Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lighting a Biogas Fire Under Canadian Municipalities

About 12 years ago, we were at the stage of saying, "Holy Crap! Lookit all the free biogas they're making in China!

Now, 12 years later, we're at the stage of studying the implementation of this in Canada. A few biogas and composting plants are slated for the Montreal area: one each in Laval and Longueuil, and a few in Montreal.

One of the affected Longueuil "Agglomeration" cities, Brossard, is not on board with the $930,000 study, because they have not had a chance to review the preliminary report. Which is just weird.

The illustration above represents something like what the Longueuil facility will look like.

These plants are going to process table scraps and other organic material to produce methane gas which will be used in turn to generate electricity for sale to Hydro Quebec. Reports state that each of the Longueuil and Montreal (Ville d'Anjou) plants, estimated to cost about $30 million each, will process about 100,000 tons per year of scraps and organic material and produce 3.8 MW of power capacity, enough to supply the electrical needs of 2000 families.

Public information on these projects is scant. The numbers vary from report to report.

Considering that the principles of biogas digestion are basic enough that small scale units can be largely self-installed on any Chinese peasant's family farm, one wonders why so much studying is needed.

One also wonders why such comparatively small projects are being conceived. And, what about sewage? How much power could be generated with all the sewage that is produced in a large metropolitan area?

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