as complete heat networks for several households.
It is also possible to feed the generated electricity into the public power grid according to demand and thereby use peak tariffs.
Operators can use biomethane as fuel and save large amounts of CO2 compared to conventional fuels. The use of these low-carbon energy sources reduces the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Mineral oil companies can credit the CO2 which operators save on fuel in their own carbon balance by purchasing additional CO2 certificates.
The operator chooses whether to produce electricity or fuel or a combination of both (hybrid power plant).
The digestion route
The combined operation of the Sepogant Direkt with the Vapogant digestate evaporator enables above-average gas yields to be realised using small tanks. The Sepogant Direkt biomass recirculation filter achieves the complete digestion of the feedstock resulting in a higher gas yield. It is increased even further by installing the ROTORICOS wet shredder as fibre pulping unit upstream of the Sepogant Direkt and WaveBox ultrasound treatment downstream of it. The evaporator achieves a volume reduction of up to 70 % of the annual quantity. The liquid phase can be thickened to up to 20 % DM.
The heat recovery and multiple use of the heat for the Vapogant digestate evaporator additionally has an energy-economic advantage. Our new VapoCircle technology combines the benefits of the Sepogant Direkt and the Vapogant.
Die Wärmerückgewinnung und mehrfache Nutzung der Wärme für die Gärrestverdampfung Vapogant bringt zudem einen energiewirtschaftlichen Vorteil mit sich. In unserer neuen VapoCircle Technologie werden die Vorteile des Sepogant Direkt und des Vapogant kombiniert.
What ist Farm AS?
Farm AS, also referred to as ASS (ammonium sulphate solution), can be produced during agricultural operations. Farm AS is a clear, colourless mixture and has a nitrogen content of up to 8.5 % (= 100 % ammonium nitrogen) depending on the concentration.
When used as fertiliser, Farm AS improves humus formation by stimulating the activity of soil organisms. Farm AS binds to clay minerals and humus in the soil which avoids leaching.
The targeted use of Farm AS as depot fertiliser is achieved by using the CULTAN method. By injecting the fertiliser directly into the soil, nitrogen loss is reduced which would otherwise occur due to leaching and outgassing.
The process maximises the effectiveness of plant fertilisation and yield.
Production of mineral fertiliser
Farmers can produce their own Farm AS mineral fertiliser by combining their biogas plant with the VapoCircle technology. This enables the use of nitrogen fertiliser beyond the 170 kg N limit. Farm AS is a valuable commercial fertiliser and excess quantities can also be sold. The Vapogant digestate evaporator enables substrates to be digested that were previously classified as difficult with an increased ammonia/nitrogen content (also gas). By implementing intelligent crop rotations and using legumes, the mineral fertiliser requirement can be covered from the business’ own forage cultivation and additionally about 40 % farm AS can be sold to farmers who grow market crops.
But how should fertilisation be carried out and how do the minerals finally reach the plant?
With the C.U.L.T.A.N. (Controlled Uptake Long Term Ammonium Nutritionmethod), the plant is supplied with concentrated nitrogen through a fertiliser depot in the soil to guarantee long-term nutrition.
The root grows towards the depot. This results in better and denser root development and the plant can store larger water reserves.
Advantages VapoCircle Technology
Advantages for the farmer/producer
- no competition between milk producers and biogas producers
- organic manure upgrading
- own mineral fertiliser production Farm AS
- improvement of fertiliser balance through release or conversion of nutrients
- better flowability through fermentation and separation
- savings in storage space
- utilisation of fodder surpluses, e.g. grass silage
Advantages for the environment
- nutrient hub
- humus build-up
- less ammonia pollution for the environment
- improvement of the CO² balance through energetic use of the manure
- sensible use of the methane from the liquid manure
- closed transport
Advantages for the population
- CO2 storage
- low odour pollution during transport and spreading
- sustainable concept
- secure energy supply on site
- avoidance of the “plate-tank conflict
- satisfying the hunger of mankind
In order to provide humanity with sufficient food, not only can crops be harvested, but they must be intensively fertilised. Up to now, mineral fertiliser has mostly been produced by means of a post-World War I process (Haber-Bosch). In order to produce the mineral fertiliser industrially, a lot of natural gas, and above all expensive natural gas, is needed.
At best, Farm AS is produced in agriculture with a lot of grassland; the surplus of Farm AS can then be used in agriculture for cash crops (e.g. wheat) for targeted fertilisation with Farm AS.
In a nutshell
The renewable storage & fuel power plant enables farmers to utilise the byproducts they produce, such as grass silage, slurry and slurry press cake, in a sustainable manner.
Generators feed electricity into the grid and thus contribute to the security of energy supply.
Fuel is produced from biomethane. The fuel can be used by the customer, and what is more, CO2 certificates can be sold to mineral oil companies.
The VapoCircle technology even enables the farm’s own Farm AS mineral fertiliser to be produced and sold if there is a surplus.
The renewable storage power plant and the renewable fuel power plant enable electricity and heat to be generated based on demand and mineral fertiliser to be produced from byproducts of agricultural operations!