This project captures biogas from wastewater in a starch plant in the Kalasin region in Northeastern Thailand. The biogas is used for heat and power generation. The new technology mitigates greenhouse gas emissions, improves local air quality and fosters sustainable development in the region.
This project is an ideal short term project to help buy time and avoid emissions in two ways: The first is the destruction of methane, CH4, which is a greenhouse gas that is significantly worse for the climate than CO2. The second is that the way the methane is destroyed is by being used as a fuel which replaces other fossil fuels that would have been used for the same purpose. This thereby also reduces the CO2 that would have been emitted by transporting and burning that fuel.
With 75% of the global market share, Thailand is the world‘s largest exporter of tapioca products. The process of drying tapioca starch requires large volumes of water, resulting in vast quantities of wastewater with high organic content that is often stored in open lagoons. The tropical climate create perfect conditions for the breakdown of organic compounds in the wastewater. This produces large amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.
The Kalasin wastewater treatment project introduced a closed loop system in the starch plant that captures the methane emissions to generate heat and electricity for the factory. As a result, the electricity generated from the fossil-fuel intensive grid and heavy fuel oil used in the boilers is replaced with a clean alternative. This project saves approximately 29,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents on a yearly basis. The project reduces air pollution and saves precious groundwater resources. It promotes sustainable development of the region by supporting local farmers with free agricultural fertilizers and creating jobs during the construction and operating phases.
This project significantly reduces air pollution, a portion of the funding is used to support local hospital and healthcare infrastructure (3), it created over 30 local jobs (8), and includes scholarships for 80 students (4) further advancing knowledge and enabling a more diversified local economy.