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RE: (one of) two ag-related questions



Michelle Gaither asked, in part:

>  Has anyone heard of utilizing waste steam for a greenhouse?  don't need 
>  the energy, just looking for warmth/humidity.  Don't know how far the
steam 
>  could travel before losing the warmth.  Apparently this is done in the 
>  Netherlands??

The Kalundborg industrial park in the Netherlands is probably the most
widely publicized example of such a synergy but the use of surplus steam
and/or warm process water for district heating applications is relatively
commonplace.  But theKalundborg example is probably the most fun, since it
is tightly integrated across multiple industries and feeds, and is a good
example of the evolutionary nature of industrial ecosystems.  For more
Kalunborg info see for example:

http://www.indigodev.com/Kal.html
http://www.sustainable.doe.gov/business/gertler2.shtml

I believe that ZERI also has built/designed some examples of industrial
eco-parks that re-use process steam/heat for ag/food related applications
(fish farming, etc).  See http://www.zeri.org/systems/brew.htm

For a more focused review of commercial district heating applications, see
the excellent resource at http://www.energy.rochester.edu/dh/.  According to
this site, 

"A recent census by the Department of Energy found more than 30,000 district
heating systems in the United States and there are thousands more throughout
the world."

Don't know how many of these are involve greenhouses, but the Rochester site
has links to several systems, so that is "...left as an excercise for the
student", as the saying goes.

You mention the humidity aspect of the steam heat, but I suspect that any
pratical application would require more or less closed-loop systems since
process water is generally chemically treated prior to use, and (1) you
would want to recycle it within the plant, merely extracting the heat energy
from it; and (2) there may be some real environmental/health concerns
related to the release of the untreated condensate in the greenhouse.

I can't give you much in the way of guidance regarding economic distances
for piping/moving the steam but will observe that  many years ago I visited
a waste-to-energy facility on the outskirts of Baltimore, MD and seem to
recall that this facility sold some of its process steam to district heating
applications in downtown, a few miles away.  Certainly I would think that
distances of 1-2 miles could be accomplished, depending on the size of the
downstream application.  The St Paul, MN system
(http://www.districtenergy.com/de.cfm?p=059648.services._story.heatfact)
operates hot water lines over 79,000 linear feet of heating network, serving
"more than 150 downtown large buildings and 298 single-family residences in
downtown Saint Paul and adjacent areas; over 26 million square feet of
building area served, including over 75 percent of downtown building space "

For that matter, your own City of Seattle has a district steam system that
has been in operation since 1889, back when the only thing to heat in
Seattle was salmon and lumberjacks.  Oh, and sasquatches, too.

Hope this helps.

Scott Butner (butner@battelle.org) 
Director, ChemAlliance
Senior Research Scientist, Environmental Technology Division
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
MS K6-04
PO Box 999, Richland, WA  99352
(509)-372-4946 voice/(509)-372-4995 fax
http://www.chemalliance.org/

P.S. -- Don't know what to do with the methane -- but a good start would be
had by doing a quick web search on Landfill gas utilization -- I suspect
that the technical issues are similar.  It was the big thing in the 80's,
now I think it's more routine.  One big concern is that such sources of
methane can be pretty high in sulfur compounds, and too low in methane
concentration for economic use.  But worth checking on.  


-----Original Message-----
From: Gaithermj@aol.com [mailto:Gaithermj@aol.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2001 9:12 AM
To: p2tech@great-lakes.net
Subject: two ag-related questions


1.  Has anyone heard of utilizing waste steam for a greenhouse?  don't need 
the energy, just looking for warmth/humidity.  Don't know how far the steam 
could travel before losing the warmth.  Apparently this is done in the 
Netherlands??

2.   Any suggestions on capturing methane which is escaping from a small 
farm's
irrigation well?

thanks!!