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Biomethane produced from cow manure in Viljandimaa will be used to generate electricity

Biomethane OÜ, a part of the Silikaat Group, has signed a contract with its Finnish partner Convion, the aim of which is to start selling a mobile power plant operating on a fuel cell in the Baltic countries. This is a globally unique technology.

The mobile power plant draws energy from biomethane produced from slurry at the Siimani farm in Koksvere village, Viljandimaa, which is globally unique and based on Europe's most modern technology. According to Ahto Oja, a member of the board of Biomethane, the mobile power plant powered by biomethane shows a completely new direction for the future of renewable energy. "Cow manure has been completely overlooked so far. However, it is one of the best natural sources of energy. The production of biomethane from slurry prevents the emission of 179 percent of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which would normally occur during the fermentation of manure in slurry tanks," Oja said.

The Convion C60 solid oxide fuel cell located in Koksvere is one of the first of its kind in the world, and the first mass production units are already starting work. While Oja says that the downside of wind and solar energy is that they cannot be controlled, the cogeneration plant can supply energy around the clock. "The electrical efficiency of the solid oxide fuel cell cogeneration plant is 60%, which is significantly higher compared to the typical 30-40% efficiency of conventional cogeneration plants. In addition to electrical energy, the device produces 25% heat energy, achieving a total efficiency of 85%. With the electricity coming from this device, we can cover a quarter of our electricity consumption around the clock. The Koksvere biomethane plant is capable of operating autonomously, solar panels are also in use, and there is a backup generator running on diesel."

The Siimani biomethane plant, which was completed in Koksvere village, Viljandimaa, at the beginning of 2018, is one of the most modern technology-based biomethane production stations in Europe, producing biomethane from cow manure, silage, and manure. The raw material for the biomethane plant is provided by the dairy cows of the Mangeni farm. 81,000 tons of slurry, 5,000 tons of solid manure, and 5,000 tons of silage are used each year. Biomethane OÜ is the first agricultural biomethane plant in the Baltics, with its production fully used in transportation. The construction of the plant cost over 6.3 million euros, of which 2.6 million was obtained as a grant from the Environmental Investment Center, and the rest was financed with private capital.

The Finnish company Convion is a leading solid oxide system technology company that develops and markets fuel cell and electrolyser systems. The Silikaat Group is an Estonian capital-based conglomerate with a 25-year history, which incorporates companies from various fields. The group includes 35 companies from agriculture, manufacturing, real estate development, and retail trade. The group's better-known companies include OÜ Järve Kaubanduskeskus, AS Silikaat, AS Aatrium Sisustuskaubamaja, natural mineral water producer Haage Joogid OÜ, agricultural companies OÜ Kõo Agro OÜ and OÜ Mangeni PM, and OÜ Biometaan, which produces transport fuel from renewable energy sources.

SOURCE: Biometaan OÜ
IMAGE SOURCE: Convion (image from Finland installation)