Reactor-Cover

Prototype II PFR Column

A new biodigestor model was built in order to accomplish the anaerobic treatment of agave stillage. We are now in the optimization process, defining operative parameters and stabilizing the system. At this moment, we can treat up to 100 stillage liters per week, nevertheless, with minor changes, it is posible to increase the operation capacity.

Prototype II PFR Column

A new biodigestor model was built in order to accomplish the anaerobic treatment of agave stillage. We are now in the optimization process, defining operative parameters and stabilizing the system. At this moment, we can treat up to 100 stillage liters per week, nevertheless, with minor changes, it is posible to increase the operation capacity.

The advantages of PFR Column are:

  • It can treat substratum with high organic load and acid pH, such as agave stillage.
  • It will not require a mixing gear or any other mobile parts, thus making it easier to be hermetic.
  • Its fixed bedding creates a stable biolayer that can interrupt its operation for a few days or even weeks, without producing a significative reduction of its performance. This can be possible only when the reactor is full with liquid and air does not reach the reactor’s sealing parts.
  • It has a feeding system that allows both flux patterns: ascending or descending. This mechanism will be imperative whenever the prototype will be escalated into industrial level, since right now, even if the biolayer grows slowly, it might be necessary to eliminate it after a period of constant functioning. The easiest way to do so, is changing the flux direction.
  • The size of the facility can be custom designed, depending on the mezcal production requirements.
Programación de temperaturas y tiempos de carga del reactor

LABORATORY

This site is perfect for the Research and Development phase, which starts with inoculation, and continues through the climatization process for hydrolic and metanogenic microorganisms, to the stillage substratum. The process follows until it reaches the operative parameters for optimization and system stabilization

PILOT PLANT

It’s a tool to simulate the biogas plant at a real scale. It can evaluate the biogas performance, the one that is produced in a “micropalenque” (a reduced model of the real size mezcal production facility, or “palenque”, in this case, with a monthly production of 340 liters, from December to May). It can also measure the daily performance of a real production facility.

TRAINING

At the moment, the Project is an excellent tool for training and technology transfer between Mexico and Germany. It is working on a daily basis and it produces biogas in real time. This situation also allows the demostration of alternative “best practices” for waste treatment, showing how those residuals produce thermal energy.

In the future, it can be used to train students and mezcal facility operators, so that they can treat their own stillage.

ROBUST AND VERSATILE

Designed in Germany and built at PPX, in Oaxaca, the PFR Column is a robust biodigestor, made up with a very stable biolayer, easy to operate.

Built in stainless steel, this column is provided with preseted cycle feeding systems. The column temperature is controlled through a heating system, made of an vertical electrical gas boiler, linked to a 20 liter gas tank.  To avoid heat loss, both the column and the feeding tank are isolated with a high density mineral fiber.

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Images:

a) PFR Column

b) Feeding Tank

c) Vertical electric gas boiler

Technical Details:

  • Type of reactor: Plug flow Reactor, fixed bedding.
  • Volume: 280 liters. (250 in operation)
  • Dimensions: Height = 16.7 meters, Diameter = 0.46 meters
  • Sealing joints: Polyethylene with specific Surface (108.5 m2/m3 )
  • Heating system: 36ºC to 3ºC (Thermal regulation)
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Electronic Controls: Feeding, Heating system and capacity levels
  • Complementary devices: Temperature sensors in the column, as well as in feeding tanks and biogas volume gauge
  • Security: Hermetic seal and pressure valves
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