Archive for March 2009
Local farmers could see some major cost savings from methane technology, but the biggest challenge is the price.
With larger projects carrying a price tag of about $1.5 million, the technology is not yet cost-effective for smaller uses. But a project could start to pay for itself through the disposal of organic waste and cutting back on landfill costs, while using the electricity and heat it generates to subsidize other expenses associated with farming.
Clare Riepma, president of St. Catharines-based Biogas Solutions, gave a rundown on the concept at the Walker House Museum last Thursday as a guest of the recently formed Municipality of Kincardine Environmental Advisory Committee.
Riepma outlined the benefits and advantages of anaerobic methane digester technology that has been established in Canada since 2006, but took off in Germany about 15 years ago.
“We’ve got our financial future staked on it,” said Riepma.
The technology uses a 250-kilowatt anaerobic (which means without oxygen) digester to produce enough methane to fuel an engine, which produces both heat and electricity as byproducts. The methane contained in the fuel usually goes to waste in a landfill or is emitted into the atmosphere.