HighTech Finland › Energy & The Environment › All articles in this section   ›  Cleaner, greener, and more efficient

Energy Solutions
Working for a Better Environment
All articles in this section


Cleaner, greener, and more efficient

If you’ve got a problem with biowaste or wastewater, or are interested in biogas, Watrec could well have the solution you’re looking for – as its customers in industry, energy generation, waste treatment, and agriculture will tell you.

Watrec has been in the business of designing systems and providing expert services based around combining biological waste treatment methods with physical and chemical ones for the needs of industry, agriculture, and the municipal sector since 2003.

A Watrec biogas plant capable of processing in excess of 60,000 t/a of municipal and industrial waste, for example, will normally be more costeffective than competing solutions. If biogas can be utilised nearby, much smaller sizes are feasible, and plants with a gross energy output of 150-500 kW can be suitable for pig and dairy farms.

Generating biogas and producing highquality fertiliser and energy – in the form of electricity, heat, or motor fuel – has many advantages. Recovering methane from waste is a particularly useful way of helping combat global warming. As a closed system, the level of impact on the immediate environment is typically much smaller than that of many other waste management systems.

The company’s first biogas reference project, completed in 2005, was Finland’s first large-scale co-digestion plant and treats 120,000 t/a of organic by-products and waste from agriculture and industry, generating 4–5 MW of energy, converted into 1.5 MW of electricity.

Watrec began work on its latest biogas plant in spring 2009, and it will be the company’s first build, own, and operate (BOO) project. The majority of the gas, heat, and electricity generated by the VamBio plant, which will source part of its input by direct pipeline from two local pig farms, will be used locally, increasing the plant’s overall efficiency and benefit to the local community. Due to be commissioned in spring 2010, it will have an initial capacity of 60,000 t/a, with an option for increasing this to 80,000 t/a later.

Innovative wastewater treatment

Watrec offers state-of-the-art, cost-efficient technology for treating industrial wastewater and process water based on extensive practical experience and the latest scientific know-how. A range of laboratory and pilot-scale tests units is used to ensure that solutions meet customers’ needs.

The Membro® process, for example, has been specially designed to deal with wastewater containing high levels of ammonia and organics, and has been tested successfully in a full-scale anaerobic digestion facility. Its combination of biological and physical processes gives highly cost-efficient operation and excellent removal rates for ammonia, COD , solids, and phosphorus.

This plant at Vehmaa designed by Watrec has proved very successful in eliminating odour and improving the fertiliser potential of sludge from around 20 pig farms, while generating useful quantities of renewable energy.
> Juhani Suvilampi
(Published in HighTech Finland 2010)