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April 2013 Status: Brazil Biogas Plant in "Commissioning" Process

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  • Aerial View

    The Big Picture

    At right of the photo, you can see Jardim Gramacho, the landfill depicted in the Wasteland movie. This large landfill is the source of the biogas that will be cleaned using FirmGreen's green technology, now installed and in the "commissioning", or pre-startup process at Gás Verde's biogas purification plant.

    The green line shows the route of the installed pipeline that will transport cleaned gas to a nearby customer — Brazil's largest company, Petrobras.

  • Gás Verde Biogas Processing

    Biogas plant & biogas source

    In the background is the Gramacho landfill from which raw biogas is collected for cleaning. The landfill is approximately the size of 250 football fields, and rises 300 feet above the surrounding terrain. That's a whole lotta trash – about to be put to good use producing energy!

    In this image, the short vessels center front are part of the system that removes hydrogen sulfide (H2S) from the raw biogas. H2S is a colorless gas produced by the breakdown of waste material, known for its distinctive "rotten eggs" odor.

  • Gás Verde Plant

    Miles of Pipeline!

    As commissioning of the biogas plant continues, cleaning the inside of pipeline is an important task. As seen in this and other photos, there's quite a lot of pipeline to be cleaned, so this process will take quite a few days!

    In the foreground is the center pipe rack that bisects the facility, carrying gas through compression and various stages of cleaning. In the background, the tall structures with yellow railing are Sulfa-treat vessels that remove hydrogen sulfide.

  • Flexible Pipeline Arrives at the Gate

    Another angle on the site

    The large columns to the left of the overhead pipe rack are vessels that that remove contaminants from the incoming raw biogas.

    The raw biogas is taken through several stages of drying (removing water), compression, and filtration before it goes into the Wash Column that removes carbon dioxide (CO2).

    The resulting product is a clean natural gas known as biomethane, with the same energy content as natural gas from fossil fuel sources.

  • Pigs in a Row

    Pipeline Cleaning...

    The yellow plugs at right — called "pigs"— are pushed through the pipeline to remove any debris or soil that accumulated during construction.

    The next slide shows another step in the pipeline cleaning process.

  • Pipeline Drying

    ...and Pipeline Drying

    Once debris is removed, liquid nitrogen (N2) is introduced, which is vaporized and then used to render the pipeline inert. (i.e., dry and free of oxygen).

    After this process, the pipeline will be ready to safely transport biomethane (renewable natural gas).

  • Workers check systems

    Up in the air...

    Workers are checking every connection in the system.

  • Valve check in Brazil

    ...and on the ground level

    Correct operation of every valve is verified by the team in Brazil.

  • Equipment Assembly - lower biogas column

    System Controls Check

    Each controls panel undergoes testing to insure that an accurate view of the system is reported continuously.

  • Log book review

    Checking the list

    That's a log book, with system diagrams and other detailed information.

    Steve Wilburn (left) and Jeff Cook, P.E. (right) carefully review what pre-startup checks have been accomplished so far.

  • Workers and Steve

    "Um Abraço!"

    Several workers take a moment to smile for the camera, with FirmGreen's Steve Wilburn at center. ("um abraço" literally means a hug; figuratively it is an expression of friendship)

  • Global Friends - FirmGreen and Gás Verde

    Check Back Soon!

    We will post more photos as the facility becomes operational, so check back for updates.

    Read more about this project
    View "Starting Point: Ohio" gallery
    View "Novo Gramacho: Brazil" gallery
    View "Novo Gramacho: 2012" gallery
    View "Novo Gramacho: Open House"
    View "Novo Gramacho: August 2013"

    Find out more about natural gas (methane) fuel, and why FirmGreen's gCNG® — natural gas from renewable sources, is environmentally sound energy.
    Read More


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