Liquid manure is produced by the farm’s veal calves. All manure is automatically pumped directly into the digester at frequent intervals throughout the day.
Fats, oils and greases (FOG) from off-farm sources are delivered to the biogas plant for digestion. Digesting these products in a biogas plant diverts these organic wastes from landfills.
The off-farm waste is pasteurized at 7a °G for one hour to remove all pathogens from the liquid in compliance with the Ministry of Environment regulations.
Solid waste is fed into the digester via a PlanET Dry Feeder. The feeder is loaded once a day and is automatically fed into the digester at even intervals throughout the day.
The anaerobic digester is the heart of the system. All inputs processed in this 2,-100 m3 concrete digester at38°C. In the absence of oxygen, bacteria from the manure break down the organic matter and convert it to biogas, very similar to what occurs in a cow’s stomach. The digester is continually stirred by way of submersible mixers to ensure an efficient biological process.
An automatic flare ensures that all excess biogas that is not consumed by the engines is destroyed in an environmentally acceptable manner.
Two MAN engines burn the biogas to produce 499 kW of electrical energy for resale to the local electricity grid. The engines, packaged by Martin Machinery, are specifically designed for burning biogas. In addition to electricity production, these two engines produce hot water used for heating puposes.
Electricity produced by the biogas engines is distributed to the local electricity grid. Electricity is sold to the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) under the province’s new Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program. Protection devices are installed to ensure consistent, safe generation of electricity.
In addition to biogas, the anaerobic digester produces digestate as an end-product. Digestate is a high-value fertilizer that can be used for land application for crops, golf course fertilizers, or straw bale gardens.
Hot water generated by the biogas engines is captured and used to provide heat to the digester and other heat loads in the biogas plant. In addition, hot water is used in the barns to reduce the amount of fossil fuel purchased for heating and process demands.