27th April 2021

27th April 2021

27th April 2021

As you know as an avid reader of this blog (and numbers are growing!) we at Marches Biogas spend a lot of time designing, maintaining AD plants of all types of feedstocks, layouts and outputs. Now there are certain topics that cause a great deal of debate and you just know are going to be controversial and one of these is the choice of front-end processing equipment.

Now, as everyone knows engineers get very excited about the choice of shiny machines that churn and chop, some fast, some slow and others that just purr (just ask Keith what’s the best TVR!). The truth is the choice is not simple and should be made against a number of parameters such as feedstock type, potential contaminants, required throughput and the dreaded purchase price and running costs. The truth is there is no one machine that is perfect in all instances, as you might expect.

The key here is to work out the feedstock you expect to process. Now for a crop plant to predict the feedstock is relatively simple, after all the feedstock you have is set by the crops you cultivate. However, when it comes to waste plants this can be very difficult. Wastes are by their very nature extremely inconsistent predominantly due to contamination, with household collected food waste being relatively contamination free at maybe 97% pure but that comes down to 60%- 70% for supermarket sourced packaged wastes with tins, plastics and the dreaded glass to deal with. On top of this there’s the complication of short contract periods and real competition in the market. You want a machine that can deal with this by successfully separating the organics from everything else as cheaply as possible.

The choice you make now you will have to live with for at least 5 years to 10 years, with any changes that you may be forced into involving an element of re-engineering that is not only expensive but may take considerable time, during which the energy revenue may be compromised.

The Marches team have experience of the majority of offerings on the market and understand their plus points as well as their Achilles’ heels. We also have extensive data on actual running costs and operational feedback from current plants in service.

So, if you are thinking about what choices to make with regards to your front end processing equipment, please give Keith and his team a call.

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