Viessmann Group, BIOFerm selected for Canadian AD project

By Whitney Beadle, BioFerm Energy Systems | July 08, 2015

Viessmann Group/BIOFerm Energy Systems’ high solids anaerobic digestion technology was selected by the city of Edmonton and The University of Alberta for its new anaerobic digestion facility. This technology will help extract energy from the city’s organic waste.

“Sustainable credentials and the future of municipal organics recycling and composting are continuously demonstrated by the city of Edmonton through green investments in its community and citizens,” says Nadeem Afghan, president and CEO of BIOFerm Energy Systems. “The city’s highly-skilled professionals are committed to ensuring a successful project for all involved, and the Viessmann Group/BIOFerm is proud to be part of this excellent team.”

Selection of the technology vendor represents the first part of the overall capital project to be located at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre. The city is currently in the process of selecting a contractor for construction of the facility, which is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2016 and operational by the third quarter of 2017.

“This high solids anaerobic digestion facility is expected to annually produce over 1 megawatt of renewable electricity and 40,000 gigajoules of renewable heat, along with quality compost from approximately 40,000 tonnes per year of Edmonton’s organic waste,” says Christian Felske, technical specialist with the city of Edmonton’s Waste Management Services. “Once fully operational, the digester will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 42,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.”

Facility design allows organic material to be loaded into the digester’s eight fermentation chambers where it remains stationary during the anaerobic digestion process. A robust biofilter removes odours emitted during digestion and prevents them from entering the atmosphere.

$10 million in funding has been committed to this project from the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation. The CCEMC mandate is to establish or participate in funding for initiatives that reduce emissions of greenhouse gases or improve Alberta’s ability to adapt to climate change.

This project is a partnership between the city of Edmonton and the University of Alberta; it supports the city’s 90 percent diversion goal of residential waste from landfill and will allow both partners to continue reducing greenhouse emissions from their activities. The University of Alberta will supply 1,500 metric tons of organic material to the digester annually to further increase waste diversion from campus.

“Deploying state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion technology in Edmonton will create a model for municipalities throughout North America, enabling them to implement community-based organics solutions that fit well within their existing tipping fee infrastructure,” says Afghan.

As pioneers in the biogas industry, Viessmann Group/BIOFerm was the first to deploy commercial-scale high solids anaerobic digestion technology in North America at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2011. Today, the company has over 400 anaerobic digester installations worldwide.