Cholburi Wastewater Biogas-to-Energy, Thailand
Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of tapioca starch which is manufactured from treated and dried cassava root and used by the food and toothpaste industries. Drying tapioca starch uses large volumes of water which in turn creates vast quantities of wastewater with high organic content. Before the implementation of this project, the 2400m³ of wastewater produced each day at this factory was discharged into 13 open lagoons. Cholburi has a tropical climate, with an average temperature of 29º Celcius. In this environment, the organic matter in the lagoons was breaking down, creating biogas which was being released directly into the atmosphere.
This project introduces Anaerobic Fixed Film Reactor (AFFR) technology to the factory; a closed loop system co-developed by the King Mongkut’s University of Technology in Thonburi and the National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology. The AFFR technology collects and supplies biogas to a boiler where it is combusted to generate heat and electricity. This energy is used onsite to power the factory, replacing energy that was previously supplied by fossil fuel fi red power stations. Any excess power generated at the plant is delivered to the regional grid.
Alongside the emissions reductions, the project reduces air pollution as the odours from decomposing organic matter are now contained. The factory has adopted sustainable water management practices by reusing the treated wastewater in the manufacturing process, reducing the volume of new water required. Additionally, eight new jobs have been created - four permanent and four temporary - to plan and operate the project.