Enbasys to provide biogas plant for German company

By Lisa Gibson | June 22, 2011

A well-known company in the European waste disposal industry will embark on a project in Germany, supplying the equipment to convert raw industrial waste material into about 3 megawatts of electricity for 6,000 households in the west-central town of Marl.

The Enbaferm anaerobic digestion system, developed by Austria-based Enbasys GmbH, a subsidiary of BDI-BioEnergy International AG, will be installed at the site of products and service organization SARIA-Rethmann Group. The system will handle 87,000 metric tons (96,000 tons) of a variety of materials including catering waste, expired food waste from supermarkets, sewage sludge and biowaste from households, according to BDI-BioEnergy.

“Our Enbaferm system is designed to convert the feedstock without co-substrates, such as slurry or manure, or addition to chemicals into biogas,” said Norbert Gaulhofer, BDI-BioEnergy marketing manager. “Also the formation of foaming and floating layers is avoided. Our fermenters are designed to facilitate best contact between substrate and microorganisms. This leads to high degradation rates and rapid gas production.” Contracts are in place with feedstock suppliers, but the terms are undisclosed, he added.

In addition to electricity, the system will also produce thermal energy for local use. “Apart from the production of green energy the plant will also positively affect local job creation, short-term during construction and long-term during operation,” Gaulhofer said. “The plant is also a further step to abandon the feeding of animals with waste, which is now already prohibited by (European Union) laws.”

The digestate from the anaerobic digestion process will be treated through another BDI-BioEnergy technology that splits the material into fertilizer and purified water, Gaulhofer said. “The water goes into the local sewage system causing no pollution. The fertilizers will be used by local farmers. This creates a sustainable cycle locally.”

The €4 million ($5.7 million) system will be operational by the end of the year, according to BDI-BioEnergy.