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ENergy efficient Far InfraRed process of manure valorisation

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ENFIR (ENergy efficient Far InfraRed process of manure valorisation)

Reporting period: 2017-03-01 to 2017-06-30

Irconfort (Infrarrojos para el Confort S.A.) is a company specialised in designing and building Far Infrared (FIR) emission equipment for different sectors where high energy efficiency heating is demanded. Based on its international patented solution (PCT/ES2011/070766), products like food dehydrators, multiproduct/multilevel silo driers, greenhouse heating or poultry farms heating are some of the ones that the company is already providing to customers in the agro industrial sector in South America or Europe. As consequence of the demand of client’s livestock sector, we have embarked in ENFIR project, adapting our FIR technology usually use as heating source to valorise the manure generated and accumulated in livestock activities. Based on our successful results and promising demand for end users, great interest has been generated in the livestock sector for our ENFIR technology (see the Letters of Interest in Section 4-5).
The overall objective of our current is the industry adaptation and implementation of our developed pilot plant in the livestock industry for transforming manure into pelletized compost without external energy consumption. Thus, we will develop a transportable process based on our efficient FIR technology able to produce organic fertilizer from manure using the gas generated during the process to produce the electricity needed for the whole process and reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and soil contamination when comparing with conventional management.
In the FS Irconfort identified specific technical and commercial barriers for ENFIR Unit commercialization during the prototype tests that have been solved thanks to the Technical Feasibility Study (TFS) by the identification of the best technological solutions to overcome each of them. During the TFS, Irconfort has defined the most appropriate technical characteristics of the equipment and configuration of the ENFIR unit that will be the starting point for the Phase 2 project. Process performance indicators and associated devices have been also defined to achieve the best control of the ENFIR unit using a specific Control Software developed through a SCADA system. Irconfort has defined the ENFIR pilot manufacturing process and internal/external validation plan of the two demo units for Phase 2. The detailed description done in the TFS of the manufacturing phases and tasks for the analysis of the scaling and modular production plan has allowed the identification of the main providers for each component and the identification of the main risks and best mitigation measures for them.
Thanks to the Commercial Feasibility Study (CFS) Irconfort has identified and quantified the potential and target market, as well as the key end-users for the ENFIR transportable unit. Thanks to the CFS, Irconfort concludes that market value and legal framework forecasts are very positive for ENFIR project commercialization success. Results of the CFS shows that 859 million tonnes of manure and 2,9 million tonnes of sewage sludge are available on the market for the ENFIR process. This figure corresponds to the target countries identified by Irconfort in its commercial strategy plan: Spain, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Colombia and Peru. During the CFS Irconfort has identified three types of end – users for the ENFIR process: 1) organic fertilizers companies, 2) livestock supplier and equipment for cattle, chicken and pigs companies and 3) waste and wastewater treatment companies. The survey done during the CFS shows an estimated number of end – users companies for ENFIR project of 1.797 in the established target countries (242 organic fertilizing companies, 278 livestock suppliers and equipment companies for cattle, chicken and pigs and 1.277 waste and wastewater treatment companies). Irconfort identified potential competitors in the CFS concluding that there is no company using FIR technology to dry livestock manure. After market investigation, no other competitor has been found since the three main competitors existing companies (VERBERNE, SEaB and PUXIN) offers solutions for the treatment of manure using thermal drying or anaerobic digestion systems. Irconfort has designed a commercial strategy and communication plan for ENFIR. In order to guarantee a successful commercial and communication plan, Irconfort has identified in the CFS the main risks and defined the best mitigation measures for the commercialization of ENFIR.
ENFIR process envisions being a competitive alternative to valorise livestock manure to produce pelletized compost with almost no energy consumption when comparing with traditional drying solutions. The main novelty of ENFIR process relies in the 30 % of energy saving compared to current methods of heating by steam, commonly used for manure valorisation. Also, another innovative concept is the transportability of the process, which will reduce the investment cost (only one plant for several farms), and open us new market opportunities (compost manufacturers will buy our solution in order to valorise the manure in situ, reducing shipping cost thanks to the volume reduction, if we compare the volume of manure with the volume of pelletized compost)
ENFIR process allows decreasing GHG emissions and soil contamination in an effective way, increasing customer’s incomes from recycling waste.
Dehydration tank of the ENFIR unit
Rotor blade axis (section and 3D) of the dehydration tank of the ENFIR unit