CORDIS - EU research results

A demonstration plant of enhanced biogas production with Add-On technology

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ADD-ON (A demonstration plant of enhanced biogas production with Add-On technology)

Reporting period: 2016-02-01 to 2020-06-30

The overall goal of the project is to commercialize Ductor’s proprietary nitrogen-control technology, which has the potential to revolutionize the economics of biogas production. Our technology is capable of removing over 60% of the nitrogen from several organic waste materials before biogasification. As a result, wider utilization of high-nitrogen organic waste such as chicken manure in biogas production becomes possible, which will allow millions of tons of unexploited organic waste in Europe to be processed cleanly, economically, and efficiently.

With Ductor’s technology, biogas producers can replace maize silage with chicken manure as biogas feedstock, for example. With this approach alone, European biogas producers could achieve a combined €1 billion improvement in their profitability while simultaneously cutting CO2 emissions by 1.5 million tons and releasing more than 811,000 hectares of cultivated land for socially and environmentally sustainable use, such as food production.

This project focuses on scaling up the current pilot equipment into industrial scale (over 1000 m3 of biogas production reactor), optimization of the process, and convincing reference customers to enable broader market penetration.

The project achieved the goal to build and add a Ductor reactor at industrial size biogas plant with 99% completion. The lacking percentage include only electrical and automation finishing. The plant is scheduled to start in November 2020 in Haren, Germany.

The permitting process caused unforeseen schedule problems which severely hindered the execution of the project.

However, the ADD-ON project helped Ductor the built a biogas gas plant in Mexico with ADD-ON technology, The plant opening day was in September 2019. Furthemore, Ductor Oy have benefited from the project and dissemination of the project in closing three (3) deals of biogas plants in Poland and very good progress in Norway and US.
During the first reporting period, we signed delivery agreements for an industrial-scale Add-On product with three customers, one of which will be pilot customer for the ADD-ON project. We also met with potential equipment suppliers and potential off-takers for ammonium sulphate and improved our understanding of the economics of German biogas producers.

With Ductor’s Finnish bench scale pilot plant we were able to demonstrate that long term, over six months, operation of a biogas plant using only de-ammonified (i.e. removing organic ammonia by the Ductor process) chicken litter is possible. And there is very little biogas potential lost when the gases formed in the Ductor fermentation are fed into the biogas reactor.

In laboratory scale the potential of feathers as a feedstock for biogas was demonstrated (Deliverable 3.1). The feathers yielded high biogas potential, but were not taken into the Finnish pilot in order not to disturb the long operation with chicken litter.

We have also conducted market research to i) verify the market potential within the German biogas market, our 1st phase target market and ii) identify other interesting markets for our technology, both in Europe and other regions such as the US.
The progress of the project to date increases our confidence on achieving the expected large environmental, social and economical benefits that Ductor’s technology can enable. We expect our technology to be a game-changer for biogas industry and enable wider utilization of biogas. Importantly, the market potential for our technology is global. This is because there are billions of tons of underutilized high-nitrogen waste material (such as chicken manure) in the world.