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Biogas from brewery wastewater makes power with a fuel cell

By Gerald Ondrey |

This month, a demonstration project to generate power from fuel cells running on biogas has begun at Asahi Breweries’ Ibaraki Brewery. Coordinated by Asahi Quality & Innovations, Ltd., an independent research subsidiary of Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan; www.asahigroup-holdings.com), the project is being conducted as part of the Japanese government’s Low Carbon Technology Research, Development and Demonstration Program, with subsidies from the Ministry of the Environment. In the project (diagram), biogas is first collected from the brewery’s wastewater treatment plant and then refined into methane. The methane is then used as fuel for a 200-kW Megamie solid-oxide fuell cell (SOFC), from Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd. (MHPS; Yokohama; www.power.mhi.com), to generate electric power. Once in operation, the facility will be capable of supplying around 1,600 MWh/yr of power — sufficient to power 350 ordinary households, with projected reductions in CO2 emissions of around 1,000 metric tons per year. With the goal of reducing CO2 emissions, Asahi Group has been working to introduce power generation facilities utilizing high-energy conversion efficiency fuel cells to secure base electricity power to operate…
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