Smart energy system for agriculture, based on biomass to biofertiliser & water

About Solution

Availability of continuous supply of clean water is synonymous with economic and social development of a region. Globally, there are 844m people without access to safe drinking water, 2.3B people without access to proper sanitation which mostly related to water availability and 266m hours are lost per day to look for water. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that about 815 million people of the 7.6 billion people in the world, or 10.7%, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2016. A lot of this can be changed by using locally available waste biomass residues to make organic fertiliser and clean drinking water by using pyrolysis technology we have developed.

Shown in the youtube link is one of our first prototype pyrolyser unit which we have built and it can use a variety of biomass residues including, MSW, forestry and industrial wastes as well as purpose grown crops. Our system does not compete with food resources and in fact it complements the food production as the waste produced during food production is used to grow more food by biochar and desalinated water from our technology. This is a continuous auger screw pyrolysis system which is fuelled by wastes and the end products are biochar and heat. Depending on the quality of feedstock waste minimisation is as high as 75% by weight. The combined energy efficiency is greater than 50%. We have successfully produced a fuelgas (syngas) which is made of carbon monoxide, methane, hydrogen and carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water vapour. This gas is further cleaned by high temperature filters and then used in-situ to provide the heat energy for the pyrolysis reactor. The waste heat coming out has a lot of energy which is used to drive a forward osmosis system to produce clean drinking water from brackish and seawater. We conducted further research and now have established the need for two units at 25 kg and 250 kg biochar output per hour while produce twice as much waste heat from each unit for utilisation in water desalination. For each kilogram of biochar we can produce 10 litres of water. We are now looking for integrating our system with forward osmosis so we can bring the benefits of high energy efficiency of this combined system to mass market globally. Our research also shows that such small scale systems are perfect at economy of scale for small towns and villages various there is no drinking or it is not continuously available. Furthermore, at these scales, locally sourced waste residues do not have to incur long distance transportation (thus high transport CO2 emissions) thus further enhancing the sustainable development potential as well as providing benefits to local communities due to associated employment. This is a true example of low carbon integrated system to produce biochar for use in agriculture and clean water. Both these output products contribute to food production. The forward osmosis process does not need excessive amount of electrical energy (4 kWh per cubic meter of water) and is mostly driven by recovered waste heat from the pyrolysis process. The membranes are robust and are purchased from OEM suppliers for integration into the process.

Such an integrated system is built in modules which are deployed in appropriate locations with minimal disruptions to local communities during construction. The system is robust and has very little dependence on externally procured consumables. The manpower required to run such a system is very low (2 hours of a trained operator per day) thus having a greater availability. We are now seeking funding and collaboration within your consortium of partners to deliver these benefits across the globe within our lifetime. Our aim is further refine the system in our labs in UK before we deploy an integrated system in a challenging use environment. We want to use local biomass wastes to convert it into biochar and water for local people for local benefits and at the same time provide jobs and reduce pollution from wastes. We have done our homework already and need your support to transfer the benefits to all and truly address the triple bottom line of sustainability by means of environmental, social and economic benefits. We need us all together for this project to make a positive difference in the lives of common person.

We have gathered a wealth of knowledge and experience on energy and chemicals from wastes during the involvement with various European Union projects while working at prominent UK institutions. We have learnt that applied engineering of new innovations are mostly accelerated by private companies when the business is sustainable on long term basis. Hence we set up Eco Research Ltd in UK. We are a team of engineers, scientists, technicians, accountants and project managers. We have got together to apply our knowledge and experiences to benefit to global population by taking our research out from our labs into the big wider world. We want to build our next modular unit of 250 kg biochar output per hour and then upscale our production capability by recruiting more people and doubling our manufacturing capability every year by starting with 4 units each from year 2020. We have a long way to go and the mission is not impossible as we are very committed to transfer our research into benefits for common person globally. Are you with us? We are not just waiting but continuing to work and your support will only accelerate our progress to bring the benefits to locals. Keep watching this space, we are onto something big. 



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