Welcome to a new segment titled "Onsite with Octaform". This segment will highlight the ability of Octaform to solve its customer’s most difficult problems.
Bringing biogas technology to Canada: CCS-agriKomp
Octaform worked with CCS-Agrikomp, a joint venture between a Canadian based Carbon Control Systems and German based AgriKomp, to supply the forming system to build an Anaerobic Digester in Millbrook, Ontario.
Traditional construction methods for biogas rely on an unprotected concrete tank with an epoxy coating to cover the gasline. CCS-Agrikomp knew this construction method was insufficient for the long term, as A.D. chemicals degrade the structural integrity of concrete overtime. CCS-Agrikomp approached Octaform because they wanted to build a concrete based digester and needed a protective lining that would stand the test of time.
The watertight forms provided the protective barrier between the concrete and the feedstock. This eliminated the ongoing need to epoxy coat a steel or concrete tank.
In addition, CCS-AgriKomp chose to build with the Octaform System because of the ease of assembly.
“The Octaform panels don’t require special trades to assemble and that was a huge cost savings to us.” - Chris Ferguson.
The monolithic design of the Octaform system significantly reduces construction timeframes.
The digester and generator house were built within 4 weeks by the staff of CCS-agriKomp under the direction of Octaform’s Field Services Technician. Today CCS-agriKomp offers farmers plant tours, and turnkey services that include the consulting, planning, construction and commissioning services.
National Prawn Company (NPC) has recently made advancements in the growth and cultivation of sea cucmbers. After expansions in both amberjack and shrimp aquaculture, a move toward sea cucumber cultivation signifies NPC’s growing brand within the industry.
National Prawn Company (NPC), a shrimp producer from Saudi Arabia, has expanded into sea cucumber aquaculture. The company has achieved a biological cycle for sea cucumbers in harvest conditions, creating production cycles for years to come. NPC expects 90 tons of sea cucumber to be harvested this year.
Pointing out this achievement, Engineer Ahmad R. Al-Ballaa, Managing Director of NPC and board chairman of Saudi Aquaculture Society, said: “We own the pride of achieving such a big project which is one of its kind in the region. It has consumed more than 3 years of constant researching and experimenting carried by a team of professionals in the feild of aquaculture."
National Prawn continues to expand. Along with the sea cucumber, NPC has seen recent expansions in amberjack, barramundi, and seabream aquaculture,with production targets of 100,000 metric tones within 10 years.
NPC finfish production is on the rise. The picture above shows a recent collaboration between Octaform Systems and the NPC in the construction of on-land amberjack tanks.
Al-Ballaa elaborates on the companies growing brand, “Our first steps and achievements on this long path were the ones towards a successful shrimp project which are followed by the fish projects that are getting thumbs up worldwide. An additional milestone in this journey would be the sea cucumber brood stock’s ability to lay its eggs, producing 23 million larvae.”
In the same context, manager of the sea cucumber project, Mr. Mario Umundab, said: “Breeding sea cucumber in such high saline water and a very hot environment was never an easy task. Attentive monitoring on a daily basis for three consecutive years was a mandatory task that played a major role in guaranteeing its survival. It was a major reward for quite a hardworking and sacrificing team that has set a sustainable marine life development as one of its main goals,”
Sea cucumber products are not well known in Saudi society, as a result, production has been export oriented. NPC is currently targeting growing demand in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore.
As for its environmental benefits, an adult sea cucumber is capable of cleaning and purifying four metric tons of sand each year as whirling the sand to find its daily supply of food is its natural way of hunting and survival, said the company. This in turn is the best way to purify the sand and facilitating its process of getting rid of organic residues. Its twirling and daily journey of food hunting maintains a balanced PH rate in seawater and plays a vital role in separating petroleum waste, according to the NPC.
NPC's recent growth is part of a larger trend. As stated by the FAO, aquaculture continues to be the worlds fastest growing animal food-producing sector, with an average annual growth rate of 6.9% from 1970-2006. With a growing world population, aquaculture may be the only way to meet the global demand for animal-based protein.
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Photo credit: newagecrap
British based Harper Adams University has received a grant to study a made-in-Canada manure treatment technology.
Recently, Livestock Water Recycling Inc. (LWR) announced that its innovative, patent-pending manure management technology, will be studied by British based Harper Adams University. The project will evaluate the technical and economic benefits of LWR's system and its ability to successfully treat digestate from anaerobic digestion.
Harper Adams received funding under the UK WRAP- Driving Innovation in Anaerobic Digestion (DIAD) project. The DIAD project is aimed at identifying and developing technologies and solutions for the improvement of the anaerobic digestion process. The approved project, titled Re-cycling Nutrients and Water from Digestate (ReNWD), will be completed in June.
In the process of anaerobic digestion, the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen produces heat, electricity and a byproduct known as digestate. Digestate is a mixture of nutrients and water which can be used as fertilizer. LWR's technology helps produce more valuable digestate through recycling water and concentrating nutrients.
Scott Kirby, who is responsible for commercial farming operations at Harper Adams, is the project lead for ReNWD. Scott has toured LWR's headquarters in Calgary, AB and operating system sites in Manitoba and New York. Ross Thurston, President of LWR is confident that this study will, "create awareness of this new innovative technology and how it can aid livestock operations in effectively treating their effluent in an environmentally sustainable way".
In operation since 2011, Harper Adams 5 million dollar anaerobic digestion facility, utilizes dairy slurry, pig slurry and food waste to save approximately 13,000 tones of C02 per year, while using digestate for the University's farm and ground operations.
The collaboration between LWR and Harper Adams is part of a growing trend towards innovative technology creating an efficient biogas process. Such technology has recently been featured on this blog including Solutions4C02's Integrated Biogas Refinery technology. Technological innovations by Solutions4C02 and LWR are key to making biogas a mainstay in North America.
LWR is a Canadian-based environmental company which provides sustainable manure treatment technology for the livestock industry. The technology has been awarded a Canadian patent and is patent-pending in seven other countries around the world. LWR currently has operations throughout Canada and the US. The company’s manure treatment system can be placed at hog, dairy, and AD operations. For more information, please visit www.livestockwaterrecycling.com
About Harper Adams University
Harper Adams University is located in Newport Shropshire, UK and it is the UK’s largest center of higher education for rural, land, animal, and food based studies. The University is renowned internationally for the quality of its education, applied research professional short courses and conferences. Over 640 hectares of land is owned by the University and is used to study large-scale commercial farming. For more information, please visit www.harper-adams.ac.uk
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Green Mountain Power's Cow Power Program creates cost incentives for farmers to turn livestock waste into renewable energy through anaerobic digestion. A new ruling by the Vermont Public Service Board will expand this program from a limited territory to Green Mountain's entire service territory.
Green Mountain Power customers across Vermont can now support a pure Vermont form of renewable energy produced by over 10,000 Vermont dairy cows, thanks to a new ruling by the Vermont Public Service Board approving the expansion of the GMP Cow Power Program from the limited territory previously served by CVPS to the entire GMP service territory.
Cow Power was first offered to customers in 2004, as a way to offer new, local renewable energy choices. The GMP Cow Power program currently includes 12 farms, and generates 16 million kilowatthours per year -- enough to completely power 2,200 average Vermont homes.
"We are so excited to be able to offer GMP Cow Power to 90,000 additional Green Mountain Power customers," said Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power. "This program has so many benefits for farms, for the environment, and for Vermont as a whole. The expansion of this program is one more way that we can increase renewable power in Vermont."
To produce Cow Power, farmers feed cow manure into an on-site anaerobic digester. Naturally occurring microbes in the digester convert the waste into several useful byproducts, one of which is methane gas. The methane fuels an engine which drives an electric generator. Heat generated from this process is repurposed to keep the digester warm, and can offset fuel purchases on the farm for hot water and space heating. The energy generated is fed into the GMP electrical system for distribution to customers.
The coarse plant fibers left over are processed through a mechanical separator. These odorless solids can be used to replace sawdust or sand as bedding for the animals. Solids not used for bedding may be further processed and sold as a garden soil. The liquid portion is an enhanced fertilizer used to grow crops to feed the cows.
Matt Maxwell is a farmer at Maxwell's Neighborhood Farm in Coventry, VT, which has been producing Cow Power since 2008. "We joined the program because milk prices were so low, and we were looking for a separate, steady income stream," he said. "It's been great for us. There's the income from the sale of electricity. We're using the dry by-product as bedding for our 750 dairy cows, and we have excess to sell to other farmers and landscapers. With excess heat from the engine we've been able to heat a 2,600 square foot greenhouse where we raise broccoli and greens for the wholesale market all winter, and tomatoes and peppers in the summer. We also heat our machine shop with the excess heat, which means we buy way less heating oil. When people pay a little extra to buy GMP Cow Power, they are helping the environment, and they are helping Vermont farmers stay in business."
Green Mountain Power customers can choose to buy 25%, 50%, or 100% of their energy from Cow Power, and pay an extra four cents per kilowatt hour premium. If an average Vermont household using 600 kwh a month decided to get 25% of their energy from GMP Cow Power, they would pay an extra $6 per month.
A similar program has been launched in British Columiba, Canada. The B.C. Agricultural Research and Development Coproration (ADRCorp) has created a program under which B.C.'s electricity consumers have the option to buy thier electricty from on-farm A.D. systems. The program, inspired by the Vermont initaitive, provides local renewable energy to B.C., while lowering carbon footprints.
The programs in Vermont and British Columbia are postive signs for biogas in North America. However, the industry faces signficant challenges. One such challenge is finacial risk. For example, under Cowpower Vermont, after grants, the farm still has to pay for more than half the cost of an average $2 million dollar digester project, which would usually be amortized over a 10-year period. Gross income from biogas energy for a 1000-head farm averages only $300,000 a year, about 7.5 percent of a dairy’s total gross revenue. Given that the life expectancy of a given system runs roughly only 20 years, invesment in Biogas is still a risky proposition.
While current North American industry is largely dependant on subsidies, innovation aims to change this. New technology including the growth and sale of biogas byproducts, increases profitability by adding additional revenue streams. Also, new and innovative tank building methods help expand the lifecyle of each project, bolsterring profitability. Governemnt and not-for-profit subsidies combined with technological advancements could hold the key to creating a more viable biogas market in North America.
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A Wisconsin biogas facility is about to get into another green business: algae.
Canadian company, Solutions4CO2 has just inked a deal to bring its proprietary Integrated Biogas Refinery (IBR) system to Vir-Clar Farm Power's already operational biogas facility in Wisconsin. The new system promises to increase the concentration of methane output while adding a new potential revenue stream to the mix: algae.
With slow returns and a tough regulatory climate, biogas has fought an uphill battle in North America. “Solutions4CO2 provides AD developers with real solutions to these economic and environmental challenges,” said Douglas Kemp-Welch, S4CO2’s Chief Executive Officer.
Integrated Biogas Refinery by Solutions4CO2 Inc.
The process of anaerobic digestion traditionally produces gas containing roughly 60% methane, 39% Carbon dioxide (CO2) and 1% hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Solutions4CO2's Integrated Biogas Refinery separates CO2 and H2S from methane by dissolving it into solid form, benefitting the system in two ways. First, it allows for a more concentrated methane stream, resulting in increased power generation. Second, the newly separated CO2 and H2S are used to produce algae biomass, whose by-products are sold on the open market.
Algae's future as a biofuel may still be up in the air but as many producers already know, there is a growing market for its nutraceutical and pharmaceutical co-products. If all goes as expected, this increased efficiency coupled with the new revenue will cut average new project payback times by more than half.
Solutions4CO2 Inc. (S4CO2) is a Canadian company that develops innovative Waste to High Value Co-Product solutions for waste gas, water and biomass streams.
On the heels of a just-completed vehicle wash in Denver (seen here in Concrete Construction Magazine), a Tennessee contractor is also preparing to build something better with Octaform.
Beginning next week, Wild Building Contractors will be using Octaform to form and protect the concrete walls of a new 4,000 square-foot car wash in Johnson City, Tennessee.
Specialists in military and commercial construction, the team at WBC knows what it takes to build a durable facility. Vehicle wash walls are assaulted daily by moisture, heat and chemicals so when it came time to choose a wall system for the new Ultimate Shine in Johnson City, they looked at Octaform stay-in-place concrete forms.
"We compared the costs of going conventional CMU-plus-cladding with the built-in Octaform finish," said Lance Wild, Project Manager at WBC, "and it ended up being close enough to justify going with the tougher Octaform wall."
Assembled on site, Octaform walls are formed and finished in one step, leaving a built-in PVC lining that is watertight and corrosion-resistant.
This finish eliminates the need for liners, cladding or sealants. For WBC this means faster and simpler construction. For their customer? A car wash that will look and perform like the day it was built for many years to come.
Octaform will be on-site in Tennessee all next week (Feb. 11-15).
If you would like to visit or if you have any questions, give us a call (toll free) at (888) 786-OCTA (6282).
With the construction of a state-of-the-art vehicle wash in Stapleton, a Colorado company is bringing a new way to build to the Mountain States.
Denver builder, ASLAN Companies is using Octaform, a PVC stay-in-place concrete forming system, to build and finish the walls of a Stapleton vehicle wash.
Not content to rely only on traditional construction methods, it was ASLAN’s spirit of innovation and sustainability that led them to this unique concrete forming technology. “Octaform,“ explained Aaron Voorhees, President of ASLAN, “offers us a way to build better, faster and stronger for our clients.”
With Octaform, ASLAN assembles PVC walls on site and fills them with concrete. The built-in finish eliminates the need for further cladding, protection, or paint and protects the concrete from the corrosive chemicals, moisture and heat of a modern car wash.
“The watertight finish,” says Voorhees, “gives an unprecedented level of protection to the walls.”
By protecting the integrity of the walls, Octaform also extends the life of the structure, reducing its long-term carbon footprint.
“Durability might not scream ‘green design’ like solar panels or reclaimed lumber but for us, it is huge,” explains Voorhees, “The most sustainable building, after all, is the one still standing.”
Octaform’s ‘green’ benefits don’t stop there. Concrete walls are already known to be very energy-efficient. Octaform reduces the usual carbon footprint of building them by shipping efficiently and eliminating the need for heavy equipment or steel forms.
Add to this a bright finish that reduces lighting requirements and LEED points start to add up. The bright finish of the Octaform wall system appealed to Voorhees on a business level too.
“A dark, dingy wash bay is just not going to attract customers,” he explains, “With Octaform, those bays will look great for a long time.”
ASLAN Companies, Inc. is a Colorado general contractor / design builder. ASLAN brings special expertise using alternative wall systems to Car Washes, Hardened Homes, Bomb Shelters, General Commercial Buildings, and Thermally Efficient Residential “Green” Homes.
"AutoWash@Stapleton" is expected to be open first quarter 2013.
Photo- Octaform built dairy parlor for Hoeken Dairy Farm. Kinroi, Belgium
OREGON- Oregon's dairy industry seems to be bucking a trend that plagues other agricultural sectors nationwide. While the average age of farmers in general is going up, there appears to be an influx of young dairy operators in Oregon that is slowing down the graying of the state's dairy farmers overall. The enthusiasm of youth is helping the industry keep up with the times, both economically and environmentally.
While current statistics are hard to come by, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting that Oregon dairy's demographics are changing.
"I believe there is a much larger percentage of young people getting into the dairy industry in Oregon compared to other states," says Jim Krahn of the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association. "At our latest convention, we had dairy farmers from Washington and Idaho in attendance and they commented on how they couldn't believe the high number of young people attending."
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has noticed as well. ODA's Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) Program hosted a manure management field day in late April for CAFO permit holders and operators. The field day focused on calibrating different types of manure application equipment, measuring and recording manure nutrient content, and implementing various cultural practices that help make manure management successful.
"For our staff, one of the most gratifying parts of the field day was the participation by the next generation of operators," says Wym Matthews, ODA's CAFO Program manager. "We had 16 operators under the age of 30. It is very important to note that the younger generation took the time to attend this activity. We were impressed by their interest level and questions."
Certainly, some of the younger attendees were strongly encouraged to attend the field day by their fathers- the primary dairy operator. But others took their own initiative to be there and learn more about successful manure management.
"We all know the future of successful agricultural operations depends on cultivating the next generation of farmers," says Matthews. "If Oregon's future CAFO operators are like this group of young individuals, Oregon's CAFO agriculture operations will be in very capable hands."
Dairy farming in Oregon has survived as well as any state for a couple of reasons. First, the growth in organic dairying, while not unique to Oregon, has provided a market for a value-added product. Secondly, the Tillamook area continues to provide the opportunity for farmers to graze their dairy cattle- something that's not always an option in other states.
Younger dairy farmers are coming into the business from different directions.
"Dairy farming is what I've always known, " says Matt Perrin of Perrin Family Dairy in Woodburn. "It's part of who I am. In a way, I've always known it is something I would do. But I also didn't want to see all of my dad's hard work just disappear. Dad said he would love it if I continued the farm, but only if I wanted to."
Perrin's education included a degree in general agriculture from Oregon State University. He's also attended numerous conferences and trainings, including the ODA field day. But it was the life-long job training gained by working alongside his father that has most given him the skills to be successful.
Perrin has been a very active leader as well. He currently is a board member of the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association.
Pete Mahaffy is just as active and interested in Oregon's dairy industry, but it wasn't always that way. He and his wife Kelly currently run a 200-acre dairy near Coos Bay.
"I grew up on my family's farm, but I had no interest in returning when I left for OSU," says Mahaffy, who received a general agriculture degree but minored in horticulture. "The one moment that changed by direction was a guest lecture on intensive rotational grazing. It seemed like a perfect theory for the river valley that the farm was located on east of Coos Bay. That led me to work for an organic dairy farmer following graduation, where I could learn my craft prior to returning home."
Mahaffy's parents did not encourage him to return home because they knew dairying was a hard life. Still, he made the decision to be part of the next generation of dairy farmers in Oregon.
"The attitude of the dairy operators has changed significantly in the last nine years since I returned home," says Mahaffy. "Some thought organic was just a flash in the pan moment, but the industry has matured to the point that there is confidence in its long term stability."
Both Perrin and Mahaffy agree that the younger generation of Oregon dairy farmers has a high interest in best management practices and good stewardship. That doesn't mean their parents do not share that interest. But with additional education and better technology, the new wave of operators may have an advantage.
"These young people are concerned about the product they are producing, the way their animals are handled, and environmental stewardship" says ODFA's Krahn. "They realize that dairy farming today is not just milking cows. It's a well-rounded approach that includes taking care of the animals, the land, and the water."
Young dairy farmers are also being molded into leaders. ODFA offers a dairy leadership program to help engage the next generation. The program provides media training, meetings with legislators, and opportunities to attend industry meetings. It's all part of giving young dairy farmers as many tools as possible to succeed in today's fast-changing world of agriculture.
"The whole process we've set up helps make these young dairy farmers feel welcome and they are encouraged to be involved," says Krahn.
For the Oregon consumer, it's good to know there is a new wave of dairy farmers arriving on the scene.
(Photo: Lord Rex)
Ottawa- The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) is pleased to learn that Canada has been invited to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The successful completion of these trade talks can significantly enhance long term market possibilities for Canadian pork.
“The continuous efforts to open new and existing markets by the federal government will increase export opportunities for Canadian pork,” stated CPC’s Chair Jean-Guy Vincent. “A seat at the TPP negotiation table is an opening for Canada to secure long term market development opportunities, and to enhance its terms of trade with free trade agreement partners, who are, or wish to be TPP participants.
“The Pacific region is comprised of many economically emerging countries that are experiencing significant growth in both per capita incomes and population. These conditions generally lead to rapid increases in consumption and importation of meat products,” added Vincent. “Many of Canada fastest growing pork export markets are in this region and pork exports to its top ten Pacific Asian markets, in addition to Japan, have quadrupled over the past ten years to now exceed $600 million on an annual basis.”
Export access is of crucial importance to the Canadian pork industry. Canadian pork exports in 2011 exceeded $3.2 billion and about two-thirds of Canada pork production is exported. With constantly changing conditions of export competition exchange rates, agricultural policy and technical barriers – Canada’s pork producers are extremely concerned that Canada does not fall behind the United States and to other competitors in terms of access acquired through regional trade agreements. The CPC is thus very supportive of the federal government’s current pro-trade agenda, seeking improved terms of trade for Canada through agreements with the European Union, Japan, South Korea and now, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The CPC serves as the national voice for hog producers in Canada. A federation of nine provincial pork industry associations, our organization’s purpose is to play a leadership role in achieving and maintaining a dynamic and prosperous Canadian pork sector.
The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) has been established to represent all businesses involved in the anaerobic digestion and biogas industries, to help remove the barriers they face and to support its members to grow their businesses. Its principal aim is to enable and facilitate the development of a mature anaerobic digestion industry in the UK within 10 years.
The ADBA third annual trade show and conference, UK AD & Biogas 2012 will focus specifically on demonstrating where anaerobic digestion can offer the best benefits to local authorities, and the food and farming industries.
Showcasing why AD is the missing link to achieving maximum waste and resource management, climate-smart farming and sustainable food production, this event will not only show how beneficial the integration of AD can be but how it can be most successfully achieved.
The city of Birmingham will be hosting the 2 Day Conference on July 4-5 and will have 22 free seminars, professional AD clinics (legal, finance, farming), 200 Exhibitors and an expected 3000 visitors.
Octaform is a member of the ADBA and will be one of the exhibitors at the conference. Come visit us at Booth C31!
Register now. We hope to see you there!