The two stainless-steel digesters in Aurora which will be fed with 100 tons of organic waste per day. (Source: Weltec Biopower GmbH)
After a preparation phase of two years, construction works started in October 2015. The energy produced thanks to the anaerobic digestion of organic waste will be used to run the sewage and recycled water treatment plants of one of Australia’s largest water supply and sewerage service companies, Yarra Valley Water. With the help of two new 530 kW engines, the enterprise will become energy self-sufficient at its location in Aurora and even feed surplus electricity into the grid.
“The purpose built Waste-to-Energy facility will provide an environmentally sustainable solution for commercial organic wastes, generating enough renewable energy to run the existing sewage and recycled water treatment plants, as well as other Yarra Valley Water facilities,” says Pat McCafferty, Managing Director of Yarra Valley Water.
The plant in Aurora will use 100 tons of organic waste per day. The spectrum of organic waste that will be fermented is broad: Besides cafeteria and restaurant waste, brewery and dairy leftovers, fats and oils, fruit and vegetable waste will be used, as well as sludge from the adjacent wastewater treatment plant. After digestion in one of the two containers with a volume of 3,573 m³ each, the substrate will first be sanitised and then buffered in another stainless-steel tank with a volume of 4,531 m³.
A special input-process will ensure uninterrupted supply for the biogas plant. Except for the loading process, the digestion is fully automated and the substrate is automatically pumped from the pre-storage tank to the digesters.
In view of the positive effects of this anaerobic digestion project, Weltec Biopower expects other investors in Australia to follow.