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Biogas Plants Use Sugar-Beet Slices

16 January 2013

SLOVAKIA - Sugar-beet residue is being used to power two of of EnviTec Biogas AG's flagship biogas plants close to Bratislava.

The sugar-beet residue makes up two-thirds of the input material that is fed into the 1-MW plants, while the remaining third consists of maize silage and manure.

Both plants were designed to run on an input mixture consisting purely of corn and manure. This was the input material that was used to activate the plants.

Thanks to the flexible input-technology of the EnviTec plants, ‘adapting’ them for an alternative input material was no problem.

"Alternative input materials such as sugar-beet slices are interesting with respect to every single market, as they reduce the raw material costs," according to Christian Ernst, who is a sales manager at the industry leader from the town of Lohne in Niedersachsen.

The two biogas plants in Slovakia have been using this input-mixture to operate in a stable manner since 2011. Against the backdrop of the fact that the current year is scheduled to see the introduction of new feed-in tariffs in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the flexibility of the input material represented tremendous foresight on the part of EnviTec: In this case, the legislative authority expects a co-fermentation process to be in play from 2013 onwards, which could be realised through the addition of production residue and off-specification batches from food industries.

The sugar-beet is taking on even greater significance as an input material for biogas production in the German market.

Consequently, some of EnviTec Biogas’s clients operate facilities that run on input materials in which sugar-beets represent a share of 25 per cent.

The edible root speeds up the fermentation process and thanks to its high sugar content, it degrades faster than conventional input materials.

TheCropSite News Desk

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