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Thread: M T ENERGIE

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    M T ENERGIE

    The German company responsible for a large number of AD installations in Germany and this country as well as the rest of Europe has gone into administration. Any comments? I am particularly interested because I was asked to quote for some work for an installation in Scotland. Should I bother, bearing in mind that administrators have a legal, (at least here) obligation to obtain the maximum value from the company, firstly by keeping it as a going concern if possible. Please don't confuse administrators with receivers or liquidators. Am I correct?
    Is this exposing the weakness of the "low carbon economy", which is essentially artificial, created by Governments in an attempt to meet obligations agreed to when they were intimidated by groupthink?
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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    Hi Mick,
    I'm as bit late seeing your post, but I did hear they had gone in to Admin. Unfortunately I think this is a trait of the AD Industry in the UK, and in Germany. Certainly over the last 6-8, maybe 10 years there has been a growth in companies trying to develop the AD model in the UK, and really up until the last year or so there has been very little take up. Things seem to be getting some momentum at the moment, but there must be some companies out there who have ploughed big budgets into the UK market, and not seen any significant returns.

    Having been at ADBA exhibitions in one form or another since it started it has never ceased to amaze me how many "consultants" and "business development experts" there seemed to be.

    Have you heard anymore on MT, have they been picked up by anyone ?

    Having moved out of the waste/slurry business its not really my game any more but its interesting to see where things are going.

    Cheers

    Rob

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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    I heard from a reliable source in the mid summer that AD has no future as the by products are proving to be toxic to the land in the medium term and that swathes of the industry across central Europe have already closed down because of this. It seemed implausible at the time that the UK would be continuing to build if that was the case but who knows.

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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    Quote Originally Posted by T P View Post
    I heard from a reliable source in the mid summer that AD has no future as the by products are proving to be toxic to the land in the medium term and that swathes of the industry across central Europe have already closed down because of this. It seemed implausible at the time that the UK would be continuing to build if that was the case but who knows.
    I think another myth hot off the internet
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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    Quote Originally Posted by Exfarmer View Post
    I think another myth hot off the internet
    Not exactly I was speaking to the man stripping the hardware out for recycling.The problem is not the early slurry systems it's the maze and grass model.He didn't know the exact pollutant created but it was likely heavy metal concentration or dioxin.No one would allow the effluent to be spread on their land any longer as it had contaminated their produce and the sewerage treatment works wouldn't take it either.Location Switzerland an early adopter so something to remember in a decade or so. problem didn't get noticed for years.

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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    Household waste processed by AD can produce toxic residue, studies have shown bad effects on the growth potential of wheat. Has to have post treatment.

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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    Quote Originally Posted by T P View Post
    Not exactly I was speaking to the man stripping the hardware out for recycling.The problem is not the early slurry systems it's the maze and grass model.He didn't know the exact pollutant created but it was likely heavy metal concentration or dioxin.No one would allow the effluent to be spread on their land any longer as it had contaminated their produce and the sewerage treatment works wouldn't take it either.Location Switzerland an early adopter so something to remember in a decade or so. problem didn't get noticed for years.
    There are people in this country have been doing it for over 20 years with no problems. If you are using farm based feedstock, and processing at normal AD temperatures, it is not possible to create toxic chemicals such as dioxins or heavy metals. The digestate is a brilliant material, we are constantly looking at ways of using it to best effect. Do you have any references to the refusal to take it, or is it just heresay? If it is documented, please let me know (PM if you prefer), as it is important to me as an AD operator.

    Stephen

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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    Quote Originally Posted by T P View Post
    Not exactly I was speaking to the man stripping the hardware out for recycling.The problem is not the early slurry systems it's the maze and grass model.He didn't know the exact pollutant created but it was likely heavy metal concentration or dioxin.No one would allow the effluent to be spread on their land any longer as it had contaminated their produce and the sewerage treatment works wouldn't take it either.Location Switzerland an early adopter so something to remember in a decade or so. problem didn't get noticed for years.
    Pure myth, where would the heavy metals or dioxins come from in a maize grass mix.
    there are any number of myths on the Internet, sadly many are believed by an ill educated gullible public.
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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    Quote Originally Posted by Exfarmer View Post
    Pure myth, where would the heavy metals or dioxins come from in a maize grass mix.
    there are any number of myths on the Internet, sadly many are believed by an ill educated gullible public.
    I have sought clarification on the matter and the problem arose because the land was being spread with sewerage sludge to grow the crops. Because the crops were being used for AD nobody really cared or thought much about the quality, quantity was everything_ they weren't exactly going to be "red tractor" what would have been the point. Heavy metal contamination from the use of sewerage sludge on arable land is a well documented problem, unfortunately the AD cycle concentrated the nasties when the bulk is turned into gas and sold off. Said residue were then reapplied to the land. Over time the level built up in the soil to the point where it showed up in crops as above whatever the safety level was.The plant was very large and needed to access others land and at that point nobody wanted any more to do with them. Probably an unusual scenario but one that certainly isn't an internet myth. I tried to find out if anything else was used for raw material as it's not uncommon to use municipal waste during the off season but he simply didn't know if that was the case, given it was an industrial scale operation it would be likely that they were taking other stuff and getting paid for it which might well have made the problem worse.

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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    Can you give any link to this information please?
    Although Heavy metal contamination and even Dioxins of soils through sewage sludge is possible, to then be uptaken by the plant and concentrated to any extent by the AD plant is highly unlikely
    You seem to be trying to lay the problem of poor management of sewage sludge at the door of AD operators
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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    I can't elaborate as the information is commercially sensitive and the chap who told me probably shouldn't have. As the venture is being relocated to "pastures new" I can't say much more. I have no fiscal interest in the success or otherwise of the sector. It could well be that there was an unfortunate set of circumstances and maybe a bit of bad luck too. On the subject of AD in general there was one near us decades ago and it fizzled out long ago. It's only the whim of politicians behind the current upsurge, long term carbon capture makes more sense as it will permit a closed loop of carbon. CO2 capture is an already well developed and efficient industry (how welding gas is created).It just needs the political will to upscale it. It could well be that nuclear energy will be used to power the capture of carbon gases and pump it back down into redundant oil wells where with the right chemistry it could well reform into usable hydrocarbons. There's nothing on the horizon as portable relatively easy to handle or potent for a power source as oil and hydrocarbons. Once a way is found to reprocess the greenhouse gases there won't be any issue with continuing to use it. Trying to power the modern technological times from the pitiful power levels of sunlight directly or indirectly growing crops for by AD is only window dressing. Unless some magic new food is discovered the land will be needed for food production anyway going forward. Some sort of bug to eat CO2 and make it into a stable solid/liquid would be very useful unlike an artificial stomach which is all AD really amounts to.

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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    Carbon capture and storage is hugely energy intensive. You are right in that nuclear is probably the only way to power it (but thorium please). Power stations where it has been tried experimentally find they need a third of their output just to operate the CCS.

    Capture of CO2 for welding and other bottled gas is easy. Normally done by collecting the gas evolving from beer brewing. It is a rather different thing to get it out of power station flue gas, and even more difficult from the general atmosphere.

    Stephen

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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    Quote Originally Posted by T P View Post
    I can't elaborate as the information is commercially sensitive and the chap who told me probably shouldn't have. As the venture is being relocated to "pastures new" I can't say much more. I have no fiscal interest in the success or otherwise of the sector. It could well be that there was an unfortunate set of circumstances and maybe a bit of bad luck too. On the subject of AD in general there was one near us decades ago and it fizzled out long ago. It's only the whim of politicians behind the current upsurge, long term carbon capture makes more sense as it will permit a closed loop of carbon. CO2 capture is an already well developed and efficient industry (how welding gas is created).It just needs the political will to upscale it. It could well be that nuclear energy will be used to power the capture of carbon gases and pump it back down into redundant oil wells where with the right chemistry it could well reform into usable hydrocarbons. There's nothing on the horizon as portable relatively easy to handle or potent for a power source as oil and hydrocarbons. Once a way is found to reprocess the greenhouse gases there won't be any issue with continuing to use it. Trying to power the modern technological times from the pitiful power levels of sunlight directly or indirectly growing crops for by AD is only window dressing. Unless some magic new food is discovered the land will be needed for food production anyway going forward. Some sort of bug to eat CO2 and make it into a stable solid/liquid would be very useful unlike an artificial stomach which is all AD really amounts to.
    While I have no axe to grind for AD
    you are talking out of your A**e
    there is absolutely no evidence at all behind your allegations.
    either put up or shut up
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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    Don't know anything about the AD plant being talked about but we did get a letter from our maltster telling us they would not be buying any grain from land treated with digestate. And if we did send in grain that was later found to have been grown on land that had had digestate we would be liable for any and all losses encurred by the maltster. Could get very expensive if your load has been tipped in with another 50,000 tonnes.

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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    Quote Originally Posted by Slurry Solutions View Post
    Hi Mick,

    Having been at ADBA exhibitions in one form or another since it started it has never ceased to amaze me how many "consultants" and "business development experts" there seemed to be.

    Cheers

    Rob
    You are so right Rob! I've only found one so far that I can trust enough to work with!
    I noticed you'd moved on to pastures new, best of luck!
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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    Quote Originally Posted by T P View Post
    I have sought clarification on the matter and the problem arose because the land was being spread with sewerage sludge to grow the crops. Because the crops were being used for AD nobody really cared or thought much about the quality, quantity was everything_ they weren't exactly going to be "red tractor" what would have been the point. Heavy metal contamination from the use of sewerage sludge on arable land is a well documented problem, unfortunately the AD cycle concentrated the nasties when the bulk is turned into gas and sold off. Said residue were then reapplied to the land. Over time the level built up in the soil to the point where it showed up in crops as above whatever the safety level was.The plant was very large and needed to access others land and at that point nobody wanted any more to do with them. Probably an unusual scenario but one that certainly isn't an internet myth. I tried to find out if anything else was used for raw material as it's not uncommon to use municipal waste during the off season but he simply didn't know if that was the case, given it was an industrial scale operation it would be likely that they were taking other stuff and getting paid for it which might well have made the problem worse.
    Interesting that heavy metals rear their heads again!
    More years ago than I care to remember, Castle Bromwich built a couple of big silos to aerobically compost municipal waste, mainly, I believe, paper. They worked very well, and the council laid the foundations for some more, shortly before they discovered that the compost was full of heavy metals, coming, I believe, from the ink used in printing coloured magazines. We dismantled the silos; one was re-erected to hold urea on another site, which set solid once the silo was filled, it could be there still, and another went to France for maize.
    Hey Ho!
    Isn't it madness to repeat the same action over and over again expecting a different result?
    I built some digesters before the general population had heard of AD, so long ago that they were de-commissioned last year, due to old age, but the most important factor in the success or otherwise of this process is to control what is put in.
    I am also led to believe that a lot of contracts for digestate disposal are quite short, around 5 years, which should enable the recipient of this rocket fuel, (yes, it really does make plants grow!) to keep an eye out for any mineral imbalances before they become serious. My problem is that no body can afford to invest in storage for such a short term.
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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    As it happens the last few posts pretty much negate the need for me to elaborate further. I wasn't going to anyway as I had no intention of breaching a confidence in naming the company involved or jeopardising the individual who explained the scenario to me just for me to prove a point. Others on the forum who have known me for a long time will know that my posts are made in good faith and in this case purely sought to raise some technical problems that weren't being addressed by the "evangelists" of the technology. I work for a very large company with international connections and plenty of fingers in a lot of interesting R&D pies . I only came upon the information in a casual conversation with someone else in the company and found it technically interesting. It's sad that if you mention any potential snags with someone' s pet project on a forum it can soon deteriorate into the use of the "a**e word. If you tell people to shut up because you don't agree with them_ you never learn anything.
    Back to the original posting, I'm sure there'll be plenty or hard nosed business people ready to rescue the lame duck, or then again maybe not.I have no doubt there is a niche for AD technology in recovering energy from by products where the primary value has been extracted in another use.Trying to recover the full value of the raw material direct into AD is a nonsense without subsidy especially in the current energy market and oil likely to trade below $100 for several years.Bad enough if set up in a limited company scenario but would it be wise for anyone to be borrowing secured against a farm business's assets? If I were the OP I'd be considering asking for some sort of credit guarantee in the event of a successful tender and consider it to be a lucky escape not to be in the position of currently awaiting payment for work already done.Many a well run business has been taken down by a large defaulter.
    Last edited by T P; 06-12-14 at 08:50 AM.

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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    Quote Originally Posted by T P View Post
    As it happens the last few posts pretty much negate the need for me to elaborate further. I wasn't going to anyway as I had no intention of breaching a confidence in naming the company involved or jeopardising the individual who explained the scenario to me just for me to prove a point. Others on the forum who have known me for a long time will know that my posts are made in good faith and in this case purely sought to raise some technical problems that weren't being addressed by the "evangelists" of the technology. I work for a very large company with international connections and plenty of fingers in a lot of interesting R&D pies . I only came upon the information in a casual conversation with someone else in the company and found it technically interesting. It's sad that if you mention any potential snags with someone' s pet project on a forum it can soon deteriorate into the use of the "a**e word. If you tell people to shut up because you don't agree with them_ you never learn anything.
    Back to the original posting, I'm sure there'll be plenty or hard nosed business people ready to rescue the lame duck, or then again maybe not.I have no doubt there is a niche for AD technology in recovering energy from by products where the primary value has been extracted in another use.Trying to recover the full value of the raw material direct into AD is a nonsense without subsidy especially in the current energy market and oil likely to trade below $100 for several years.Bad enough if set up in a limited company scenario but would it be wise for anyone to be borrowing secured against a farm business's assets? If I were the OP I'd be considering asking for some sort of credit guarantee in the event of a successful tender and consider it to be a lucky escape not to be in the position of currently awaiting payment for work already done.Many a well run business has been taken down by a large defaulter.
    I apologise my post was a little intemperate.
    However I do get very angry at the number of unsubstantiated claims I see very often not just about green energy but many others.The government has signed agreements whereby this relatively new industry is to be encouraged.
    They have set out to do this by contractually agreeing subsidies to operators, lasting mainly 20 years.
    these levels are falling for new projects so the long term hope is this will drop to zero when the costs of production have fallen to a level where green energy competes freely with conventional supplies.
    We have seen recently that Nuclear operators are looking for similar guarantees, this is due to the astronomic costs being imposed on them by safety concerns and clean up costs ( many would say rightly)
    When the government entered these agreements regarding green energy, it was assumed that oil prices would continue to rise, something which has currently stumbled. This stumble is not likely to be maintained forever though and as world energy supplies tighten is certain to escalate.
    Certain groups of people, NIMBY's to many have seen the great success of campaigners such as Anti GM and the anti Neonics in the use of subterfuge, disinformation, and downright lies, carefully weaving a story line in which you place a story which the uninformed swallow hook line and sinker.
    one of the best, most widely believed of these was the story, that a herd of German cows died after eating GM silage.
    the fact that German farmers have never had access to GM is completely irrelevant and the story still goes the rounds.
    This line that AD sludge from grass and silage may somehow be dangerous is typical, playing on known fears about sewage sludge.
    However there is a product from methane production which could be source of these claims, but it is not AD as we would recognise it. This is the liquid waste from rubbish tips , many of which are being tapped for methane.
    This is normally known as leachate and should be incinerated.
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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    No harm done,I have absolutely no issues with AD technology itself but it isn't the risk free easy peasy thing some say.It can go very badly wrong without good management.However compared to nuclear power it's Snow White environmentally. With all these renewable subsidies the problem is people are planning for twenty years of a guaranteed price with politicians as their business partner.These are the same people who promised an end to boom and bust,an end to child poverty,no university tuition fees if we get into power,immigration in the tens of thousands etc. No matter what party is in power they can break a promise, there's 1.5 trillion of debt to service going forward and a lot of savings to make and hard choices to make and many promises to break.At some point one of them is going to stand up and tell the oil companies they'll be clearing up the emissions from their product from a certain date starting at a low percentage and ramping up to 100% in twenty years or so,maybe then renewables will be able to compete without subsidy but don't hold your breath for a statesperson with a long term view any time soon expect to see the renewables brigade getting screwed over especially if oil prices stay low for the next ten years as they may very well do due to international political meddling.

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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    Quote Originally Posted by Exfarmer View Post

    However there is a product from methane production which could be source of these claims, but it is not AD as we would recognise it. This is the liquid waste from rubbish tips , many of which are being tapped for methane.
    This is normally known as leachate and should be incinerated.
    Incineration is unlikely to be the remedy, even if this were the case. Leachate is not as such waste from rubbish tips, but rainwater that has fallen on the tip and is then collected. Its toxicity depends on the rubbish. It is collected and disposed of in a variety of ways. Drying and incinerating would not be particularly successful because (a) the havy metals would remain in the ash.(b) Dioxins are not easily destroyed by fire either. Interestingly, the most tolerant species of dioxin is the human being, and the second most tolerant is his companion since the days of cave dwelling with smoky fires, the dog.
    Last edited by MickMoor; 15-12-14 at 08:35 PM. Reason: SPELLING!
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    Re: M T ENERGIE

    [QUOTE=Exfarmer;252320
    The government has signed agreements whereby this relatively new industry is to be encouraged.
    [/QUOTE]

    This is NOT a relatively new industry. In an earlier post I said that some digesters had been dismantled because they had come to the end of their lives. The design life is 20 years, and I think it was 1991/92 when we built these, at Old Whittington, near Chesterfield. I have some picture somewhere if it is of interest. Found one!
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    Last edited by MickMoor; 15-12-14 at 11:44 PM.
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