When the Environmental Protection Agency was formed, in1970, it used its congressional mandate to issue all sorts of regulations regarding the discharge of contaminants into the land, water and air of this country. Over the years, air pollution has been one of the key areas where the Agency has put in place stringent requirements to control the emission of VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds. Today the mandates of this government agency require extensive steps be taken to curtail their release by all operators of tank farms, chemical plants, refineries, fermentation plants and landfill operations. As a result of these regulations the Bio-Mass utilization industry was born.
Ever since it was commissioned in 1974, the Echallens wastewater treatment plant in the Swiss canton of Vaud has been generating power from the recovery of biogas. In May 2020, two old oil-lubricated piston compressors used to mix the sludge in the digester were replaced by one MINK claw compressor from Busch Vacuum Solutions. This enabled the amount of power required for this process to be reduced by up to 40 percent. For the director of the treatment plant, this means he needs less energy to produce energy.
Energy efficiency and sustainability solutions are often associated with more obvious initiatives--such as installing compact fluorescent bulbs—but those solutions fail to dig deeper for the “hidden gems” that can have a much greater impact. For manufacturing and building engineers or anyone else dealing with high potential energy consumption and inrush current demands, compressed air systems are one of the first places to look for significant energy savings and greater sustainability.