Biogas plants process less biowaste than is incinerated
About half of the municipal waste is so far non-recyclable waste that is utilized for energy. There are eight power plants in Finland that use non-recyclable waste as the main fuel, and the total capacity of these plants is 1,595,000 tons per year. We Finns consider ourselves environmentally conscious, but we are far from Europe’s leading countries in municipal waste recycling. We currently recycle 41% of our municipal waste, while the current growing target is 50%. Especially in the development of biowaste and plastic recycling, we Finns have a lot of work to do.
The low recycling rate means that a significant amount of biowaste is incinerated in our country’s waste-to-energy plants. The share of biowaste varies from plant to plant, but on average it is close to 30 percent. So we burn about 480,000 tons of biowaste a year. By comparison, this is more than what biogas plants in our country handle in biowaste fractions from communities and commerce!
The treatment of the organic fraction separated from the mixed waste is impossible – wrong!
Doranova is not the first to wake up to the potential of the organic fraction in mixed waste. The challenge so far has only been that biogas plant solutions, especially those based on wet digestion, are not suitable for the digestion of mechanically separated organic fraction as such. Mechanically separated organic fraction is not the purest possible commodity.
Doranova began developing a solution for digesting the organic fraction of mixed waste four years ago. One could write a very interesting book from the ideas that were on the development table, but only one solution reached further development. Over the years, this advanced idea was renamed Hardferm®, it was awarded the Europatent in 2019, and in May-June this year we will witness the launch of the first full-size Hardferm biogas plant. The plant to be built for Jepuan Biokaasu Oy does not process the organic fraction of mixed waste, but the fox manure containing stones and other challenging fractions fed to the reactors serve as a very good probe for this new technology.
Picture 1 A two-reactor Hardferm biogas plant capable of processing 25 to 40,000 t/a feeds. Up to 8 reactors can be implemented in the same plant.
Picture 2 Doranova’s vision for the future of municipal waste recovery
Hardferm lays the groundwork for digesting challenging fractions, biomethanation and fuel cells which will allow the biogas industry to take the next big leap forward
I strongly believe that over the next 5 to 7 years, the amount of organic waste going to incineration will fall dramatically. However, this goal can only be achieved with cost-effective and robust biogas plant solutions suitable for this purpose. In addition, work must be done with waste management companies in the field of processing the digestate generated in the biogas process. Doranova is working hard to make “Hardferm” synonymous with this total solution.
However, with the development of biogas plant technology alone, our industry will not be able to grow exponentially. In addition to waste treatment, nutrient recycling and energy from waste, we need new integration opportunities. There are solutions on the Doranova development table that allow us to preserve cyclic wind and solar energy as methane when energy exchange electricity is cheap and the balancing load power is obtained from this methane. This goal is achieved when the so-called biomethanation process is made energy efficient and electricity can be produced efficiently, for example with fuel cells. In this case, we get to a situation where biogas can be used both as fuel in a gas-powered car and to charge electric cars.
Interested? Contact Doranova’s CEO, Antti Mylläriseen: 040 549 1341 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, Hardferm information can be found on our website and Facebook pages: