Since the end of 2007 we have been working with four combined heat and power plants. Each consists of a gas engine and a generator and together they produce an average of 2.5 megawatt electrical power. This sustainably generated energy is then being added to the supply network and can provide about 5000 four person-households with enough energy for a year. The generated heat is being used for the administrative buildings and chicken houses that are nearby and also dries the corn in the feed-mills. During the generation of the biogas, the chicken manure is homogenized and becomes an even more potent fertilizer for our fields. Environmentally speaking the biogas-production is completely carbon neutral. Only the carbon that was inside the plants is emitted.
In our biogas plant, chicken manure and other energy plants are converted into biogas with the help of special bacteria. Biogas is a mixed gas. Its main part is methane. In thermal power stations this gas is used for the generation of energy and heat.
Once again our pioneer-spirit made us strive for more. In the past biogas plants had problems with higher concentrations of chicken manure. The highly concentrated nitrogen stopped the microorganism’s activity throughout the fermentation process. By means of the special NatUrgas®-procedure our plants can process up to 70 % of chicken manure. Corn and grass silages and other energy crops such as sweet sorghum, sunflowers, Sudan grass and green rye-silages are added furthermore. The so-called substrate, which is the mix of chicken manure and energy plants, is homogenized before it is put into the NatUrgas®-fermenter. In the fermenter microorganisms produce methane and carbon dioxide.
The plant is a huge innovation, therefore its development has been supported by the Umweltinnovationsprogramm (Program of environmental innovations) in 2007.