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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › European urban Biomethane movement--Join Europe's most progressive cities in

European urban Biomethane movement--Join Europe's most progressive cities in the move towards biomethane fueled vehicles

A former member
Post #: 24

The project

A European project for sustainable development

Human activities, in particular transport, are partially responsible for the problems associated with the greenhouse effect, and therefore global warming.

A key short-term action consists in increasing the use of alternative fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. More generally, the Biogasmax objective is to develop alternative and affordable means of transport with a global policy of improving the management and use of waste and urban transportation.

In terms of its needs for energy, the European Union is increasingly dependent on imported fossil fuel.This complex situation leads to significant ecological and economical risks for society, as:

  • The demand for energy is constantly increasing,
  • Oil prices are rising,
  • Resources are limited,
  • Greenhouse gases emitted by fossil fuels through combustion contribute to climate change
  • Oil products come from politically unstable regions
  • The demand for energy is constantly increasing
  • fuel combustion (petrol, diesel, kerosene, gas,...) emits more than three billion tons of CO2 in the atmosphere each year.

The European Commission is seeking to solve these issues through a series of initiatives, including many that focus on the transport industry, which is almost fully dependent on oil. In this context, it has launched a call for projects that focus on biofuels (Biofuel Cities).

Biogas used as fuel (biomethane) can eliminate smog in the atmosphere and significantly reduce noise pollution. The most environmentally harmful compounds (particles, non-methane hydrocarbons) are absent when biomethane is used. For example, using biomethane as a fuel in buses leads to a reduction of 95% in particles, 99% in sulfur compounds and 70% in nitrogen oxide, as compared to diesel buses.

The European Biogasmax project creates a network of biogas-related demonstrations on the European territory with the aim of sharing experiences in terms of best practices in managing urban transportation
Portland, ME
Post #: 12
I recently made a friend from UNH who had attempted to do a greywater recycling research project for his thesis (never got the go-ahead).  I'm familiar with the many benefits of greywater in terms of water conservation, plant irrigation, etc., but Paul mentioned methane as a 'waste' product of the anaerobic process that takes place.  

My science gets a little shaky here, but we both agreed on the huge benefit that methane could have as a byproduct.  What really sparked my interest was the idea that greywater systems, if widely distributed as residential developments, might also serve as independent (and potentially networked) energy sources that rely  on sunlight and 'waste' water as their main energy inputs to produce methane.

Ideally, these systems could provide more energy independence and resilience/stability (as a result of distribution) in our power grid...or so I dream. I like to go a step further and imagine parking my electric car and plugging it into an outlet that's powered largely by wastewater and sunlight.

We talked about these ideas in very general terms (because we don't know enough about them to get into specifics) and we knew we were probably out there in fantasy-land. I was pretty excited, though, to find this post and thought I might share my ideas in hopes that they might spark interest in wiser minds.
A former member
Post #: 34
There are several eco-villages on hold in Maine. Each one has an individual septic system and centralized garbage disposal.

I've proposed the radical idea of integrating them and merging 'acceptable' sewage with organic waste in a digester that would generate bio-methane that could be redistributed through a pipeline to individual homes for heat.

If enough is generated it could be 'scrubbed' and upgraded enough to be compressed and used to power cars.

There is a spate of developmental activity around the world in this area:

  • Tata Motors (Thailand) is launching the Xenon Super CNG pickup truck at the forthcoming Bangkok International Motor Expo 2008, starting November 29. The TATA Xenon Super CNG is Thailand’s first pickup truck with a factory-installed 100-per cent CNG system. Target customers for Xenon Super CNG are both individual customers who use pickup vehicles for transporting goods on fixed routes, and also big companies which have very high fuel expenses. It can help them cut their operating costs by up to 30 to 50 per cent.

  • Recognizing there is a strong, reliable domestic supply of compressed natural gas (CNG), Toyota has launched a new concept vehicle - the CNG Camry Hybrid - at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week. To convert a stock Camry Hybrid to a CNG vehicle, the gasoline fuel system was replaced with a CNG system that includes a pair of CNG tanks installed in the spare-tire well of the vehicle’s trunk. Because it now lacks a spare tire, the CNG Camry Hybrid rolls on runflat tires

  • Destiny, America’s first eco-sustainable city has teamed up with Mid-State Energy, Inc. to announce the location of its first green E-station in Florida, in southern Osceola County. The 6,000-square-foot energy refueling station will contain traditional and renewable fuels -- currently, the project is in the final design stages that call for five gasoline and alternative fuel stations and six diesel dispensers. The final fuel mix is still in development, but will most likely include compressed natural gas as one option

  • This is a UK version of an integrated system:
    Based in Ludlow, Shropshire, this project uses anaerobic digestion to treat source separated organic waste. The Demonstrator plant is designed to process 5,000 tonnes of waste annually.

    Technology Background
    The key components of the process for recycling organic kitchen and garden waste are:

    • • Waste reception, which is inside a building with air emissions controlled by a biofilter;
    • • Mechanical waste conditioning, with primary shredding;
    • • Digester feedstock homogenisation, with secondary shredding;
    • • Digester feedstock buffer storage, to allow for 5-day delivery of feedstock;
    • • Mesophilic anaerobic digestion (37ºC), a continuous process in a fully-mixed tank;
    • • Pasteurisation (70ºC for one hour), a strictly batch process with zero by-pass;
    • • Fibre separation, to separate particles larger than 1500ìm;
    • • Liquid biofertiliser storage, in a sealed tank awaiting transport to a local farm;
    • • Biogas storage;
    • • Combined heat and power (CHP) unit, to produce renewable electricity for the grid;
    • • Heat exchange units, to provide heating for the tanks;
    • • Pumping systems;
    • • Biofilter system; and
    • • Instrumentation and controls

  • or you can individualize 'energy converters' like this small unit in Kerala, India

So if you know of any developers working on a truly GREEN eco-village, discuss this concept with them; or take the initiative and hold a community discussion at the library or school, invite me and I'll bring a conceptual Power Point slide show on how everything works.
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