Pump expert unveils novel on-farm AD plant protector and biogas booster

Biogas plant operators can protect their equipment and boost their yield with the X-UNIT, says Agrico.

Described as a one-step biogas optimisation solution, the WANGEN X-UNIT from anaerobic digestion (AD) pump specialist Agrico is said to protect AD plants from damage by harmful contaminants while also increasing feedstock surface area to supercharge the digestion process.

By preventing foreign objects from entering the AD system, says the firm, the X-UNIT protects pumps, mixers, pipework and tanks from contaminant damage, while its chopping blades reduce AD feedstock to a fine, porridge-like consistency, optimising the AD process. This easy-to-operate, energy-efficient system extends the lifespan of valuable equipment, increases operational uptime and maximises biogas yield, boosting an operator’s bottom line.

Contaminants such as stones, metal and bone fall into the X-UNIT’s debris catcher, from where they can be easily removed, says the firm.

“Having seen first-hand the considerable damage caused to downstream equipment by contaminants like bone, metal, stones and grit, I am excited to showcase the new and improved X-UNIT at the World Biogas Expo when it returns to the NEC this June,” said Agrico’s General Manager John Tame. “Not only can it play an important role in protecting biogas systems, but it helps plant operators extract the maximum gas yield from every tonne of feedstock – essential in the current climate where competition for feedstock is fierce and gas prices are at a record high.”

A modular system that can be retrofitted to the suction side of all makes of positive displacement pumps, the X-UNIT comprises two elements: the X-CUT, a high-performance chopper; and the X-TRACT, which separates contaminants from feedstock. As feedstock passes through the X-TRACT on its way to the digester tank, a reduction in velocity causes foreign objects to fall into the base of the unit, where they are caught in a settling tank and prevented from entering the wider AD system and subsequently damaging valuable downstream equipment.

A modular solution that can be retrofitted to any progressive cavity pump, the X-UNIT comprises the X-TRACT and the X-CUT.

Without the X-UNIT to screen out debris, foreign contaminants would ultimately settle in one place – the floor of the primary digester tank. “A build-up of solids in the digester can have a severe impact on a plant’s success by reducing tank volume, resulting in reduced gas output and directly affecting profitability,” says John. “There is also the cost of removing the compacted sediment, which can reach hundreds of thousands of pounds. By preventing solids from entering the AD system in the first place, the X-UNIT protects plant operators from the risk of this expensive occurrence.”

Featuring a maximum flow volume of 1,250 m3/h, low energy consumption, low wear costs and accessible parts for ease of maintenance, the X-UNIT is designed for longevity. “UK AD plant operators can now protect their investment and optimise their biogas output with the best of German engineering from WANGEN, backed up by on-the-ground, local sales and servicing support from Agrico,” adds John.