Renewable green energy for the nation

Thorsø Miljø- og Biogas was built in 1994 by BWSC as an experimental system with a grant from the Danish Energy Agency. The Thorsø plant was number 14 at the time in Denmark.

The idea of building a biogas plant arose in consequence of investments in environmental improvements needing to be made in the agricultural sector in the form of expanded tank capacities in conjunction with the biogas plant’s vehicles also being able to redistribute surplus manure from livestock herds to crop production.

There are now 43 suppliers/members who supply the plant with livestock manure. Around 30% of the degassed slurry is distributed to crop growers in the area.

Thorsø District Heating sells the CO2 neutral biogas, in the form of electricity and heat, to the benefit of the town’s population.

The first environmental application to expand the plant was submitted in 20016.

The objective was a total renovation of the plant in order to markedly increase gas production.

The 20th anniversary of the plant was celebrated in 2014, which also saw Kurt Sørensen depart as the Chairman and Erik Vestergaard begin as the new Chairman.

“The ambition remains clear: we desire on the part of the Board to expand our plant with continually rising gas production so that we can continue to furnish the local population with clean energy from agriculture,” says Chairman Erik Vestergaard.

Anders Nedergaard has been involved the entire time and in total has ben employed at Thorsø Biogas for 11 years, as the Operations Manager since 2011.

Because biogas production is a biological process, substantial requirements are posed for management and understanding of the process. Plus, an operations manager also needs to have an understanding of motors, machines and piping and pumps.

Timely solicitude is one of the key concepts, since the biological process is highly dependent on the raw materials that go into the reactors and hence the process can quickly change and accelerate within a short period of time.

Thorsø Biogas received a grant/commitment from the so-called Green Growth Pool of DKK 3.6 million, which made it possible in addition to the plant expansion to invest in further post-process storage tanks (for degassed slurry) as well as gas purification tanks.

During summertime operation, the entire heat production cannot be used, hence a bypass has been added to convert the heat and use it as electricity instead.

Fact Box

  • 43 members/suppliers
  • Capacity: receives and processes 170,000 tons of biomass every year, of which 8,500 tons ar deep bedding and fodder remnants.
  • Gas production/year: approx. 6 million m3 of biogas
  • Energy production: 4.45 mwh/h
  • Reactor capacity: 10,660 m3
  • 3 tractor trailer sets for transport to and from the plant
  • 6 full-time employees as well as weekend caretakers
  • The plant underwent a major renovation in 2013-2014 and was expanded by 50%, increasing the capacity from 120,000 tons to 170,000 tons of biomass/year.
  • The biogas plant delivers heat to Thorsø District Heating, which buys all the biogas.