Stainless Steel/Biogas Stainless Steel Digesters for Hungarian Biogas Project

Editor: Dominik Stephan

Thyssen Krupp supplies stainless steel for a Hungarian biogas facility. Since the media and feedstock used in biogas processes are extremely corrosive, the vessels have to meet high demands.

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(Picture: Thyssen Krupp)
(Picture: Thyssen Krupp)

Szeged/Hungary – Weltec Biopower currently builds an ultramodern biogas plant in Szeged, around an hour south of Budapest, Hungary, with stainless steel from Thyssen Krupp Nirosta. This new one-megawatt facility, comprising two combined heat and power plants with an output of 600 kW/h each, will enter operation at the end this year. The feedstock, organic waste substrate, will be supplied by local farmers, who in return can use the digestate left over from the biogas production process as fertilizer on their fields. In addition, the generated heat will be used to heat office buildings in Szeged, company officials say.

Stainless Steel Digesters for Hungarian Biogas Plant

The heart of the facility are two stainless steel digesters. The produced gas will be stored in an external stainless steel gas storage tank with a capacity of 650 cubic at the site. This tank enables collecting gas during the night, before using it to generate electricity during the daytime, when the price for energy is about twice as high, company officials say.

Biogas Vessels Have to Withstand Corrosive Media

The two 3,000 cubic meter digesters are sealed with a double membrane roof, which means that each digester also has an additional gas buffer capacity of 1,016 cubic meters. The substrate, animal waste and energy crops are fermented by a special bacteria. During the fermentation and biogas production, also waste products such as sulfur and ammonia are formed: “These substances are very corrosive, placing high demands on the material for the digesters. That's why we use stainless steel exclusively for our plants,“ says Hajo Schierhold, head of sales and marketing at Weltec Biopower, whose sole supplier of stainless steel is Thyssen Krupp Nirosta.