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Uses for Glycerine By-Products Description

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  #1  
Old 05-13-2008, 11:44 PM
imported_Liamfm imported_Liamfm is offline
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Hi,
I'm working on using small amounts of glycerin in an anaerobic digester on a farm (cow poo) to help boost methane production for the generators.

I have a couple questions and wondered if people could point me in the right direction:

1) Does anyone know of this happening elsewhere in the country. If so do you have contacts at the farm who would speak to my local farm?

2) I want to leave the methanol in the glycol as I'm told it will help the bugs in the digester. Can anyone comment on this?

3) what is the time for breakdown of glycol. The current digesters are 21 days HRT (not sure what that stands for, but it's the time to break down the matter I think). We have information saying that glycerin is 40 days to break down. Can anyone offer any help on this?


Sorry for such random questions. I hope to find a new home for my 110 gallons of Glycerin made from KOH.

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-13-2008, 11:44 PM
imported_Liamfm imported_Liamfm is offline
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Hi,
I'm working on using small amounts of glycerin in an anaerobic digester on a farm (cow poo) to help boost methane production for the generators.

I have a couple questions and wondered if people could point me in the right direction:

1) Does anyone know of this happening elsewhere in the country. If so do you have contacts at the farm who would speak to my local farm?

2) I want to leave the methanol in the glycol as I'm told it will help the bugs in the digester. Can anyone comment on this?

3) what is the time for breakdown of glycol. The current digesters are 21 days HRT (not sure what that stands for, but it's the time to break down the matter I think). We have information saying that glycerin is 40 days to break down. Can anyone offer any help on this?


Sorry for such random questions. I hope to find a new home for my 110 gallons of Glycerin made from KOH.

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-13-2008, 11:56 PM
Legal Eagle Legal Eagle is offline
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Click on the link.
Graydon send his to a water treatment plant (same idea) so maybe he'll chime in with some info.
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Old 05-13-2008, 11:56 PM
imported_ebztz imported_ebztz is offline
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We are now using this option after extensive research. As such, I've spoken with two engineering firms.

The first designs "plug flow" manure digesters for dairies. They stated that they would not be able to accept byproduct containing more than 10% methanol, but the glycerol wasn't a problem.

The second group designs and maintains municipal waste treatment facilities. Methanol was a good thing in their digesters.

I've been told the difference between these two different digester types is mixing, but this is not a matter of fact.

We were required to have COD and BOD5 testing done to dispose of our glycerin in a waste treatment facility. The dairy guys asked for TVS and TVFA tests in addition.

Aside, keep receipts (i.e., bill of lading) for the quantities and waste types you dump. A paper trail helps if the authorities even come knocking.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:01 AM
imported_Liamfm imported_Liamfm is offline
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Erik,
Would you be willing to write up a short paragraph explaining how you have provided Glycerin for manure digesters on Dairy farms? That's exactly what we want to do. Any first hand knowledge from either the Glycerin source or better from the farm using it would be great. Even a "Yeah, we've been giving xx gallons per month to a digester that digests xxx gallons each month. Production was not affected (or was?)... etc".

I'm in need of convincing one of the largest dairy farms that this will only be a benefit to them.

Thanks so much for your help - anything you can provide is great.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:45 AM
trtmntdude trtmntdude is offline
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Liamfm ,
I am a "A" licensed wastewater treatment plant operator in the field for 10 years. I may have been the one who brought up the idea for disposal of methanol-laden glycerin at wastewater plant in the first place some time ago. It is a great way to dispose of the by-product and serves a second purpose in that it provides an additional food source (methanol) for the microorganisms without adding to the population in the digester.
Therefor the bugs do more "work" and are able to digest the sludge in the digester more thoroughly.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:55 AM
imported_ebztz imported_ebztz is offline
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Liam,

We went the municipal digester route, not the dairy route. Methanol recovery is planned, but since we don't do it yet, the dairy can't accept our byproduct (way too much methanol).

The best thing I can recommend is to find a local digester and contact the operator. You may even get offered a small sum for your byproduct (aka, digester substrate).
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:12 PM
producer producer is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by trtmntdude:
. . . it provides an additional food source (methanol) for the microorganisms without adding to the population in the digester.
. . . </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The amount of food energy fed to the digester (all other factors equal) dictates the bacterial growth rates and population.

Glycerol and methanol provide almost "pure" energy (food) to the bacteria in the digesters with very, very little inert material.

The bacteria feed on any food source. If bacteria have adequate food in a "growth friendly" environment, then they will grow, i.e. "add to the poopulation". There is very little build up of inert, non-biodegradable solids from glycerol and methanol food sources compared to the amount of inerts associated with the same amount of food energy from normal sources. The build up on non-biodegradable solids dictates how often the digester must be drained and mass of solids that must be removed and disposed.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:25 PM
Ryan P. Ryan P. is offline
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I know there are home versions of these digesters too...if somebody has a link to a couple, could you throw them up?
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:52 PM
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The environment inside an anaerobic digester is, well, rather fragile.

Bacteria are single cell organism that only know how to do three things: grow, die, become dormant. Bacteria grow or die based on the environment in which they are located. The environment that is established for their growth dictates which bacteria grow and proliferate. Aerobic bacteria require oxygen to grow, anaerobic bacteria grow in the absences of oxygen.

In simple terms there are a couple of different bacteria that must be present for an anaerobic digester to work properly. The type of bacteria that grow are the result of the environment that is created for them by the designer, builder, and operator of the digester. Once the environment has been establish the correct bacteria will grow.

The two main bacteria to be found in an anaerobic digester are the "acid formers" and the "methane formers".

The acid formers are the first to attack the "food" as it is pumped into the digester. As the acid formers begin "feeding" on any new food added to the digester, they produce acid. Here is the first tricky part, if fed too much at one time, then they produce enough acid to kill the other bacteria also in the digester.

So, a digester should be sized for the amount of food to be digested, and the food should be fed in small doses over long periods. Controlled feeding limits the acid concentration to non-harmful levels.

The methane formers spring into action and feed on the acid former's waste products. The methane formers work best at elevated temperatures. If they don't get a relative steady supply of food, then they will die out or proliferate based on too little or too much food. The methane formers produce methane gas.

The inert material must be periodically drained from the digester so the digester always has enough room for the "bugs" and the food. A digester that includes mechanical mixing in its design almost always works more efficiently than one that does not.

The size of the digester must be relatively large for the amount of "food" that is digested. Therefore, the use of highly concentrated food sources such as settled solids from waste treatment operations, glycerol, and methanol are preferred food sources to feed into a digester. The energy to volume ratio of these food sources is very high. Conversely, it would take a very large digester to treat the wash water from biodiesel washing. All the water just takes up space and adds nothing to the reaction.

As stated earlier this is a simple explanation, but if you are not very familiar with the operation of an anaerobic digester, then maybe this information will be of some value to you.
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:16 PM
trtmntdude trtmntdude is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by producer:
[quote]Originally posted by trtmntdude:
. . . it provides an additional food source (methanol) for the microorganisms without adding to the population in the digester.
. . . </div></BLOCKQUOTE>



The bacteria feed on any food source. If bacteria have adequate food in a "growth friendly" environment, then they will grow, i.e. "add to the poopulation". QUOTE]
By "adding to the population" i meant that you are not introducing anymore microorganisms to the digester as if you were wasting from your clarifier (stay with me here). Now you state that the cells multiply and add to the poopulation which is true up to a point and in an aeration tank with a constant flow of b.o.d. would increase your MLSS. Not so in any type of digester (aerobic or anaerobic) where the purpose is to break down the sludge to its most basic form due to the fact that the microorganisms do not have enough food introduced to support the whole population. Thus some of the cells die (becoming food for the others after lycing of the cell) and eventually they would all die and you would have ash left.
Sooooo...the average home brewer would not in my opinion be able to upset the "fragile environment" of a digester with small amounts they would be introducing.
And you didn't spend any time on acid/alkalinity ratio which is the single most important parameter in a anaerobic digester. Other than that not bad.
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:27 PM
trtmntdude trtmntdude is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ryan P.:
I know there are home versions of these digesters too...if somebody has a link to a couple, could you throw them up? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Look up Septic Tanks
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:42 PM
producer producer is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by trtmntdude:
By "adding to the population" i meant that you are not introducing anymore microorganisms to the digester as if you were wasting from your clarifier (stay with me here). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If the solids you are adding to the digester are from a primary clarifier, then there will be, virtually, no new bacteria added to the digester. As you know the primary clarifier is to accumulate and concentrate the settleable solids.

Primary solids consists of a host of materials that make it past the grit removal chamber including, but not limited to: turds, vegetable parts, grease balls, hair, condoms, swizzle sticks, paper products, etc. Biological degradation of these items occurs in the digester.

The solids from the secondary clarifier are, virtually, 100% settled bacteria solids. Whether produced in a trickling filter, RBC, activated sludge (normal aeration or pure O2 systems) or other type system these solids are also added to the anaerobic digester.

Even though you add to the digester a form of bacteria from the settled solids collected in the secondary clarifier, these organisms are anaerobic, they are not aerobic. They become food to the anaerobic digester bacteria. So, I don't think of these microorganisms as "adding to the population", just food.

Conditions arise occasionally where anaerobic bacteria begin to form in the primary and secondary solids. This is usually the result of poor operational practices. The sludge draw off frequency and/or the draw off rate from the clarifier should be increased to remove the solids before they "go septic". Septic conditions create really obnoxious (I know this is relative term as it applies to a waste water treatment plant) and neighbors start to complain.
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:35 PM
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Look up Septic Tanks </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

...and I found Sintex.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Sintex Industries, a plastics and textiles manufacturer in Gujarat, India, is betting it can find profit in human waste. Its new biogas digester turns human excrement, cow dung, or kitchen garbage into fuel that can be used for cooking or generating electricity...

A one-cubic-meter digester, primed with cow dung to provide bacteria, can convert the waste generated by a four-person family into enough gas to cook all its meals and provide sludge for fertilizer. A model this size costs about $425 but will pay for itself in energy savings in less than two years. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not currently even listed on their website as a product, or likely even available in the USA, but at only $425 with a 24 month ROI...seems pretty cool.
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:52 PM
trtmntdude trtmntdude is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by producer:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by trtmntdude:
By "adding to the population" i meant that you are not introducing anymore microorganisms to the digester as if you were wasting from your clarifier (stay with me here). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If the solids you are adding to the digester are from a primary clarifier, then there will be, virtually, no new bacteria added to the digester. As you know the primary clarifier is to accumulate and concentrate the settleable solids.

Primary solids consists of a host of materials that make it past the grit removal chamber including, but not limited to: turds, vegetable parts, grease balls, hair, condoms, swizzle sticks, paper products, etc. Biological degradation of these items occurs in the digester.

The solids from the secondary clarifier are, virtually, 100% settled bacteria solids. Whether produced in a trickling filter, RBC, activated sludge (normal aeration or pure O2 systems) or other type system these solids are also added to the anaerobic digester.

Even though you add to the digester a form of bacteria from the settled solids collected in the secondary clarifier, these organisms are anaerobic, they are not aerobic. They become food to the anaerobic digester bacteria. So, I don't think of these microorganisms as "adding to the population", just food.

Conditions arise occasionally where anaerobic bacteria begin to form in the primary and secondary solids. This is usually the result of poor operational practices. The sludge draw off frequency and/or the draw off rate from the clarifier should be increased to remove the solids before they "go septic". Septic conditions create really obnoxious (I know this is relative term as it applies to a waste water treatment plant) and neighbors start to complain. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

are you an engineer?
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:56 PM
trtmntdude trtmntdude is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">They become food to the anaerobic digester bacteria. So, I don't think of these microorganisms as "adding to the population", just food. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
After a while they ALL become food
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:47 AM
Legal Eagle Legal Eagle is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ryan P.:
I know there are home versions of these digesters too...if somebody has a link to a couple, could you throw them up? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

1- http://www.re-energy.ca/t-i_biomassbuild-1.shtml
2- http://www.ecohouse.co.nz/
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Old 05-16-2008, 02:03 AM
trtmntdude trtmntdude is offline
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man! someone took a septic tank and called it a "biogas generator" what'll they think of next.
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Old 06-11-2008, 03:09 AM
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Hi Gang,

There is a small scale biogas forum to be found at www.biorealis.com

I've started a glycerol digestion discussion over there. Stay tuned, we are working on some bench scale experiments this summer!
Cheers,
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:26 PM
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by farmer:
Hi Gang,

There is a small scale biogas forum to be found at www.biorealis.com

I've started a glycerol digestion discussion over there. Stay tuned, we are working on some bench scale experiments this summer!
Cheers,
Farmer </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Look forward to following your progress. I'm looking to do something on a domestic scale.

Cheers

Nick
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