ST. LOUIS, April 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Akermin today announces the signing of a Cooperative Agreement for a commercial-scale demonstration project that will incorporate its biocatalyst technology. This DKK 42 million ($7 million US), three-year demonstration project is partially-funded through a grant from the Danish Energy Agency (EUDP).
The project will be located at the Biofos waste-water treatment plant which cleans roughly a third of the waste from the city of Copenhagen, Denmark. The organic waste is processed using large digesters in an environmentally-friendly manner to produce biogas and a digestate product that is easily disposed. The biogas, which is comprised primarily of methane and CO2, is presently combusted to produce electrical power and heat that is used in the digesters and buildings. This project will use Akermin's industrial biocatalyst to "upgrade" (remove the CO2) to produce up to 2.6 million cubic meters per year (250,000 cubic feet per day) of grid quality "bio methane" (renewable natural gas) in a manner that is more energy-efficient and cost-effective than commercially-available technologies. When this facility commences operations in the 2nd quarter of 2015, this is expected to be the largest demonstration of a biocatalyst to remove CO2 from an industrial gas stream anywhere in the world. Akermin's technology will incorporate an enzyme that is being developed by Novozymes.
Akermin's technology integrates enzymes within proprietary delivery systems to create an industrial biocatalyst that can be readily incorporated into conventional chemical absorption processes for CO2 removal. By addressing the key issue of enzyme stability in harsh industrial environments, Akermin's environmentally-friendly approach to CO2 removal significantly reduces capital and operating costs for owners and operators of industrial facilities.
HMN Gashandel A/S, the commercial part of HMN Naturgas I/S, Denmark's biggest operator of natural gas distribution, will lead the project and oversee the construction and operation of the facility. This facility will produce grid-quality, bio methane that will be injected into HMN's distribution network. The facility will be designed and constructed by Ammongas A/S, a Danish engineering company with significant experience in the design of process technology for gas separation. The Danish Gas Technology Centre (DGC) will be responsible for coordinating site testing and developing the subsequent technical and economic analyses.
The goal of the project is to demonstrate the benefits of Akermin's technology for biogas upgrading and support Denmark's objective to develop new technology to produce a sustainable but more cost-effective, grid-quality bio methane that will offset combustion of fossil fuels and reduce GHG emissions to the atmosphere. The demonstration unit is scheduled to operate for two years as a demonstration unit and hereafter on commercial basis.
"This project marks the first major step to commercialize our technology for an important market," said Barry Blackwell, Akermin's President and CEO. "We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with the Partners and with the EUDP to demonstrate how our technology will help reduce the cost to upgrade biogas and enable the cost-effective development of new upgrading facilities with HMN across Denmark, as well as with other partners throughout the world."
"We are pleased to be a part of a project that combines biogas from waste-water treatment facilities and the natural gas grid," said Ole Albaek Pedersen, CEO HMN Gashandel, adding "all other things being equal, reduced costs for biogas upgrading will provide more green gases to our customers."
About Akermin, Inc.:
Akermin is a cleantech technology development company located at BRDG Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO. Akermin's multi-disciplined approach integrates enzymes within proprietary delivery systems to create an industrial biocatalyst that can be incorporated into conventional processes for energy efficient, green CO2 management solutions.
About HMN Gashandel A/S:
HMN Gashandel A/S and its parent company HMN Gassalg A/S is the commercial arm of Denmark's largest natural gas distribution company HMN Natural I/S owned by 57 municipalities in the greater Copenhagen Region and Mid and North Jutland rated Aaa by Moody's. The company has a market share of 40 % in volume and 60 % in number of customers in Denmark.
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SOURCE Akermin, Inc.