Methane Optimization


Wastewater Treatment // Biogas // Landfill Gases

Use Excess Gas to Fuel a Boiler

While all plants may not flare gas, a great many do frequently – which has become a growing concern in regard to methane emissions. Some operators have opted to burn this excess gas in boilers to maintain pressure and provide thermal energy. While this is an adequate solution, those who cannot make use of the heat are simply wasting energy. By integrating an ElectraTherm ORC with a biogas boiler, plant operators can generate clean electricity and eliminate their flare. The process is simple.

//  Excess gas is routed to the boiler which heats water for the ORC.

//  The water is then routed through the ORC, which is a closed-loop system, and generates electricity.

//  By using excess gas to fuel a boiler, the flare is eliminated.

//  By routing more gas to the boiler, water production can be increased and ORC output maximized.

Project Economics

Traditional methods for biogas power generation require infrastructure that is both expensive and extensive, leaving a large footprint. The most common route plant operators take is the installation of biogas cleanup and storage along with an engine genset. The cost of this equipment can easily be well over $1 million USD. Additionally, engines running off biogas routinely face issues with siloxane buildup. This requires expensive maintenance leading to downtime or even a complete engine replacement.

Another approach is to simply integrate an ORC with an existing boiler. Not only is this solution only a quarter of the cost but it also requires very little infrastructure. In regard to siloxane, boilers are much less susceptible to extensive damage and many are designed to be cleaned easily and quickly – minimizing downtime.  Incorporating ElectraTherm’s autonomous ORC power generation technology with remote monitoring allows operators to generate electricity without negatively affecting existing processes.


Successful Demonstration in the Bakken

Sponsored by the Department of Energy and in collaboration with Gulf Coast Green Energy, ElectraTherm commissioned a Power+ Generator 4400B at a North Dakota oil well to showcase the unit's ability to reduce flaring. While the flare was not completely eliminated, it was substantially reduced. A larger size ORC - the 6500B - is optimal for complete flare elimination.

Significant Emission Reductions

Carbon monoxide decreased by 98%

Nitrogen oxide decreased by 48%

VOCs decreased by 93%

Watch a video on how it works by clicking here.


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