GSP-Rivalea-03: Data Analysis- Key Measures in Biogas Production

Industry partner:

Rivalea (Australia) Pty. Ltd. is a leading Australian agri-business supplying approximately 20% of the domestic fresh pork market. The company headquarters is located in Corowa, NSW and there are piggery operations in Corowa, Albury, Deniliquin, Bendigo and St Arnaud in Western Victoria. Rivalea also has stock feed mills and meat processing facilities in Corowa and Laverton, Melbourne. Rivalea’s operations are energy intensive both in the milling of feed, rearing livestock and meat processing operations. The introduction of the Federal Government carbon abatement programs and large increases in energy prices in recent years has incentivized the company to build its own energy generation plant using farm and plant resources. Rivalea recognizes that biogas generated in the waste water treatment lagoons is a potential source of energy in the operations of the farm and processing facilities.

Project aims:

  1. To investigate piggery waste and measure lagoon biogas volumes, for Rivalea piggeries in Corowa NSW and Huntly Vic, using historical data.
  2. To review waste water treatment processes and assess the potential energy created by production of methane gas and greenhouse gas balance using historical data (2012-2018) such as flow rate, BOD, COD, VFA, pH EC, total solids, rate of conversion of sludge to biogas, rate of replication of biogas bacteria, efficiency of biological processes.

The report generated from this study will make recommendations for:

  • A business case to capture biogas and generate electricity at the Huntly piggery.
  • Improving greenhouse gas emissions to facilitate a sustainable development of energy supply.
  • Biogas data fluxes measured over a period of 6-12 months from a 41 ML anaerobic lagoon that received waste from a  head swine finishing operation.
  • Feed type, quality and quantity and animal weights and gains to determine the carbon budget of the facility.
  • The influence of temperature on biogas production – summer vs winter biogas production data.

Project deliverables:

Deliverable Description Initial Timing Estimate
Project plan Project Plan- statement of the problem
Milestone 1 Literature review and best practice, data collection
Milestone 2 Methodology, collection of data & analysis, data visualization and data processing; including  flow rate, BOD, COD, VFA, pH EC, total solids.

·         Assess data on biogas production taking account of the Influence of temperature – summer vs winter.

·          Assess data on feed type, quality and quantity and animal weights and gains to determine the carbon budget of the facility

Milestone 3 Draft findings- report back to client and feedback.
Draft project report Draft project report
Project report Project report.
Presentation Final presentation on the project with accompanying presentation materials.

Student Selection:

  • Environmental engineering/sustainable system students
  • Chemical engineering students
  • Mathematics analytic/data science students.

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