Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Project looking at harnessing methane from tannery waste

University of Canterbury project looking at harnessing methane from tannery waste

September 4, 2014

A University of Canterbury research project is looking at the possibility of harnessing methane from New Zealand tannery waste so it can become a source of renewable energy.

Tanneries produce different types of solid organic wastes, most of which contain toxic chemicals and end up in landfills. Anaerobic digestion of the waste can be used to produce biogas which contains methane and carbon dioxide gases. When the methane content of the biogas is more than 55 percent the gas can be used as a substitute for natural gas.

This means that tannery waste, which is currently a nuisance, can be used as a source of renewable energy, University of Canterbury final-year engineering student Amanda Kirk says.

She is researching the project with Michaela Aspell under the supervision of University of Canterbury civil and natural resources engineer Dr Ricardo Bello-Mendoza and Peter McGuigan, manager of the university environmental engineering laboratory. Their study will be presented to the annual civil and natural resources engineering research conference on campus next month.

``Different wastes may be more or less suitable for producing methane gas. Biochemical methane potential is a measure of the methane gas production of a given organic substrate under anaerobic conditions,’’ Kirk says.

``Tanneries are looking for alternatives to deal with their waste problem. We are undertaking a study of the major organic wastes produced in Christchurch. The results can then be used as an exemplar for the methane potential of wastes from other tanneries around New Zealand.

``The five waste types being investigated are sludge pit waste, effluent screen waste, solvent degreasing sludge, wheel waste and fleshings. The solvent degreasing sludge is particularly problematic for a tannery as it cannot be disposed of in landfills.

``Our tests result gives us confidence waste will be able to produce useful energy for the tannery. We have also investigated using mixes of waste to achieve higher gas production. Mixes of the degreasing sludge and waste fleshings were able to produce up to 65 percent methane gas content. Mixing the waste types allows more waste to be used in the process, particularly important for reducing landfill disposal costs and using up the degreasing sludge which is currently stored on site.

``The research has shown there is potential for tanneries around New Zealand to produce useful renewable gas for on-site energy production. It is hoped this research will help tanneries in future meet most of its energy needs from its own waste,’’ Kirk says.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Pictures Of Media: Call For Photographs For Reimagining Journalism

In August this year Freerange Press is launching its next big book. This time we are gathering the best writers and thinkers in the country to look at the changing media landscape in New Zealand. To illuminate and give voice to the writing we want to include around 25 excellent photos. We want these photos to document the different aspects of how journalism is made, how it used to be, and how it is changing. More>>

Safer Internet Day: Keeping Safe Online More Important Than Ever

Tuesday 9 February marks Safer Internet Day. Safer Internet Day is designed to create awareness about the importance of Internet safety and encourages positive use of technology - with a strong focus on young people. More>>

ALSO:

We Have The Technology: Zephyrometer Up And Moving

“The needle’s stoppers had to be repaired because of the extra impact caused by the balance not being correct. We also added an extra 300kgs counter-balance – made from zinc coated steel triangle plates. These adjustments will now stop it bending low over the road in high winds.” More>>

ALSO:

Waitangi Day: Treaty Of Waitangi - Found In Translation

To celebrate the Society of Translators and Interpreters's 30th anniversary, over 90 translators will work together to translate the English and Māori versions of the Treaty of Waitangi into 30 languages... More>>

ALSO:

Northland Development: Trust Applauds $4m Government Funding For Art Centre

Today's announcement of central government support, made by Minister of Economic Development Steven Joyce, provides a key step forward in funding for Whangarei’s Hundertwasser Art Centre & Wairau Maori Art Gallery. More>>

ALSO:

Memorial: 85th Anniversary Of 1931 Napier Earthquake

Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye will today attend the 85th anniversary afternoon tea for survivors of the 1931 Napier earthquake, to pay tribute to the heroism, kindness and generosity shown by many during this and more recent emergencies. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news