Projen secure prestigious IChemE bioprocessing award


Projen’s innovative approach to the anaerobic digestion process has been recognised at the 2013 IChemE awards, held on 7 November at De Vere Whites hotel in Bolton.

A specialist project management and engineering consultancy company, Projen was initially nominated for both the Bioprocessing and Sustainable Technology awards for their work to design a process that could treat a combination of pig slurry and food waste.

The output from this process provides enough biogas to power a 1.2 MW combined heat and power (CHP) engine, which provides electricity and hot water for the on-site farm operations and enough surplus energy to power around 700 homes.

This was an exciting and challenging project considering that pig slurry contains significantly more ammonia than most digesters can handle. A two-phase digestion process was required which included a first stage hydrolysis phase that has ten times the efficiency of conventional continuous stirred tank reactors and allows the system to handle three times the amount of ammonia - a level that would normally kill most digester bacteria.

The IChemE awards have been recognising and rewarding chemical engineering innovation and excellence for the last 20 years, and have become widely recognised as the most prestigious Chemical Engineering awards in the world. Receipt of this award underpins Projens’s leadership in the design and development of anaerobic digestion systems in the UK.

The award ceremony returned for its twentieth anniversary on the 7 November; the evening was hosted by Nick Hewer, (Lord Sugar’s long time business advisor and panel host from the Apprentice television series) who described Projen’s project as “my favourite nomination”.

The award ceremony was attended by Projen’s head of engineering Nevin Elliott, and sales and marketing manager Shane Pugh, who said:

We were all really thrilled to have been recognised by the IChemE for this prestigious award. Innovation and thinking outside the box’have always been at the heart of what we do at Projen.

The project was completed earlier this year (after only 14 months), and achieved 1.2 MW on a reduced feedstock tonnage, with the capacity to upgrade to 2 MW. This has enabled energy independence for the client, while diverting 18,000 tpa of food waste from landfill.

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Tags: Awards, food waste, IChemE, process design, pug slurry