Best-case plant "Deqingyuan Biogas Plant" in China

Deqingyuan Biogas Plant, located in Yanqing District, Beijing, is one of the best-case plants in China, which is very successful in not only environment protection, but also in business. Beijing Deqingyuan Agriculture Technology Co. Ltd (Deqingyuan Agriculture) is an ecological agribusiness. The most distinctive feature of this model is the maximization of resource use, realizing the maximum conversion of livestock manure to energy while simultaneously reducing manure pollution into the environment and creating a prototypical model of contract agriculture.

It is an integrated ecological enterprise running chicken farm, high-quality egg production and biomass energy production. With 3 million chicken, 220 tons of manure and 170 tons of wastewater each day, it is the biggest chicken farmhouse in Asia and the biggest chicken manure biogas plant in China. Funded by GEF, IFC CHUEE Program, it produces 14.6 MWh of electricity per year and reduces the equivalent of around 95,000 tons of CO2 per year. At the same time, it helps to increase the air and water quality. It is the first company in China to sell fresh eggs with a production date and trademark, providing green food for the markets in the capital Beijing and Hong Kong.

Deqingyuan was founded in May, 2002 and it developed with the expansion of its scale. At the beginning, DQY only had several hundred laying hens and the entire chicken manure was processed to fertilizer. In 2004, it expanded to have 500000 laying hens, producing a large amount of chicken manure and wastewater every day, which brought environmental problems. At first, they spread it to farmers around as soil fertilizer and also produced biogas in small scale and provided it to the nearby inhabitants. Later, with more and more chicken manure, they tried to use it to produce biogas and electricity, but the grid company refused to purchase it since the electricity quantity was yet too small. In 2006, it expanded to be a chicken farm with three million chicken, which produced 200000 tons manure annually. Benefited from the Renewable Energy Law, DQY imported large-scale equipment and realized the connection to the grid in 2009. In 2012, it started to make business with organic fertilizers from the digestates and realized its circular economy. With the promulgation of the Renewable Energy Law, Deqingzuan became the best example plant in China, which uses chicken manure to produce power and heat in large scale.

DQY is also the first large-scale biogas project in China that utilized 100% chicken manure as a feedstock and integrates biogas production with ecological agriculture using advanced technology. DQY uses 80000t of chicken manure and 100,000 t of sewage each year to produce biogas, which generates 14 million kWh of power annually, and obtains an additional revenue of RMB 8 million yuan each year through the Clean Development Mechanism. Operating as an example of a sustainable bioenergy model, DQY accomplishes the full use of a recycled resource while showing consideration for animal welfare during the entire production, which is a fundamental component of the new rural energy strategy. The circular economy model of DQY plays a prominent role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, mitigating pollution, and increasing employment, among other benefits. It is a very successful model of combing a biogas project with ecological agriculture is an important trend in developing a circular economy.

Further features of this biogas plant:

  • recycle economy is realized by themselves
  • Laying hens
  • DQY cooperates with farmers nearby: On the one hand, it provides biogas at a reasonable price to them and on the other hand, it purchases corn from them
  • it is the first batch of the National Recycling Economy Demonstration Base

Lihong Chen, Rong-Gang Cong, Bangrong Shu, Zhi-Fu Mi. (2017) A sustainable biogas model in China: The case study of Beijing Deqingyuan biogas project. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 78(2017)773-779.