Next year, Mexico City will host a major event for the natural gas and alternative fuels industry: Altfuels Mexico 2018 will take place on 23-26 April at the World Trade Center. The country and the city are experiencing an extremely favorable context in this sector, with many news and innovative projects underway.
In this regards, one of the most ambitious local initiatives for the use of organic solid waste and its consequent transformation into products such as biofertilizer and biogas that can be converted into electricity has started operation in Mexico City. This is the Organic Waste Treatment Plant of the Nopal-Vegetable Collection Center in Milpa Alta, a project carried out by the company Suema and co-financed by the Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation (Seciti) of Mexico City.
The project is unprecedented in Mexico City, according to the Director of Research and Development of Suema, engineer Carlos Miguel Apipilhuasco González. “It is a waste recovery system of the Nopal-Vegetable Collection Center that is based on anaerobic digestion technology. Its objective is to take advantage of waste at the generation site to produce biogas that can be used as fuel, or be transformed into electric energy,” he said.
Its creators call the new plant a pilot test that will serve as the most important trial to decide to undertake other challenges regarding integrated waste management in other markets or supply centers. “We want this to be the first plant of several in Mexico City. The following ones should follow the standardized operation model with the aim of replicating it in strategic points in order to eliminate the vast majority of organic waste,” explained Apipilhuasco González.
The newly inaugurated plant promises to generate enough electricity to satisfy the energy consumption of the collection center, in addition to generating bio-fertilizer to help the growth of local agriculture. In its normal operation this particular plant will have, after the first months of stabilization, a capacity to process and transform about three tons of nopal waste per day.
The plant will generate around 170 cubic meters of biogas daily, which is equivalent to approximately 175 kilowatts per hour. “Biogas contains a high percentage of methane so it can serve as a fuel and can be burned in an internal combustion engine that is coupled to an electric generator to produce electricity,” commented Raúl Oreste, one of the operators of Milpa Alta plant.
In addition, the biogas produced in this new plant could be used as a transport fuel to power vehicles in Mexico City.
Source: National Council of Science and Technology