Biogas wipptal employs unique technology for protecting bodies of water

Biogas plants process livestock wastes and liquid manure in a fermentation process to yield fertilizers; at the same time, they generate renewable energy. The over-fertilization of farmland can thus be avoided and precious groundwater protected. In contrast to other biogas companies, Biogas Wipptal purifies the water derived from the liquid manure by means of a unique reverse-osmosis system; the resultant water is so pure that it can be safely discharged into a nearby stream. The solids derived from the livestock wastes and liquid manure are fermented and used to produce certified organic fertilizer pellets and liquid fertilizer.

How the Wipptal biogas plant works

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In order to limit the global increase in temperature to 1.5 °C, no more than 355 gigatons of CO2 can be allowed to enter the atmosphere on a worldwide basis. That is an ambitious goal. At present rates, this CO2 budget will be exhausted in only eight years. The European Union has clearly announced its goal to promote decarbonization and supports Biogas Wipptal in its battle against CO2 released due to the burning of fossil fuels.

Ammonia is of great importance in various technical areas. Most ammonia is used for the manufacture of synthetic fertilizers. However, it is not widely known that the manufacture of ammonia is responsible for a significant portion of global CO2 emissions. Thus, for every ton of ammonia produced, approx. 1.9 tons of CO2 are released into the atmosphere. On a worldwide basis, ammonia production accounts for approx. 2% of total CO2 emissions. This corresponds to about 1,000,000,000 tons of CO2. For comparison: Global street traffic accounts for 1,200,000,000 tons.

With its organic fertilizers derived from natural sources, Biogas Wipptal can help reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers produced from ammonia. This yields a potential savings of up to 3,000,000 kg of CO2 annually.

The production of approx. 9,000 kg of organic LNG per day makes it possible to fuel about 100 trucks in a CO2-neutral fashion. The average truck is responsible for emissions of about 900 grams per km. Given a mean mileage of 100,000 km per year, this means that roughly 90,000 kg/year of CO2 are released into the atmosphere by each truck fuelled with fossil energy sources. Thus, one hundred trucks which switch to the use of organic LNG can avoid about 9,000,000 kg of CO2 emissions.

The regional production of natural carbon dioxide can also make a considerable contribution towards reducing CO2 emissions. Part of the carbon dioxide produced is converted into dry ice with a temperature of -79 °C. This makes it possible to use a new form of refrigerator trucks on a wholly natural basis. Especially in light of the introduction of new propulsion systems for trucks based on LNG and hydrogen, diesel refrigeration equipment is losing appeal. Dry ice guarantees an unbroken cooling chain on a natural basis, and is – in contrast to conventional refrigeration equipment – silent. The use of dry ice can help avoid CO2 emissions averaging about 6.5 kg per hour.

Given a fleet of 50 trucks employing dry ice refrigeration, this would yield approx. 40,000 kg lower CO2 emissions per year.

All in all, Biogas Wipptal has the capacity to reduce CO2 emissions by about 12,000,000 kg per year – chiefly in the agricultural sector and in transport.