English firm helps Spain getting electricity from olive waste

Dec 17, 2004 01:00 AM

An English engineering company, Peter Brotherhood Ltd, has secured a £ 1.8 mm Spanish contract to generate electricity from the residue left from olive processing, through the building of a condensing steam turbine.
The steam turbine has been purchased by Econoler, based in Spain and will be installed at an olive waste fired power plant in Cabra, near Cordoba, Southern Spain. The plant is owned and operated by Bioenergetica Egabrense.

Spain has approximately 190 mm olive trees and is the world's leading olive-producing nation, producing about 20 % of all the olive oil consumed in the world.
"There is increasing pressure on olive growers to dispose of olive milling waste in a more environmentally friendly manner," said Ed Cliffe, Peter Brotherhood's regional sales manager for steam turbines. "Traditional methods have relied on natural processes to degrade the waste but this can lead to noxious smells and ground water pollution. By processing the waste in a different manner it is safely disposed of and the electricity is available as a by-product"

The milling process produces olive milling waste (OMW) which is a sludge by-product, also know as "alperujo". The heat from the exhaust of a gas turbine is used to dry the OMW and after a further oil extraction process, the resulting cake-like material (called "orujillo") will be burnt as a fuel to raise steam for the Peter Brotherhood turbine.
The 8,000 kW condensing steam turbine will comprise of a multi-stage steam turbine, a reduction gearbox, an integral oil system, a generator, a water-cooled condenser and a control system.

The complete turbine, gearbox and oil system will be tested on steam at Peter Brotherhood's engineering facility in Peterborough, prior to despatch and delivered to site in September 2005. The turbine will be used to supply the mill's steam requirements and the electricity generated will be sold to the Spanish grid.
In 2003 Peter Brotherhood delivered a similar machine to Becosa Energia Renovables which is also used to dispose of OMW. The company won the contract because of its experience in designing and manufacturing steam turbines for waste-to-energy power plants and its ability to deliver a bespoke high efficiency machine to very exacting standards.

Peter Brotherhood steam turbines have been used in numerous waste-to-energy power plants throughout the world where the fuels used have been as diverse as bagasse, tyres, municipal and clinical waste and meat and bone meal.

Source: Environment Times
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