6th Framework Programme
Case Study 5: Lemgo

Case Study 5: Lemgo

The plant in Lemgo is located in the county Lippe and is being managed as a public-privatre partnership. It aims at achieving two objectives – processing organic wastes which are collected from the waste separating private households as well as producing energy from it. But this has not always been the case. Before the communal reorganization at the end the 60s, every town in Germany had their own waste dump. Today, the county (Kreis) Lippe with a population of 365,000 has 364 closed old waste dumps. Much effort was made to improve and centralise the waste management. In the middle of the 70s these publicly owned waste management companies decided to build up a plant for processing organic waste to humus for gardens and farms. In 1998 the compositing plant was modernised and a further fermentation unit added. But this was all in all a way to dispose of an “energy supply by means of an energy consuming process”. Since 2000 a further extension was build to make use of the otherwise lost methane production to produce electrical energy. Thus the plant covers its own heating and electricity demand and in addition produces electricity for more than 1,500 households. Experiences shows that combination of composting and fermentation is a smart solution for elimination of bad smell, which is otherwise normal by open (aerobe) composting of organic waste. The using of the methane and heat production is the more apt way to respond to the challenges of today and the future.

Key data

Type of plant: Composting
Location: Lemgo, Germany
Operator: Publi-private-partnership (51 % public, 49 % private)
Constructor: BRV Projekt Management AG. Bole (CH)
Operation start: 2000

Operation facts

Mode: 2 stage
  3 parallel concrete fermenters
Temperature range: Thermophilic
Rotting boxes: 5 x 225 m3
Main fermenters: 3 x 820 m3
Seperate gas storage: 1 x 300 m3
Secondary step: Buffer store to dehydrate residues
Final storage tanks: 9 x 225 m3
Feedstock: Organic wastes (83 %)
  Loppings (17 %)
Annual amount: 66,000 tons
Use of gas: 2 CHPs

Energy production

Electrical output: 6,600,000 kWh el (excess)
  Only electricity not used on site
  is fed into public grid
  supply for 1,500 households
Thermal output: All used for processes on site

Additional information

Special feature: The output of the plant is offered to population for free (garden humus).
  Plant is often visited by school classes or other interested parties (educational activities)
Investment: 8 million € for construction
  1,5 million € for waste separation
  7,5 million € for expansion to use biogas

Diagramm of plant