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Title: Improving the effectiveness of biogas purification process by control system on the low-cost design of middle-capacity

biogas plant By: Rayendra Anandika, S.T.

1. Introduction Biogas is the result of the anaerobic process of organic waste material containing methane gas as much as 40-70%. Therefore it can be utilized for biogas renewable energy sources; even it is also capable of reducing the occurrence of methane as a greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. Mostly, biogas is mixed with methane (CH 4) and carbon dioxide (CO 2). It is the renewal energy that is used to replace firewood, charcoal, oil, liquid petroleum gas, etc. It is also able to apply to cooking gas directly as same as liquid petroleum gas. This is more convenience for usability than using firewood or charcoal without smoke and ash. The biogas can be applied to use in lamps or electric generators for light generation. It is also used to generate heat and applied to use with all kind of engine instead of oil. The biogas that is used for fuel energy must contain more than 50% of methane. Purification is one step of the biogas treatment to clean biogas from undesired substances, like: CO2, H2O, H2S, etc. Purification of biogas is needed to answer the question how to explore the usage of biogas so it can be used for cooking, for electricity, or for vehicle engine. Biogas cleaning is important for two reasons, (1) to increase the heating value of biogas, and (2) to meet requirements for some gas appliances (engines, boilers, fuel cells, vehicles, etc) [1]. There are some methods which are frequently used for biogas purification, there are: chemical absorption, high pressure water scrubbing, pressure swing adsorption, cryogenic separation, and membrane separation. In some method, the compressing and thermal managing is important to reach the most effective process of purification. It is aimed to get the methaneenriched gas in the outlet. Unfortunately, investment to explore this biogas for use to the community is still very expensive. Here, each technique is compared on financial feasibility, impact on the environment and ease of operating the process. Furthermore, each technique has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Table 1 gives an overview of the costs, yield and purity of each technique [2]:

intended to gain control model in the process of biogas treatment system. In simple terms.050 U$ Dollar. especially for the people of developing countries where economic conditions do not allow for them to provide high investment to build a biogas plant as a whole. this innovation is still only just become mere ideals. Also this technique gives quite high yield and purity. engineering materials. This became a new problem for the world community. Thus the results of this study. The background of this research is the high price that is needed in making the biogas plant as a whole. So therefore. Because of this.Table 1 shows that high pressure water scrubbing seems to be the cheapest technique to upgrade biogas. the design of biogas purification process while maintaining . it will be difficult owned or constructed by the society. but still use the controls that streamline the process is really needed. and optimization functions of this treatment process control system. the nominal value of this investment. The design of the biogas plant which is much simpler. part design.000. While Boateng [3] confirm on his paper that the investment for biogas purification using water scrubbing method are cost 28. especially on biogas purification phase. With this research. Cryogenics is the most expensive way of upgrading biogas but it gives the highest possible yield. especially from developing countries. Then. this work applied in Ghana. because they could not properly applied because the value of investment is expensive. this work applied in Netherland. based on Hullu [2] the detail investment spend of high pressure water scrubbing need total investment for the whole process of biogas plant using regenerative circulation about € 110. it requires innovation which is cheaper. This idea will be achieved by performing engineering and planning on variable kinds of materials. but still has the quality of results that are not much different from the kinds of methods mentioned above.

the performance of purification process that remains effective. there are two advantages compared to working at atmospheric pressure. so it makes this research is so essential. Literature Study In the scrubbing method of biogas purification. The developed scrubbing system is able to remove CO2 from raw biogas when pressurized raw biogas was fed into the packed bed scrubbing column and pressurized water is sprayed from top in counter-current action. Indonesia has 50 GW of biogas potency. the high pressure increases the dissolubility of gases in water. by using adequate control systems. Particular study of low-cost biogas which was applied to the rural citizen in Indonesia also has been conducted by Anandika [5]. Then. This results in a lower required amount of water per amount of biogas. 2. the column is usually filled with a packing material [2]. but unfortunately there are still 445 MW explored until now [4]. Indonesia is a country with huge potency of biogas. The technology ensures sustainable development and energy security with employment generation in rural areas using cattle dung and biomass. the research can be so useful for Indonesian people because the potency of biogas in here is very high. To ensure a high transfer surface for gas liquid contact. It can be applied for the optimizing of the biogas’s potency. water is sprayed from the top of the column so that it flows down counter-current to the gas. . Then. The total amount of water required will thus be a lot lower [2]. when working at high pressure. The design of water scrubbing system depends on the solubility of carbon dioxide in water as solubility is governed by pressure and temperature as given in Table 2. In the scrubber vessel. It is clear from table that as the pressure increases solubility of CO2 in water increases but decreases as temperature increases. The main advantage is that the dissolubility increases when the pressure is higher.

the optimum pH for growth of Thiobacillus denitrificans is 6. the pH depends on the amount of H2S and CO2 that has been dissolved into water. However. CO2 will dissolve less and the H2S will dissolve less. According to Kelly and Wood [8]. In an experiment conducted by Vijay. the stripping process (in regenerative process) becomes more difficult and acid water damages equipment. a low pH is not feasible because the H2S removal is important. At higher pressures the increase of dissolubility becomes lower.0 MPa gas pressure. the difference of this research is to use a method of monitoring pH so that the budget expenditures can be saved by a lot. it can be concluded that the removal of H2S from biogas was . At a pH of 1. who reported that 1. Up to a pressure of 20 bars the dissolubility can be described according to Henry’s law. Furthermore. Working at a high pH is unfeasible as well because sulphur and carbonate ions will precipitate.8-7. Another important factor for the dissolubility of the components in water is the pH. Approximate Solubility of CO2 in water It has also been found that. At this pH value.0 MPa pressure for inlet gas can give more than 90 % CH4 enrichment in biogas [7].e. the percentage absorption of carbon dioxide is increased with increase in gas pressure for all gas flow rates. the dissolubility of H2S is only half of the dissolubility at a pH of 7. These calculations are based on the ideal situation so non idealities should be taken into account in the design of a scrubber. This is in agreement with Wellinger & Lindberg [6]. while the price of the tool is quite expensive. It is best to work at a pH of 7 [2]. Therefore.4.Table 2. When the pH is decreased. they use the monitoring of CO2 levels in the stream water. Therefore. an auto-buffering effect was itself achieved and no further pH adjustment was necessary over long term operation (i. Water becomes more acid when more H2S and CO2 are absorbed. Immediately after start-up. when higher pressures are reached. months) using the same solution. the dissolubility of the components will no longer linearly increase with the pressure. but monitoring the condition of the gas produced using chromatograph. The highest absorption (99 %) was observed at 1.

Objectives of Collaboration The proposed research has some objectives mentioned below: a. Actually. biogas’s flow rate and biochemical properties of shrimp culture sediment [10]. To provide a new alternative design of biogas plant especially for rural society with low investing capability. This mathematical model was compared to the experimental data. The system is recommended to establish rural entrepreneurship for the effective utilization of local biomass resources for production of biogas energy in decentralized manner and sustainable rural development [7]. b. Overall. namely the bioreaction’s kinetics [11]. absorption of H2S from gas in solution at higher pH). The composition of the nutrient solution was checked daily [9]. the control of bioreactors is a delicate problem since most of the time the available biological models are only rough approximations. pH. Parameters identification is a very important step in building a dynamical model which fairly represents the biological reactions in an anaerobic fermentor and designing the control system [12]. the study revealed that biogas enrichment and compression system is a profitable venture for rural areas due to availability of large quantity of cattle dung. 3. The method of system identification and applies an artificial intelligence to estimate the mathematical model of anaerobic digestion with shrimp pond sediments in the biogas process which is a batch reaction was conducted by Srisertpol [10].g. c. including temperature. Indeed. The biological lacks of knowledge are located in dedicated terms. To build control system in the biogas purification which yield good quality of richmethane biogas although with low budget. To search design of biogas purification using scrubbing method but in a low budget and less feature.mainly due to biological processes and not as a result of other physical/chemical processes (e. biological systems are known to be highly variable and difficult to measure so that no reliable biological law is available. . The equations is one stage nonlinear caused by the reaction of organic substances that are decomposed into biogas. A way to circumvent this difficulty is the mass-balance based modeling.

In the flash vessel the pressure is decreased and some traces of CH 4 will be regenerated. The main parts of the process are shown in Figure 1. In high pressure water scrubbing. Here is the scheme / flow diagram of the whole biogas plant using scrubbing method for the purification. Then. Figure 1. water is sprayed from the top of the column so that it flows down counter-current to the gas. Water scrubbing can be used to remove CO2 and H2S from biogas since these components are more soluble in water than in CH4. Process flow diagram for high pressure water scrubbing Water scrubbing is a technique based on the physical effect of gases dissolving in liquids. In the stripper the washing water is regenerated. the column is usually filled with a packing material. 4. To ensure a high transfer surface for gas liquid contact. To analyze to effectiveness of the design’s performance. This absorption process is a fully physical process. so we will try to create a simpler biogas purification system using scrubbing method. the design is applied for the middle scale of biogas plant. gas enters the scrubber at high pressure.d. . This high pressure increases the dissolubility of gases in water. CO 2 and H 2 S are stripped by air in this vessel. Explanation of Experimental Apparatus and Procedure To accomplish the research objectives.

Hence it can improve the solubility of the gas. But. it is common to detect the composition of yield gas and the raw biogas. there are two advantages compared to working at atmospheric pressure. a low pH is not feasible because the H2S removal is important. It will be done to ensure a high transfer surface for gas liquid contacts. Therefore. CO2 and H2S. There also will be packed material in the scrubber. Working at a high pH is unfeasible as well because sulphur and carbonate ions will . Then the monitoring used to adjust the flow rate and pressure of the process. The dimension and material of the vessel will be conduct later based on the initial setup of the experiment. Another important factor for the dissolubility of the components in water is the pH. The driving force behind the regenerating process is the concentration difference between the oversaturated concentration and the equilibrium concentration. The main advantage is that the dissolubility increases when the pressure is higher. the pH depends on the amount of H2S and CO2 that has been dissolved into water. When working at high pressure. Water becomes more acid when more H2S and CO2 are absorbed. There will be two kinds of sensor for monitoring pressure and pH value. CO2 will dissolve less and the H2S will dissolve less. Furthermore. the obtained CH 4 purity can reach 98% using this process and yields can achieved up to 94%. This results in a lower required amount of water per amount of biogas. the dissolubility of H2S is only half of the dissolubility at a pH of 7. Also. To locate the sensor for process monitoring. The total amount of water required will thus be a lot lower. With this being as high as possible. At a pH of 1. Experimental apparatus and procedure: It will concern more in the part of detail purification and control of the process by the control system using lower cost device. the speed of the process will be highest. the washing water is oversaturated at atmospheric pressure so regenerating will be a lot faster.After a drying step. The scheme of low-cost biogas purification using water scrubbing method depict in Figure 2. but still can yield a good accuracy in monitoring and controlling. When the pH is decreased. this is hard to provide the device for detecting the composition of biogas (Chromatograph). the stripping process becomes more difficult and acid water damages equipment.

8 [12]. Ph meter is much cheaper then chromatograph. The optimum pressure value for the . hence the flow rate of the water scrubber also will be decreased. hence the flow rate of raw biogas will be decreased. It is best to work at a pH of 7. it can be happened because of the amount of CO2 and H2S is over in the vessel. the sensor will be located to monitoring Ph value and also pressure value. It will be done to control the pressure valve release the biogas from the vessel. In this research it will be proposed to using Ph monitoring to adjust the control for the process. Pure biogas (result) Pressure sensor Ph meter Water Scrubber Packed material Raw biogas Compressor Ph meter Stream water Figure 2. When Ph of the output of the scrubber is less than 6 or in acid condition. Diagrammatic illustration of the experiment apparatus to conduct the effectiveness of the control system working. Pressure sensor also is used to monitoring the pressure in the vessel.precipitate. and also for the pressure valve on the both outlet of the scrubber column. So.3-7. And for the opponent. Then the actuator will control the compressor for both on the input of raw biogas and the solvent. when the output of the scrubber has higher pH. The ideal pH value of the scrubbing process is around 6. more than 8 or balsa situation.

dimension and devices / tool which used for the biogas purification (3) Design of mathematical modeling and its control system (4) Scientific publications in International Conferences and Journal papers. Next. Development. From the activities explained on the table. . Parts of the biogas purifier which can be replaced with other cheaper material such as vessel and its dimension of diameter ad height which influences the scrubbing effectiveness. system. devices/tools. the suitable test of closure models on them will be conducted In order to get the performance of effective design compared to the other design with higher-cost budget Scientific publications in International Conferences and Journal papers. The planned activities for the study extensively listed below. (1) Design of the whole low cost biogas plant using its biogas purifier. Concretely. optimization of the design of biogas purifier in material selection and its dimension (diameter and height of the vessel of scrubbing) Developing of mathematical modeling and control system of the process Simulation software of the experiment in order to verify and validate the data. material. and flow process to get the low-cost design of biogas purification for the middle-capacity biogas plant. the time schedule of the proposed research is shown in the Table 3. Then. (2) Optimum combination of the material selection. Research Plan for Respective Year Extensive design series were conducted in Toyohashi University of Technology to explain the choosing of design. To reach the lower-cost design of biogas purification. material selection also will be done. mathematical modeling of this process will be conducted to predict the experimental result and to confirm the precision of the control system working. 5.scrubbing process also will be investigated. the expected outputs are as follows.

Biogas Utilization and Cleanup. P. S. optimization of material selection for the scrubbing design Development of mathematical modeling and control system Simulation software of the experiment Comparing the result and evaluation Scientific Publications Master thesis 1st Year 2nd Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Reference [1] Frazier. 2010. . Ndegwa. No Activity Define of Research Concept & Target Study of the basic of control system due to biogas application Development.Table 3. R. Cooperative Extension System.org. Research Project Schedule. Extention..

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