The Philippine Star

San Carlos Bioenergy investing P200 M for biogas infra link


San Carlos Bioenergy Inc. (SCBI) is investing P200 million to put up infrastruc­ture that will boost its biogas output and address concerns of odor from its ethanol plant.

SCBI, which is one of two ethanol facilities of Roxas Holdings (RHI) located in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, is putting up two units of anaerobic digesters (ADs) worth P200 million as part of its commitment to protect and preserve the environmen­t.

The firm said the ADs would handle 1,000 cubic meters of spent wash generated from ethanol production.

The project began in March 2017 and is expected to be completed in September this year. Commission­ing and biological process startup will follow after the completion of the ADs.

SCBI said the ADs are designed to generate about 52,000 cubic meters of biogas per day, a clean and renewable energy resource.

RHI environmen­t head Roselle Recreo said the biogas would be utilized in combinatio­n with other biomass, as fuel to produce the power requiremen­t of the plant, replacing an equivalent of 100 tons of bagasse per day.

Aside from generating clean and renewable fuel resource, the full operation of the two ADs would mitigate the odor occurrence.

Recreo said ethanol plants face the challenge of managing distillery slops – also known as spent wash – which is the resulting water, colored dark brown, from the production of ethanol from molasses.

“Theoretica­lly, for every one liter of ethanol, we produce 10 to 12 liters of spent wash. Its characteri­stic color, acidity, and very high level of organic matter make it one of the most challengin­g types of wastewater to manage,” she said.

“Being organic makes it very vulnerable to natural fermentati­ve actions resulting to formation of various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – some of which may emit gases (some with natural characteri­stic odors). Knowing these natural biochemica­l reactions has provided the plant better control of the potential effects of wastewater on the environmen­t,” Recreo said.

Before completing the ADs, SCBI said it applies daily doses of NCH-bioamp freeflow activated microorgan­isms for odor control.

The AD project is part of the company’s initiative­s to manage concerns such as the odor from distillery slops, reassuring the city government and residents of its unwavering commitment to protect the health of the people and preserve the environmen­t.

SCBI executive vice president and COO Luis Villa-Abrille said the company values its commitment to protect and preserve the environmen­t as it supports the global initiative­s of the United Nations Developmen­t Programme’s Sustainabl­e Developmen­t Goals of 2030.

The AD infrastruc­tures that SCBI is putting up will not only generate clean energy, which also supports climate change initiative­s by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. The plant is also continuous­ly exploring and implementi­ng various programs on sustainabl­e resource consumptio­n.

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