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IFAT CHINA + EPTEE + CWS 2010: Wide-ranging applications for biogas – significant potential for expansion
• IFAT CHINA + EPTEE + CWS present innovations and solutions in the
field of biogas
The production of biogas, in particular in small, decentralized systems, has been common in China for decades. Last year around one in ten families in the rural regions of China cooked with biogas. The majority of this environmentally-friendly fuel was produced on a very small scale in the 18 million independently operating domestic plants. A further 1.4 million households were supplied with biogas for cooking purposes by larger systems via 700 distribution networks. This saved the atmosphere from the emissions that would have arisen from over eleven million tonnes of coal equivalent. The Chinese government is looking to further expand this decentralized use of bio-energy. According to the national biogas-development concept, up to 70 percent of the rural households will be supplied with biogas by the year 2020.
For a number of years this energy-rich waste product has been used increasingly also for generating electricity. "Biogas power plants with a capacity of over 500 kW of installed electrical output are particularly in demand," says the German bio-energy expert Heinz-Peter Mang, who works for CIM (Centrum für Internationale Migration und Entwicklung ) as a consultant for bio-energy and sustainable sanitation management at the University of Science and Technology in Beijing. The background is the treatment of large quantities of waste, waste water and sewage, for example from industrial animal husbandry, from local-authority sewage works and city waste collection.
Large-scale biogas projects in China are being boosted by the focus on climate protection and the mechanisms for worldwide emissions trading. In 2008 and 2009 so far four large biogas power stations have been built, with an electrical output of between one and three megawatts. According to Mang, 90 further projects, each with over one megawatt of output, are currently either in construction or being planned. Long-term the market is expected to grow to include 7,000 such plants.
However, there are still a number of obstacles to be overcome for successful operation of biogas plants. "One of the main problems is that the political authorities in China are not yet giving enough support to making biogas plants cost-effective," said Mang. "They are focusing on encouraging the construction of such plants, but not so much on the really successful operation of systems to generate renewable energy. As such there are few specific incentives for the production and use of biogas and its residual products. Also, the whole product range arising from biogas production – gas, electricity, heat and fertilizer – is not being marketed in the best way. As for technology the Chinese biogas planning and construction companies often don’t have the expertise and this is limiting the innovations potential. Also, large-scale plant in particular is often being equipped with short-term technical components and building materials, prompted by the very tough competitive environment."
In general the development of efficient and energy-optimized large-scale biogas plants is, according to Mang, still seven to ten years behind the level of German technology. This opens up many business opportunities for German and other foreign companies. The prospects look particularly good, for example, for general services for plant operators, suppliers of components, and measurement and control technology, the development of highly efficient fermentation technologies, the introduction of new materials for reactor construction and gas accumulators, components for high-pressure biogas storage, co-generation plants with efficient use of thermal energy, and training in technology development.
An excellent opportunity for finding out about the market for environmental technology and in particular about the specifics of the biogas business in China, is provided by the environmental trade fair IFAT CHINA + EPTEE + CWS, which takes place from 5 to 7 May 2010 in Shanghai.
Further information: www.ifat-china.com and www.eptee.com
About IFAT CHINA + EPTEE + CWS
Messe München International (MMI), the organizer of IFAT CHINA, and Shanghai ZM International Exhibition Co., Ltd., the organizer of China EPTEE + CWS Show for Water, Air, Waste, Energy and Recycling, are putting on IFAT CHINA + EPTEE + CWS, a joint event taking place from 5 to 7 May 2010 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC). IFAT CHINA 2008 attracted 362 exhibitors and over 10,500 visitors. The proportion of exhibitors from outside China was again very high, at over 50 percent. In 2009 EPTEE + CWS, a strong national trade fair, hosted a total of 756 exhibitors and over 32,000 visitors. With the strong international profile of IFAT CHINA and the strong national importance of EPTEE + CWS, the two trade fairs complement each other very well in terms of both exhibitors and visitors. In 2010, up to 1,100 exhibitors and round about 38,000 visitors are expected to take part in this joint event which will cover four halls of the SNIEC and a total of 40,000 square meters.
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