Energy for IFF Group for enzyme production, and heat for the Hanko district heating network

IFF Health & Biosciences plant in Hanko on the south coast of Finland has been Adven’s long-term customer; Adven has been the plant’s energy supplier since 1999. Adven also recovers waste heat that is fed into Hanko’s district heating network. Adven is also planning to build a biogas plant next to the plant. Biogas plant will contribute to the circular economy in the area in many ways. 

IFF Health & Biosciences plant in Hanko plant produces a variety of sustainable enzyme products for Home & Personal Care and Animal Nutrition markets by fermentation, recovery and formulation.

“Adven supplies energy as a service for IFF Group’s Hanko plant. We ensure uninterrupted steam production with 24/7 monitoring and regular maintenance. The operational centre is located in Vantaa, but the plant operators are local, so help is always close by if needed,” says Adven’s Account Manager Jussi Hirvonen.

Local residents benefit from waste heat

Adven also operates a district heating network of about 21 kilometres in Hanko area. District heating is used, for instance, by other local industries, municipal service providers like the town hall, waterworks, fire station, health centre and many other city real estate and private customers. District heating in Hanko area is produced with domestic wood chips and by utilizing waste heat.

In practice, Adven cools the equipment of the IFF Group’s plant and utilizes the waste heat generated in the process in Hanko’s district heating network. Currently, seven per cent of the district heating is produced from waste heat.

“Waste heat is generated primarily from exhaust steam and the condensing heat of forced air cooling. The excess heat is fed into the Hanko district heating network, which Adven maintains and is in charge of,” explains Hirvonen.

Biogas and fertilisers from side streams

Adven has also developed a new kind of solution for Hanko, with which it will be possible in the future to produce biogas from nitrogen-rich biomass. Adven is planning to build a plant in Hanko that will produce biogas from the side streams of the IFF group’s plant in Hanko and of the industrial wastewater treatment plant, Hangon Puhdistamo Oy. Adven has received a renewable energy support from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland for its investment in the biogas construction project.

“Our main raw materials in the fermentation process are from agriculture. The nutrients we use in our process are similar to the ones used in fertilizers in agriculture. One can envision a big picture where we receive raw materials from agriculture, use our process to produce enzymes and then supply the organic side streams into Adven’s biogas plant to be turned into energy – and nutrient rich soil. It’s an appealing concept to produce enzymes that e.g., enable us to wash our clothes at 20˚C, thus saving energy, and at the same time be able to locally convert the side streams to energy and soil – which can then be used again in agriculture where our main raw materials come from”, says Stefan Ekbom, Plant Manager at the IFF Nutrition & Biosciences plant in Hanko.

The biogas plant is planned to start up operations in 2023. Adven will be responsible for the plant’s operation and remote monitoring. Biogas production will significantly reinforce circular economy in the Hanko area. Biogas is not only excellent fuel for gas-powered cars, but also a source of heat and electricity. In Hanko, the thermal energy from the biogas will be fed into Hanko’s district heating network and it is estimated to cover roughly 20 per cent of the network’s heating needs from 2023 onwards. The green electricity generated will be used locally at the site. The biogas plant produces not only biogas but also solid soil-improvement materials.

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