Biomass production in Ireland
60,000 t/a biogas plant based on waste food (Brook an der Leitha, Austria)
Ireland has major unexploited sources of natural energy in grass, municipal organic waste and slaughter waste. Anaerobically digested in bioreactors to produce biomethane, this feed-stock can produce gas for the national gas grid. Ireland, with its very high per capita feed-stock volumes, could substitute between 7.5 and 33% of natural gas with biomethane. The biomethane may be distributed in the natural gas grid and be utilised for renewable thermal energy and for transport biofuel. A strategy is proposed whereby 200 digesters of 50,000 t/a scale may be used to treat slurries, slaughter waste, municipal solid waste and grass.
- A Higher Education Authority (HEA) funded project entitled “An evaluation of optimal biofuel in a Northern European Context.”
- A Department of Agricultural Fisheries and Food (DAFF) funded project entitled “GreenGrass: Developing grass for sustainable renewable energy and value added products.” This project has funded the design and construction of large lab scale (300 L) digester systems for use with high solid content feed-stocks (20 – 40%) such as grass
- An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funded project entitled “Compressed biomethane generated from grass.” This project funds two post doctorates in full life cycle analyses of both grass production and biomethane production from grass.
- A Bord Gais Eireann (BGE) funded project entitled: “Gaseous Biofuels.” This has an ambition of examining the potential for renewable gas and compressed natural gas (together termed bio-CNG) as transport fuel
- Continuously stirred tank reactor system (CSTR): Two number 300 L reactors connected in sequence with recirculation of leachate, automatic monitoring and downloadable data.
- Sequencing fed leach bed reactors complete with Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Bed Reactor: Six number 17 L leach beds connected to a 36 L collection chamber and a 36 L UASB.
- Two number lab scale (5L) anaerobic reactors.
Grass biomethane service station on a farm (Eugendorf, Austria)