Lipp has developed innovative storage systems for biomass such as grain, cereal paste or sugar beet under the brand names Betavator and Ligavator. Storage systems of this kind can have very large volume requirements and often operate as part of an integrated process environment; therefore speed of build, space utilisation and energy efficient processing are key considerations when it comes to storage tank selection.
The Lipp storage system is built using Lipp's own double seam, spiral form, automated tank construction technology. The tanks are built from continuous composite stainless steel metal strip, which is formed into a gas tight spiral wall construction. This automated spiral system has many advantages over conventional bolted section, metal tank construction methods.
Lipp's tank construction is controlled from the ground up – as the automated forming machines draw the metal strip through, the spiral walls rotate upwards from the concrete foundation base. This means that the container roof can be built and installed at ground level, without the need for high level scaffolding, and is carried upwards on the container as the spiral walls are formed. The limited requirement for scaffolding also means that the containers can be installed in operational process environments where available build space is at a premium. In addition the minimised need for high level scaffolding means that health and safety risks during construction are greatly reduced.
Lipp's container systems are designed to be gas-tight and both roof and container base (optional) are made of solid stainless steel, since the stored media can give rise to very chemically aggressive juices and gases. The use of high quality stainless steel materials that are resistant to the corrosive internal ecology of the stored substrate is a key aspect of the container systems' longevity.
In addition to pure crop storage, the Lipp Betavator and Ligavator systems are also used as substrate storage for agricultural or industrial biogas plants, and are installed before the fermenter for appropriate substrate supply. They allow largely automated control of a biogas plant, as there is no need for a regular manual substrate transfer.
The Lipp Betavator sugar beet silo is suitable for optimal year-round storage of sugar beets and other root crops which produce high biogas yields per hectare of cultivated land. After mashing, the beets are pumped directly into the gastight Lipp Betavator sugar beet silo, where the high-quality sugar beet silage is preserved.
The Lipp Ligavator was developed for liquid preservation of wet maize and grain. The substrate is mixed via a filling auger and then pumped into the Ligavator. As a result, the operator is saved the laborious task of feeding the digester or the preliminary tank and the energy in the substrate is preserved.
The open intermediate storage of substrates means energy losses, which is why Lipp developed airtight storage tanks for preserving suitable substrates, so that they could then be automatically pumped into digesters for further renewable energy processing all year round. As a result, these airtight containers turn energy losses into energy gains, i.e. a higher gas yield for much greater efficiency, and also prevent unpleasant odour emissions. This system offers the benefit of significantly reduced retention time in the digester, making it very efficient and economical.
Cereal paste and sugar beet pulp are the main stored media in these biomass storage facilities; however, these container system solutions have also been used worldwide by Lipp's clients for storage or further processing of animal feedstuffs, potato starch and a wide range of other agricultural and food process media.