PRE Power Recycling Energyservice GmbH
High-power ultrasound technology
Disintegration of organic constituents in liquids!
Principle: Ultrasound-induced implosions
What is the Wave-Box?
The Wave-Box is a new PRE development for the high-power digestion of fibrous substrates. Using a reversible pump, the digester substrate or digestate is continuously and optimally brought through a cleverly designed system of pipes into the effective range of ultrasound-emitting "sonotrodes". The control unit allows the user to adjust the flow rate, pressure, flushing cycles etc. The Wave-Box operates in a bypass circuit and can be integrated into the PRE high performance digester and the PRE Kombi Hydrolysis unit or can be retrofitted to biogas systems.
What does the Wave-Box consist of?
The main component is the newly developed high-power ultrasound system. Other components include a volumetric flow meter, pressure and volume controlled pumps, sensors, flushing pipes as well as a self-optimising and self-monitoring control unit.
How does the Wave-Box work?
Ultrasound is sound at frequencies beyond the range of the human ear: from 20 kHz up into the megahertz range. In aqueous media, ultrasound waves produce a periodic compression (positive pressure) and extension (tension, negative pressure) of the medium subjected to the sound. In the negative pressure phase, high-intensity ultrasound leads to the disintegration of the water phase, which in turn leads to the creation of microscopically small voids in the liquid. The small bubbles fill with water vapour or gas. They grow in the tension phases and shrink in the compression phases until they implode.
The implosion of these bubbles is called cavitation. On the micro scale, the pressures involved can be as high as 500 bar. The forces created by ultrasound are capable of destroying even the most robust surfaces.
The Wave-Box is a patented high-power ultrasound system designed to be very effective at disintegrating biomass. The ultrasound reactors in the Wave-Box work as a continuous system at a high intensity and amplitude in the lower frequency range (20 and 35 kHz).
When biomass comes into the effective range of the sound waves, the organic agglomerate is first destroyed and the total surface area of the biomass suspension increased. Further sonification opens plant and bacteria cells, tearing apart fibres and allowing the contents of the cells to escape. In this way, enzymes, nutrients and micro-nutrients are released and additional substrates made available. The sonified biomass is not only a superb substrate for active microorganisms, it also supports the overall digestion process through the actions of enzymes and nutrients.
What benefits does the Wave-Box offer?
The PRE Wave-Box ensures that fibre-rich constituents of the substrate are degraded, which means that the biochemical hydrolysis is more efficient. More methane (10-20%) is formed from the organic content. The increased yield exceeds the energy input by a factor of 12-15.
• Energy input 3-5 kW for a 500-600 kW plant
- Usable energy 75 kW Increase in the possible electricity production
• Digestate spreading performance Typical pump flow using
a trailing-hose system 40 m3/h
- 80 m³/h pump flow rate after Wave-Box use
• Reduced ecological load due to a reduction of the secondary fermentation potential by around 15-18 % CH4 equivalent
• The accelerated digestion of the organic content leads to reduced residual methane potential and shortens the required hydraulic retention time (for existing plants).
• High-power ultrasound sustainably destroys the microorganisms responsible for foam formation in digesters and wastewater treatment plants.
HIGH-POWER ULTRASOUND WAVE-BOX CHARACTERISTICS
1. Means of increasing the efficiency of fermentation processes
2. Can be used in all existing biogas and waste water treatment plants
3. Installation and commissioning within 2 days
Start-up and optimisation via monitoring/Internet
4. No permissions required in accordance with BImSchG
(Germany's Federal Immission Control Act)
5. Long servicing cycle of approximately 2 years or up to 16,000 operating hours
6. Monitoring by the manufacturer, optimisation of the system's operation by the
manufacturer via Internet
7. Autonomous operation with no functional interaction effects with the existing biogas plant
8. Simple, economically-efficient finance options through the manufacturer
(leasing/hire-purchase) or principal banks
9. Higher synergetic effects lead to an increase in liquidity from the commissioning phase
10. Increased efficiency and value of the whole biogas system from the synergetic effects
11. A wider range of feedstock can be used