Anaerobic digestion represents a solution to treat the organic fraction of Urban Solid Waste which offers several advantages:
- it makes it possible to produce valuable renewable energy (electric power or vehicle fuel)
- maximum valorisation of energy that can be extracted from the waste, thanks to integration with the aerobic process
- easier control in odor emission of the integrated process compared to the simple composting process (decrease the odor impact)
- less surface needed per treated ton compared to the only compost solution
- it improves the energy balance of the plant
TO SUPPORT THE O&M DIVISION, ENTSORGA HAS CREATED A PILOT PLANT, THE COW LAB, THAT WAS DESIGNED AS AN ANAEROBIC SEMI DRY PLUG FLOW DIGESTER ON 1:12 SCALE.
The Cow LAB recreates the real conditions of anaerobic treatment and allows to study in advance the process stability, so that the O&M team can intervene, if necessary, with corrective actions on the main digester during its start-up and standard operating period.
Stress tests can be performed in the reactor to analyze how the process changes in relation to variability in specific chemical and physical
parameters, such as organic load, solid content or digestate temperature.
As in the case of a full-scale plant, the Cow Lab supports the process management, particularly when combined with the Eagle Cloud™ system, Entsorga’s proprietary software that allows to monitor and measure biomass parameters and consequently evaluate the Biogas production development.
THE INNOVATIVE SEMI-DRY ANAEROBIC DIGESTION SYSTEM IS ALSO OFFERED BY ENTSORGA IN A TRANSPORTABLE VERSION: THE COW PORTABLE. THIS ALLOWS TO OBTAIN BIOGAS BY TREATING EVEN SMALL QUANTITIES OF SLUDGE OR ORGANIC FRACTION OF MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE.
The Cow Portable is a ‘semi-dry’ digester with a treatment capacity of 2000 t/a. Two products are obtained from the fermentation process: biogas, a gas consisting mainly of methane and carbon dioxide, and, after about 20 to 30 days, a residual digestate, suitable for composting to produce a high-quality fertiliser for agriculture. Also in the Cow Portable, all major process parameters are monitored and managed with the Eagle Cloud™ automated control system.
Many advantages of this digester in transportable version:
- easy transportability, for handling small quantities of waste
- does not require building work
- quick activation time (one week vs. 90 days), a SCIA is sufficient
- high yield: higher diet conversion capacity into biogas (about 25 per cent more than conventional)
- less digestate to be handled (around 30% compared to conventional plants)
- maximum environmental compatibility and high automation in an Industry 4.0 context: process optimisation and remote management with Eagle Cloud control system
- production of energy surpluses: the valorisation of biogas by means of a cogenerator makes it possible to reduce thermal and electrical consumption.