Irish waste-to-energy business BHSL has agreed a €1.5 million deal to sell its technology in France for use converting digestate from an anaerobic digestor into energy. The sale of its fluidised bed combustion (FBC) technology has been agreed with Liger Bioconcept, a new joint venture between bio-energy company Liger, algae specialist and fertiliser manufacturer Olmix and pig processor Jean Floch.

Processes mixture of food waste, animal manure and wastewater sludge into biogas

The 1.4 megawatt thermal plant at a fertiliser plant in Brittany, will burn digestate (or byproduct) sourced from a large anaerobic digestor located nearby, that processes a mixture of food waste, animal manure and wastewater sludge into biogas. It will produce heat to help power the fertilizer plant, and an ash with high phosphorus and potassium content that can be used to make fertilizer pellets. The deal was formally signed at a pre-St Patrick’s Day event at the Irish embassy in Paris attended by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney TD, and representatives from Enterprise Ireland. The deal opens the door to a new market for BHSL’s FBC technology, which was originally developed to convert poultry manure into energy, but is being now being adapted for use in wider applications. There are currently 500 anaerobic digester facilities in France and 8,000 in Germany, two of BHSL-Hydro’s target markets, and the company has 14 deal opportunities in its pipeline.

Excellent example of the circular economy

The technology is an excellent example of the circular economy where a product previously disregarded as low value or waste is now being used to create energy, and chemical free fertiliser. In Ireland there are plans to construct 300 new anaerobic digestor plants as part of the government’s renewable energy strategy, helping avoid damaging greenhouse gas emissions from the methane in agricultural slurry by converting it into biogas that can be used for power generation. Denis Brosnan, executive chairman of BHSL, said: “We’re very pleased to have signed what we hope will be the first of many deals to use our technology in what is a huge potential target market. "We are in active discussions around several further opportunities, and the installed base of anaerobic digesters is forecast to grow considerably. As regulatory standards continue to increase, BHSL stands to benefit as businesses look to manage their waste and emissions to create valuable energy whilst also meeting their environmental responsibilities.” BHSL’s original business was based on a unique, patent-protected system to convert poultry manure into a fuel for energy generation on-farm. This technology is transforming poultry production by turning a cost centre (dealing with waste manure) into a source of fuel, thereby driving farm profitability through reduced energy bills. BHSL acquired wastewater and effluent treatment business Hydro International in June 2017. It made a further strategic expansion in January of this year by acquiring waste processing company Glanway.