The steam boiler without natural gas; we see in Denekamp that it is possible!
The industrial sector is facing a major challange. In 2023 all industrial companies have to cease the use of (gronings) natural gas. It is as yet unclear to which extend this is possible or which industrial companies are affected by this. It is clear though that the extraction of natural gas in Groningen will cease.
In Noord Deurningen, CCS has been developing a Biogas HUB commisioned by the Stichting Duurzaam Noord Deurningen. This hub consists of one digester per farm which ferments the farm’s own manure into biogas. This gas is transported via the collective pipe network (the HUB) to it’s consumers. When searching for these consumers, it is vital that they consume both in summer as well as in winter. This most of the time brings you to industrial consumers. For this HUB we found BYK Netherlands B.V. in Denekamp.
For the farm this HUB creates an extra source of income, as apart from diary and meat, it also produces biogas. The fermented manure (digestate) is applied to the pastures, as has been done before the manure was being fermented.
BYK Netherlands is a chemical company which produces additives for the piant or plastic processing industry. In this production process BYK uses a steam boiler. As part of this project, the steam boiler was coverted to both run on biogas as well as natural gas. In general there are enough steam boilers on the market which run on biogas. In this case however, the challenge was for the boiler to be able to run on both biogas and natural gas as well as a diversity of gas mixtures. In order to effectuate this, BYK has placed a dual-fuel burner in the existing boiler.
The next challenge is measuring the heat. The subsidy given to this project is based on heat and therefore this needs to be measured accurately. This resulted in formidable costs for the steam boiler. To top it off, the usage of BYK’s steam boiler varies greatly. To ensure the best possible input of biogas, it was decided to buffer the biogas. In the local area an old NAM (Dutch petroleum company) pipeline was discovered which was refitted to become an 8000 m3 biogas buffer. This ensure the compliance to the business operations of BYK and it is expected that about 80% of the natural gas can be replaced by biogas.
Currently in Noord Deurningen seven farms supply one industrial company with biogas and with that they replace at this stage 80% of the gas demand. The goal is to expand this and see if the demand of gas can be completely supplied with biogas. The best part is that BYK is being supplied by local farmers. In our eyes, there is no way to make this more sustainable, as the special thing with mono-manure fermentation is an added bonus of reducing the methane emissions. This means there is a double advantage for all parties involded.
Is your industrial company situated in or surrounded by a rural area? Contact CCS and we will gladly help you discover the possibilities for your company.
About this article
18 July 2019 / Author: Dr. Ir. René Cornelissen