Food waste management company ReFood opened its first UK gas-to-grid anaerobic digestion plant in June 2014 – and is now generating enough biomethane to heat 10,000 homes a year, with the help of a Flogas propane enrichment solution.
The plant runs on feedstock made up of food waste from local sources and is used to generate high-quality biomethane.
This biomethane must be injected with propane to bring it up to a high enough standard for injecting into the national gas grid. Having heard about Flogas through specialist trade shows, ReFood approached the company for a bespoke solution.
Group Project Engineer, SARIA
The enrichment process works by adding a percentage of propane to the biomethane to increase its calorific value – altering its energy profile so that it matches that of natural gas. Finding an expert, reliable and cost-effective propane provider to meet the plant’s unique requirements was a key concern for the ReFood team when building the Widnes site.
Shane Murray, Group Project Engineer at SARIA (ReFood’s parent company), explains: “As the upgrading process and the technology needed to enable propane enrichment were new to us, it was crucial we had a partner we could really depend on to provide advice on our exact requirements, and to deliver what we needed within the challenging timescales available. We’d heard Flogas had a good reputation, so we decided to enlist the team’s expertise – and since then, we have not looked back.”
Greg Brown, National Account Manager at Flogas, says: “Propane enrichment is such a pivotal part of the gas-to-grid process, so it's critical to have an expert and reliable supplier. As well as actually providing the propane, we’re also very proud to have worked closely with ReFood to commission such a forward-thinking plant – one that will continue to minimise waste and deliver grid-ready biomethane for years to come.”
National Account Manager, Flogas
The Flogas project management team specified, designed and installed a complete propane injection system at ReFood’s Widnes plant. This is made up of a 22-tonne underground propane storage tank and a bespoke liquid propane injection kit.
As a key partner, Flogas supplies the plant with regular propane deliveries through its extensive nationwide LPG delivery network. When propane in the tank reaches an agreed level, an order is automatically generated by its in-built telemetry unit – making the whole process seamless, and providing ReFood with valuable peace of mind. The new plant is now fully operational, and delivered average monthly biomethane volumes of 782,000m3 throughout 2016, as well as earning regular RHI payments.