Small scale anaerobic digestion is a wide ranging term, and can be taken as the description for all anaerobic digestion plants in sizes ranging from a single dwelling, up to a community digester. We think that most people would agree that farm digesters in the developed nations would usually fall into the “large scale” category. But, in the area of “small-scale” there is scope for much wider use of anaerobic digestion. So, in this article we report upon a new type of smaller scale AD Plant that seems to be emerging.
We are featuring small-scale anaerobic digestion plants, installed at the back of supermarkets. These can be very environmentally sustainable, and may be hardly noticed by the public. To have one now operating in Portugal, with no doubt more to follow, is a big step forward for supermarket biogas production.
The new breed is biogas plants designed to digest the organic waste produced by a single supermarket on-site, at the back of the store. They are based upon container units which house the bio-reactor tank (or tanks), the biogas storage, and all the Mechanical & Electrical devices and electronic computer control systems.
This is a model for biogas energy production which can immediately be used to power the supermarket’s own energy needs (by electricity generation), and provides also an opportunity to use the CHP energy in cold weather. for space heating of the supermarket as well. Put that together with the absence of fossil-fuel consuming energy use in “transport miles”, for the organic waste to be taken to a biogas plant, and the availability of staff on-site to look after the digester itself and this must be a winning, and very highly “green”.
It is a green solution, because by reducing carbon emissions, climate change will be reduced and thus this is a sustainable solution to the problem of waste food from supermarkets.
The project we refer to is the first of its kind, and has been developed by SEaB Energy, as described in their Press release below:
SEaB Energy deploys its ‘Power in a box’ technology at Portuguese supermarket leader Modelo Continente
SEaB Energy, one of the UK’s brightest innovators of waste to energy technology, has fully implemented its containerised power plant at a hypermarket owned by Portugal’s largest retailer. This is the first time that an anaerobic digestion system, that converts inedible food waste to energy, has been installed at a supermarket site anywhere in Portugal.
The strategic partnership agreement, signed with Modelo Continente, part of the Sonae Group, was conducted through SEaB Energy’s Portuguese agent, Biowaste SA. The conclusion of the deal has resulted in SEaB Energy’s ‘Flexibuster’ technology being installed at Continente’s hypermarket in Gaia, located in the south of Porto.
SEaB Energy’s patented ‘Power in a box’ small-scale power plant is now fully operational and will deliver an immediate revenue stream for Modelo Continente as well as having a significant positive environmental impact to the site.
Sandra Sassow, CEO of SEaB Energy commented:
“This is a ground breaking deal for the adoption of small-scale renewable energy systems within the retail sector – and not just for Portugal but for Europe as a whole. It also demonstrates Continente’s continued commitment to adopting sustainable solutions that also improve their operational performance and enhance their environmental credentials.”
The Flexibuster will convert approximately 600kg per day of inedible supermarket food waste into energy that will generate around 80,000Kwh of electricity, as well as 180 tonnes of fertilizer per annum. The electricity will be used on site whilst the fertilizer will be sold on, creating another valuable revenue stream for the supermarket.
The total offset savings for the first year is projected to be around €27,000 which includes income from energy generation and cost savings from the elimination of waste transport and landfill costs as well as other operational expenses.
Modelo Continente is a pioneer in the adoption of low-carbon, environmentally-friendly measures that reduces its demand for energy and includes LED-only lighting in all new stores, installation of over 112 photovoltaic power plants and the use of more efficient heating and cooling equipment. The company also has a strong focus on resource recovery including the recycling of product and transport packaging and the implementation of bins at its stores so that consumers can recycle items such as batteries, clothing, consumables and electricals.
About SEaB Energy
SEaB Energy Limited is a UK company, designing and commercialising breakthrough product innovations which create clean energy and water from onsite organic waste.
All images are copyright with “All rights reserved” by SEaB Energy.