Highlights on SIE 2012, Sabah - Turning biowaste into valuable products
Don't let the oppotunity go away
Mr. Stefan Petters, Chairman of Guo Business developnent Consult participated the EU-Sabah Biogas Seminar in Malaysia on 20 September 2012, other experts from Europe also expressed their unique viewpoint in biogas capture and utilization from Malaysia Oil Palm Waste and Effluent. The Daily Express in Sabah reported this event and apparently the state government in Sabah has paid more attentions on the topic of turning POME into valuable products.
Is electricity/biogas the best way of biowaste utilization?
Anaerobic digestion is a common practice to remediate organic waste from municipal or industrial today, the harvested biogas will be captured and used to generate electricity, as suggested by the speakers during the conference. The generated electricity will either be consumed on site or feed to the grid to public, however the electricity generated from the biogas could only provide usually far exceed of self-consumption and therefore leads this concept become less attractive and indeed the technology to feed the electricity to grid is not yet mature and well developed. So, the common practice to dispose the biogas is simply flaring off or release without treatment. As reported in IPCC, the GHG potential hazard of CH4 is 23 times as CO2 equivalence. So the above said challenges like landfill and digestion are only confined in the concept of waste remediation but not yet utilization and even not possible to create a Green Economy since this single deliverable technology are severely limited by its return and can only survive on the basis of subsidies and/or regulatory control. From an economic perspective, it is not economically advisable without fully utilize the deliverables, i.e. biogas from landfills. But compare with the cost effective of electricity generation, biogas electrification is just low base-load and is far higher than hydro, wind and nuclear if we consider the renewable energy perspective. So, biogas should be regarded as a valuable intermediate for higher added value rather than directly using in subsidized competition to natural gas.