Seblach biogas plant provides electricity and warmth

Seblach biogas plant provides electricity and warmth

How to make gold out of gulle? Probably only a few dubious TV stars know that. In seblach, the excrement of the animals is now being used for a much more sensible purpose: in the biogas plant of farmer albert sebald, it is converted into electricity and heat. Yesterday the plant was inaugurated.

Construction work started just under a year ago. At the time, there was considerable time pressure, as the 1. January 2012 the feed-in law was changed – and sebald and his second managing director franz robner wanted to bring the plant online in time under all circumstances. Otherwise they had to reckon with much worse compensation conditions. The whole thing was indeed a close call: on 30. And 31. December 2011 the plant supplied electricity for the first time – company chuckled.

Patron saint of the town of seblach

"It was clear to me right from the start that a single farmer could not shoulder this.", according to albert sebald at the inauguration ceremony yesterday. That's why he started looking for partners for his ambitious project at that time. With the suc coburg it became fundig. At the beginning, he felt a little uncomfortable, as he says: "I felt a bit like crocodile dundee in new york in this building." but then everything was quickly in dry cloths. Together they founded the "st. Johannes energie gmbh and co. KG". The name was taken from the patron saint of the town of seblach.

The technology is – actually – quite simple: grass mainly comes out of a silo into the so-called futter. At the same time, manure and corn are added to the mix. From there the mixture lands in the first coarse vat. In it bacteria decompose the material – gas is produced.

Garrest serves as dunger

This process is called fermentation, the coarse vat correspondingly fermenter. After this first step, the remaining mass goes into the so-called post-cooker and finally ends up as a cooking residue in a final repository. This remainder then serves again as a dunger for the fields.

The gas that is produced during the process is then fed through underground pipes to a combined heat and power plant. There it is burned in two engines, a generator driven by it produces electricity – as a by-product warm water is produced. "In the atomic energy, the warm gas that is produced is mostly dissipated in the air. It's like slaughtering a pig just for its loin," says probeck, says sebald. This is why cogeneration is not only environmentally friendly, but also saves resources and, above all, is efficient. "In the first year we have already replaced 100 000 liters of heating oil", says sebald.

And in the first year of full operation, there should be even more – 250,000 liters in total. The figures for the first year are nevertheless impressive. "Although not everything was ready yet, we have already supplied electricity to 484 households for an average of one year," says, says wolfgang holland-gotz, the planner in charge at WHG anlagenbau. During the 8,000 hours of operation, 450,000 cubic meters of biogas have been produced so far. This corresponds to a CO2 saving of 1100 tons. "The mayor made it clear to the people that seblach is a location for renewable energies – and that everyone has something to gain from it", says sebald. The city council has unanimously approved all building applications "that is not self-evident."

The family was a pride

Sebald thanked his family in particular, especially his wife, who is the "secret bookkeeper" acts. Franz robner emphasized that not everything was quite ready yet. For example, the feeder had to be adjusted even better. "When it is ready, it will be of the finest quality", Robner says.

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