Biokraft’s biogas production made more sustainable with evaporation

Partnership stories Industries

The world’s largest site for liquified biogas production is operated by the Norwegian company Biokraft and the factory is located in outside of Trondheim. Today, their production replaces the use of fossil fuels which equals a saving in carbon dioxide emissions of 30,000 tonnes per year.

As Adven is evaporating the reject water from Biokraft’s production, the business is becoming even more circular. It means that Biokraft in an effective way can recover valuable nutrients in their waste streams that can be reused as fertilizers for farming.

Biokraft’s plant in Skogn outside of Trondheim was completed in 2017 next to Norske Skog’s paper and pulp plant, with which Biokraft has important exchanges of raw materials. In 2016, Biokraft and Adven signed an agreement on the delivery of “evaporation as a service” and Adven’s evaporation plant was taken in use in 2018.

Terje Hyldmo is Manager, Commercial and Business Development at Biokraft and his tasks include identifying innovative and profitable development opportunities, sometimes through new partner agreements. The need for evaporation was already clear when planning the biogas plant.

“One of the reasons why we chose Adven as our partner in evaporation was that they supply the solution as a service,” says Terje. They bear full responsibility for the maintenance and remote controlling of the plant, which creates security for us. This could prove all the more important if we were to expand the plant and end up having even more on our plates. Another important advantage was the flexibility Adven offers in case we need to increase the production capacity, which we shortly will.”

Towards a green and circular Norway

From day one, Biokraft’s philosophy has been to be part of the green shift in Norway and the transformation towards a new circular economy.

“The starting point for our business model is to utilise residual waste with a high energy value and limited alternative application areas from, for example, the fishing, meat and food industries,” Terje explains.

Biokraft processes the waste into biogas which is then treated and refined into a bio-based liquefied fuel that can be used in the heavy transport industry. Today, the volume of replaced fossil fuels brings emissions savings of 30,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year.

Collaboration increases circular business and makes it profitable

Partnering with Adven means that Biokraft can make efficient use of its own waste. Biogas production generates large volumes of reject water – around 160,000 cubic metres per year in Biokraft’s case. The liquid contains phosphorus, nitrogen and other nutrients which can be used as fertilisers in agriculture. Adven’s evaporation solution is based on mechanical vapour recompression (MVR) technology, which is a considerably more energy efficient way of removing water from concentrated liquids than traditional methods.

“Evaporation is critical for us to be able to utilise the nutrients contained in our reject waters. Adven’s evaporation solution removes some 90 per cent of the water, which makes the fertiliser cost-effective to transport and easier for farmers to handle. In terms of environmental benefits, we are currently analysing the impact of using bio-fertilisers instead of artificial fertilisers,” Terje says.

Biokraft has a number of research and development projects underway and is excited about the future as demand for bio-based fuels is constantly growing.

If we ever build new plants in other locations in Norway, we will definitely look into the possibility of having Adven as a supplier, not only for evaporation but also for other energy and water-related services that can prove necessary in future.

Terje Hyldmo
Manager, Commercial and Business Development at Biokraft