Future advances in renewable energy will not save the environment; Britain must act now with existing technologies. This is a clear message from Sir Patrick Valance, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, ahead of the G7 International Conference in Cornwall earlier this year. If this is the case, and there is no reason to doubt it, the UK faces a great challenge in finding and expanding existing sustainable technologies to achieve the country’s climate goals by 2050.
Bennamann, clean energy pioneer , is transforming agricultural waste and managing grasslands as alternative sources of sustainable fuels.
Clean energy pioneer Bennamann is transforming agricultural waste and managed rangelands into alternative sources of sustainable fuel. GETTY
Fortunately, there are already some great projects underway. One example is Bennamann, a pioneer cleantech company located in the agricultural county of Cornwall, which collects fugitive methane and turns it into a “better than zero carbon” fuel. Bennamann captures biogas, the gas contained in organic matter, from farms and processes, turns it into green fuel, collects it from the farm and adds it with fuel from other locations, and then sells it to the energy market.
Carbon-free renewable fuel from mud ponds
The president and chief technology officer, Dr. Chris Mann, founded this company when he was trying to use renewable energy to separate his home from the grid. As a former aerospace physicist, you came across this concept in Florida when you heard a local radio station warn about the danger of grass clippings in the family garage. Fascinated by the level of energy produced, he soon realized that the methane released by the mud lagoon in his Cornish hometown could be captured and turned into fuel.
“Biomethane is a natural gas that is produced when organic matter (such as farm manure) breaks down. It is generally a harmful greenhouse gas that causes global warming,” said Dr. Mann. “By capturing material from the material before it is released into the atmosphere, it can be used as an affordable, versatile and renewable zero carbon, or in the case of manure, better than zero carbon, but as a fuel.
The Circular Economy promotes local energy revolution 4,444 Obtaining energy from local waste, distributing energy to local people and creating local jobs without connecting to the grid or natural gas grid is a powerful circular economy strategy. Bennerman can produce 4,600 kilograms of methane per hectare of grass, which is roughly equivalent to 75,000 liters of gasoline produced by two soccer fields.
Bennamann’s expansion plan to help address renewable energy demand is underway. They are located in the Aerohub Business Park near Cornwall Newquay Airport, have their own custom manufacturing facilities and a research and development farm near Truro.
But they didn’t stop there. With the investment from Case New Holland Industries, Bennamann is ready for global expansion and is busy launching prototypes and first commercial products in the exhaust and biomethane value chain. Methane-fueled tractors and electric car chargers that can charge Tesla in an hour are also part of the development plan. The company currently has more than 30 employees and is expected to double in size in the next few years.
Digital ERP technology supports clean energy innovation.
In order to keep up with its rapid growth plan, Bennamann recently cooperated with SAP and its partner In Cloud Solutions and chose SAP Business ByDesign as its ERP software solution. The goal is to have an intelligent digital core that connects business processes and people as the business expands. Starting from finance, Bennamann will be able to track activities in real time, and eventually expand the scope of the project to include acquisitions and other areas as the organization grows.
Climate change starts locally and goes global
In a recent public speech, Dr. Mann explained how Bennamann’s technology can remove a quarter of man-made methane from the environment, and methane, as a greenhouse gas, is responsible for climate change Part of the reason. Using fugitive methane to power gas tractors can save 680 cars a year.
“We are proud to be a Cornish company with the potential to revolutionize the global energy market, and we look forward to putting Cornwall at the forefront of renewable energy innovation,” said Dr Mann.
With innovative technology and business models, Bennamann is helping to combat climate change, while creating rural jobs and green growth for post-pandemic recovery, and providing alternative sources of sustainable fuel, all from agricultural waste and managed grass. This is a renewable energy model that can be replicated globally.
Learn more about how the company incorporates sustainability into connected smart business processes.