Technology uses Tomtech for the first time to control anaerobic digesters
Tomtech has deployed its technology in a new way to promote circular economy in Kenya.
Tomtech technology, most widely used in greenhouses in the UK and Europe, is helping power an anaerobic digester that turns waste into biofuel on one of Kenya’s largest flower farms.
“While we are more used to helping create optimal growing conditions in greenhouses, our technology is also useful for controlling other processes, such as anaerobic digestion,” said Krzysztof Hernik, Director of Tomtech.
Most commonly used in multi-zone greenhouses, Tomtech’s T200 control system automatically adjusts heating, ventilation, watering, fertilization, and other factors that affect growth.
The system monitors conditions using Tomtech’s Environment Manager software and makes changes based on user-specified programming and differences in conditions.
However, T200 has now been used for the first time to control the functions of an anaerobic digestion plant from Kenya’s Grants Bio-Tech.
Anaerobic digestion is the process in which organic matter, such as animal waste or vegetables, is broken down by bacteria into biogas in an oxygen-free tank.
Grants Bio-Tech designs, manufactures, and installs anaerobic digesters, which they believe contribute to energy independence and a cleaner environment.
“The Kenyan horticulture sector, especially the cut flower sector, generates a lot of bio-waste, which can be problematic, but at the same time also presents an opportunity for access to clean and sustainable energy where it is needed most,” said Paul. Hodson, director of Grants Bio-Tech.
“The Tomtech system has given us better and safer control of the digestion process and we’re already seeing an increase in gas production as a result,” Paul adds.
The anaerobic digester is installed at Bohemian Flower Farm, which is located near the town of Naivasha and is one of the largest in Kenya, with more than 3,500 employees. Naivasha, a major town in Nakuru County, about 90km northwest of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, is a popular tourist destination best known for Hell’s Gate National Park, which inspired a number of locations in Disney’s “The Lion King”.
Kenya’s economy relies heavily on agriculture and horticulture, which employs more than 500,000 people, including about 100,000 in businesses that grow roses, carnations, and alstroemeria.
“Of course we took the opportunity to support a project that helps create sustainable energy. The circular economy is becoming increasingly important for the development of communities that can benefit from renewable energy,” concludes Krzysztof Hernik, Director of Tomtech.
Founded in 1986, Tomtech provides everything needed to create, control, and maintain ideal growing conditions in commercial greenhouses. Their adaptive systems are used across the UK and abroad to support the horticulture of almost every type of greenhouse crop. This is one of the first times their technology has also been used to control anaerobic digesters, but more projects are planned, both in the UK and Africa.
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