We heat the airport with wood gas

The wood gas plants in Ladbergen/North Rhine-Westphalia have been running for more than 10 years

In 2010, Burkhardt started its largest project to date: the installation of ten combined heat and power plants at Ladbergen right next to the Dortmund-Ems Canal. At that time, they ran on vegetable oil. The "Am Kanal 45" power generation centre was part of ME Münsterland Energy and had the aim of supplying the industrial zone with district heating (and cooling).

Use of the patented Burkhardt wood gasification system

Rising prices for vegetable oils worldwide made their use for the generation of electricity economically unattractive and an alternative was sought. The chosen option was to retrofit with the recently patented Burkhardt wood gasifier: Unlike previous systems, Burkhardt gasifiers operate using standardised wood pellets. Another difference from conventional wood gasification is the way the process is managed. Wood pellets are fed into the reactor from below and ascending gasification takes place there, forming a stationary fluidised bed.  This technical "workaround" avoids the problem of tar formation, which would destroy modern, highly efficient CHP engines. The wood gas produced - a synthesis gas consisting mainly of CO, H2 und CH4 - is converted into heat and electricity after processing in the CHP unit.

32 Burkhardt gasifier modules planned for final stage

In mid-2011, we installed twelve new wood gasifiers and converted the existing cogeneration units to run on wood gas. The wood gasifiers in Ladbergen were among the first 40 wood gasification plants to have been put into operation by the end of 2011.

Between March and July 2013, the network of power plants was expanded with an additional 16 wood gasifiers and 16 associated CHPs. Together with 4 further wood gas plants, a total of 32 wood gasifiers and 32 CHPs had been installed by October 2014. In addition to the supply and installation of the modules, our scope of services also included installation of the ventilation system and building services technology, as well as the materials handling technology for pellets, fine particles and coal dust.

Today, each of the 32 wood gasifiers is located in its own chamber with the CHPs centrally located in a two-storey bay and connected to the gasifiers by gas pipes up to 100 m in length. The resulting coal dust and screened chips are collected at a central point. The coal dust is delivered to a nearby company that prepares process carbon for the metal industry.

About 31,000 tonnes of ENplus Class A1 wood pellets are consumed each year and are stored in two main silos and several day silos. The pellets are delivered by truck or via the adjacent Dortmund-Ems Canal.

Burkhardt service office in Ladbergen

The resulting network of power plants prompted Burkhardt to establish a service office at Ladbergen/Westphalia in 2013. Today, ten service staff work there. In addition, around 40 wood gasifier and CHP plants in northern Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom are also regularly serviced from there. In summer 2021, the service office moved into new premises in an adjacent building. A well-equipped materials and spare parts warehouse for the local plants, as well as for those in northern Germany and the UK, was also set up.

Renewable heat from wood pellets

A major heating customer is the Biosolid sewage sludge drying plant close to ME Münsterland Energy. In addition, around 7 km of district heating pipelines supply the Stadtwerke Greven utility company with heat for Münster Osnabrück Airport (FMO), as well as supplying a cold absorber in summer to provide air-conditioning for the airport building. The district heating network also supplies heat to other companies in the Ladbergen Industrial Park and in the Münster Osnabrück Airport Park.

Impressive wood gas figures

  • The total plant capacity is 5,960 kW electrical and 8,200 kW thermal.
  • A total of 32 wood gasifiers consume about 31,000 tonnes of pellets per year.
  • This generates about 51,000 MWh of electricity and approx. 65,000 MWh of district heating annually.
  • Availability across all wood gas plants averaged 98% in 2021.
  • Since the first commissioning in mid-2011, the 32 wood gas plants have run for 2,466,259 operating hours (as of 02.05.2022).