A tomato producer wanted a solution for efficient biogas power generation using biomass in its greenhouses. At least 15-20 cubic meters of biomass such as pulpy tomatoes, stems, and leafs are collected every day. The producer knew that energy could be generated from this organic residue and waste material. But they need to be further processed to produce biogas.
Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable worldwide: approx. 150 million tons of tomatoes are grown each year. The tomato plants are grown year-round in huge high-tech greenhouses and can reach well over 10 meters in length in one season – a growth that would not happen on uncovered farmland. However, the greenhouses require a great deal of energy for such efficient cultivation.
The producer needed a solution to cover the entire biomass process. First, the tomato waste is fed to the biogas facility. Then, the plants and separated tomatoes are cut into pieces so that micro-organisms can accumulate on the additional surfaces for fermenting. Finally, the prepared biomass is pumped into the facility’s mixing tank.
SEEPEX installed a BTM range open hopper pump for macerating and conveying the green biomass waste. Thanks to the integrated cutting unit, the BTM can handle both processes simultaneously. The cutter’s design optimally chops both the soft tomatoes and the stringy plant parts.
The hopper pump drastically reduced the investment costs: Instead of a macerator and downstream pump, only a single unit needed to be purchased.
Less equipment = lower service and maintenance costs. These cost savings helped the tomato producer be more profitable and competitive in the low margin food market.
Contact Rogers Machinery for assistance improving your food production processes.
Information Source: Seepex Case Studies