A Viable Alternative in Electric Power Production
Caterpillar offers durable and reliable solutions for the use of biogas. The initial investment can yield significant long-range savings, in addition to being environmentally responsible. Biogas, which is derived as a byproduct of many agricultural, food processing and industrial processes, is used today as a fuel source for engine generators.
By tapping into biogas resources with proven Caterpillar technology, agricultural biogas and industrial biogas projects result in the:
- Reduction of carbon emissions through the destruction of naturally occurring methane
- Reclamation of valuable land space normally utilized for purifying organic wastewater
- Elimination of odor and pest issues that are caused by the decomposition of organic material
How It Works
Consisting primarily of methane and carbon dioxide, biogas is produced through the anaerobic decomposition of organic waste. Instead of allowing uncontrolled decomposition of these wastes and the release of gases into the atmosphere, they are contained in an oxygen-deprived environment such as a covered lagoon or aboveground steel tank. From there, methane is extracted and burned to generate electricity or heat.
Because of the impurities and inconsistencies in biogas, pretreatment is generally required. However, using a gas engine specifically designed to operate on biogas can reduce the amount of investment in pretreatment. Cat® low-energy fuel generator sets are engineered to handle fuel with variations in methane content typical of biogas operations.
Cat biogas engines typically include:
- A crankcase ventilation pump to eject potentially acidic blow-by gases
- Specially designed aftercooler cores, cylinder heads, main bearings and connecting rod bearings that are hardened against corrosive elements
- Differentiated cooling systems to operate at elevated jacket water temperatures to prevent condensation of contaminants
Cat switchgear with PLC based controls is supplied to parallel the generator to the local electrical grid to export renewable power at a premium to the local electric utility. For more remote installations, the power produced can be consumed by the facilities on site.