BIOFerm Energy Systems – Dry Fermentation Digester

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BIOFerm Energy Systems – Dry Fermentation Digester

A Viessmann Group Member

Company Description:

BIOFerm Energy Systems is a leading provider of turnkey anaerobic digestion and gas upgrading systems in North America – with over 450 digester installations and 900 PSA installations (including gas upgrading) through the Viessmann Group.

Technology Description:

BIOFerm™ Dry Fermentation technology differs from traditional “wet digester” tank systems that utilize liquid feedstock and physically stir and agitate materials with moving parts.

Our BIOFerm™ Dry Fermentation (aka high-solids) technology uses a batch-style approach where waste material remains stationary during anaerobic digestion, requiring no internal moving parts. These attributes allow our Dry Fermentation digester to recover energy from almost any kind of organic waste.

The system is comprised of individual rectangular fermentation chambers (each with 114’ x 23’ x 17’ dimensions) where the biomass is loaded by a front-end loader and remains for ~28 days. Modular construction design allows the system to be scaled according to the amount of organic material available at the particular operation, with annual waste streams starting at ~8,000 tons and up.

BIOFerm™ Dry Fermentation is best suited for operations that process organic waste with a total solids content greater than 25%, including:

  • Food waste
  • Yard clippings
  • Dry manure on bedding
  • Other high-solids waste

Biogas produced is collected inside a flexible gas storage bag and is then continuously fed to the biogas utilization source. Biogas can be either used in a combined heat and power (CHP) unit to generate electricity and heat, or upgraded to renewable natural gas (RNG) for gas grid injection and vehicle fuel as compressed natural gas (CNG).

Advantages of BIOFerm™ Dry Fermentation

  • Well suited to process municipal organic waste
  • Integrates well into composting operations
  • Virtually immune to physical contaminants as the input material remains stationary and does not come into contact with any moving equipment inside fermentation chambers
  • Batch process is more stable than a continuously fed complete mix system; if  bacteria in one fermentation chamber are out of balance/underperforming, it is less devastating to the system as a whole than other anaerobic digestion systems and the affected chamber can be quickly remediated by exchanging the substrate

BIOFerm Energy Systems 440 Science Drive Suite 300 Madison, WI USA 608-467-5523 Visit Company Website

Technology Type

  • Anaerobic Digestion

Vendor

  • Equipment Vendor

Product

  • Energy

Problem

  • GHG
  • Odor
  • Pathogens

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Technology Strengths, Weaknesses and Critical Indicators

Anaerobic Digestion:

  • Long usable life and can be run reliably
  • Creates energy and generates environmental credits
  • Proper feeding & system monitoring is required to avoid system downtime
  • Proven technology for odor control
  • Proven technology for GHG reduction
  • Proven technology for pathogen reduction
  • Different types of systems produce varying gas production rates
  • Requires proper preparation of the feedstock
  • Requires other technologies for energy utilization
  • Requires other technologies for digestate handling
  • Requires other technologies to prevent nitrogen loss
  • Complex systems may require expertise not available on-farm

Newtrient Comments/Opinions:

Anaerobic Digester technology:

  • Is proven technology for odor, GHG and pathogen reduction and energy production
  • Has a long usable life and can be run reliably
  • Require proper preparation of the feedstock
  • Usually requires other technologies for energy utilization
  • Usually requires other technologies for digestate handling
  • Proper feeding & system monitoring is required to avoid system downtime
  BIOFerm installed the first dry fermentation system at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2011 and continues to be the only technology provider of batch-style, dry digesters in the U.S.  The BIOFerm dry fermentation anaerobic digester utilizes organic waste with moisture content less than 70%, operates in a batch mode and requires manual filling and emptying of the digestion chambers.  Due to the batch mode and manual operating mode, both capital and operating costs will typically be higher than comparable wet anaerobic digestion technology.  However, the dry fermentation technology is amenable to dairy manure with mixed organic beddings.   Newtrient will continue to work with BIOFerm on continued updates to the technology and the dairy manure application as they develop more projects.

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