Greenlane Biogas are a company specialising in the outfitting of biogas plants in SME’s to help generate a profitable solution to waste; their plant equipment recycles waste to create energy used by businesses around the world.
During the installation of equipment at one of their customer sites located in Dagenham, a fabrication issue resulted in the plant being secured to a slab in four corners, but a manufacturing fault meant the centre of the plant was in contact with the floor slab. The customer problem arose because the slab had voiding beneath it, the consequence of which was a serious noise and vibration issue when the plant was operational.
The noise and vibration issue affected the working conditions of employees for the company and the long term effect could result in failure of the biogas plant. The purpose of the plant was to generate natural gas using recycled food waste from major retailers. This would then be pumped into the national grid as energy for UK households at a reduced environmental cost.
Closure of the biogas plant would have a major impact on the operations of the business. Greenlane Biogas needed a quick solution to their customer’s problem. The priority for Greenlane was to ensure their customer was provided with the fastest most convenient solution to minimise losses.
Greenlane chose Geobear to provide a void filling solution to minimise the noise and vibration issue. However, there are alternatives to Geobear that could have brought the customer a similar result. In this instance the client could have chosen to use a foam concrete solution.
In isolation, a foam concrete solution could have proved a more cost effective solution in direct terms. However, using foam concrete is a longer process and problems with access would have meant a full five days closure of production for the end customer. As a generator of natural gas, their site is capable of processing more than 160,000 tonnes of food waste every year, generating 14 million m3 of biogas (enough to power 12,600 homes per annum). A five day closure would mean 190000 m3 of natural gas would not be produced for the national grid, the equivalent to powering 180 homes for one week.
The Geobear solution is fast. We could provide the end customer with the same solution as foam concrete, but within one day meaning the overall loss of production was only 40000m3 of natural gas as opposed to 190000m3. This was the key reason for the decision to choose Geobear, to use foam concrete would mean four days of additional losses, which coupled with the direct cost for foam concrete would mean an increase in cost of 40% over the Geobear solution.
Our void filling solution involved injecting a load bearing geopolymer material into the void beneath the slab. The process involved filling a 15m3 area beneath the slab that the biogas plant was situated upon. The material used would ensure a load bearing capacity of 15 kPa which would withstand the weight biogas tank.
Our site technicians drilled injection points into the slab at 1.5 metre centres and injected our expansive material directly into the void. The fill was confirmed when minor movement of 0.25 mm was indicated on our laser monitoring system.
The work was completed with one day and the noise and vibration of the operating plant has been minimised. The material, as well as filling the void, can also act as an acoustic dampener which provides further reduction in noise.
Greenlane and the end customer were satisfied with the end result and the cost effective solution.
Our Project required a grouting solution due to a fabrication issue that arose during installation. With the demands of our client, we needed to offer a solution with minimal downtime to their operation. Other solutions quoted to us were going to take up to 5 days and required the process equipment to be shut down and isolated; meaning massive losses in production, whereas with this solution we were able to maintain continual operation of the equipment and it was completed within a few hours. Results were more than impressive; resulting in drastic reductions in vibration and noise.
Greenlane Biogas – Thomas Ballard – Operations manager