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Utilization of farm waste can develop the potential of energy sector

The scientists of Belarus have begun to develop a domestic model of biogas plant. The pilot project is realized on the territory of subsidiary enterprise of “Scientific and Practical Center of National Academy of Sciences of Belarus for agricultural mechanization” — pilot farm “Zazerye”, situated in Minsk region. In laboratory conditions there will be worked-out the operation regimes of the plant, will be defined an optimal composition of raw material, as well as will be designed  import substituting equipment that will be later produced by the enterprises of Ministry of Industry.
— Our goal is to exclude foreign components, — emphasized in his interview to a regional press general director of the Center, candidate of engineering sciences, Vladimir Samosyuk.
By the construction of the first biogas plants in Belarus there were used German and Austrian carcasses  and frames. Moreover, the maintenance of the equipment was realized with help of foreign specialists. At the same time, it is possible to reduce the cost of the construction of new complexes to one third by means of minimizing an import part.
— But on our first stage we are not still ready to exclude foreign components completely, because it is not reasonable and efficient in Belarus to produce co-transition plants in a small quantity, — commented   Vladimir Samosyuk. — But in future, with the development of bio-energy sector all over the Republic it is planned to improve manufacture of such plants.
By the end of 2012 it is planned to build in Belarus around 38 biogas complexes. Their total power will make 37,9 MW that will enable to produce 314 mln. kW/h of electricity annually, and to substitute imported natural gas  in the volume 105 thousand of equivalent fuel. In Minsk region there planned to implement 8 biogas plants on agricultural enterprises.
Undoubtedly, in the domestic production there will be used the experience of lead foreign producers, mostly of Germany which at present is the European leader in biomass recycling. In Germany there operated over 5900 biogas plants — quite nearby each large farm. And in perspective by 2020 on the territory of the country there will be operated about 12 thousand plants.
The progress goes even further in the Celestial Empire. “Chinese cupola” — in 50s people call so the first mobile biogas aggregates used for waste utilization and improvement of sanitary conditions on farms. Today over 31 million Chinese families have such mini-plants in their yards, and the total biogas production is equivalent to 13,5 million ton of standard fuel.
It is difficult to make comparison with them, we are just in the beginning of the way. Nevertheless, according to scientific calculations the agricultural sector of Belarus annually gives around 70 million cubic meters of animal waste which must be recycled. Biogas potential of the Republic makes about 2,5 billion cubic meters — it is a huge reserve of our energy safety. In view of constantly growing prices on energy resources we can’t but use this possibility.
— Waste should be converted into profit, — affirms manager of the laboratory for energy and fuel resources of the Center Nikolay Kapustsin. — Biogas plants solve many problems: economic, agrochemical, and ecological. Such energy resources have a high coefficient of efficiency and relatively small fuel consumption.
In frame of economic part it is possible to build the technology in such a way so that in output to get dry components. But even if to apply liquid disinfected fertilizers, we will raise the crop yield for 10 — 20% that is a considerable input into the State’s economy.
Besides, it is possible to exclude the usage of mineral fertilizers and protectors of plants. And, what is most important, the emission of greenhouse gases decreases. And this factor concerns ecology.
— Undoubtedly, biogas is the most available and efficient kind of renewable energy for our Republic. All the more so, we have the demanded conditions for it. It is the direction that was supported by the State on the base of the developed regulation. Besides the Law of renewable energy there were passed several resolutions by Council of Ministers. There was asserted a national Program of the development of local and renewable energy resources intended till 2015.
According to the Document, Belarus is intended to raise the production of renewable energy  in about two times by the end of 5-year period and to lessen considerably the volume of imported gas. The total sum of expenditure for the program realization, according to the forecast, will make around 3,5 billion of dollars.
Nevertheless, there are still many problems to solve for scientists and specialists …  So, the National Academy of Sciences suggests to reconsider some articles of the Document. The scientists have launched a thorough analysis of the new Program from the view of its compliance with the present objectives of the State’s economy. In the first place it concerns biogas plants, heat pumps and wind plants that are not produced in Belarus. The Academy of Sciences suggests to make the program on a new principle: fist should be fulfilled pilot projects, and then — according to the received results — we can judge about their efficiency.  Social monitoring is also not excluded.
It looks quite reasonable. The approximate price of a biogas set is 3–4 million Euro, it is without installations work and supply pipelines. To try the project in realistic conditions means to discover our possibilities and to avoid mistakes.

Alexander SHEVKO, «БН»