Climate 21

Achieving Energy Independence, Improving Profitability And Reducing Emissions Using Fugitive Methane - A Chat With BennaMann CTO Chris Mann

March 23, 2022 Tom Raftery / Chris Mann Season 1 Episode 65
Climate 21
Achieving Energy Independence, Improving Profitability And Reducing Emissions Using Fugitive Methane - A Chat With BennaMann CTO Chris Mann
Show Notes Transcript

Fugitive methane - what is it? And how can it be turned from a nasty climate emission into a source of energy, reduced emissions, and a way to reduce an organisation's costs, amongst other benefits?

To answer these and more questions I invited Chris Mann, Co-Founder, and CTO of Bennamann to come on the podcast to tell us all about it.

UPDATE: Chris emailed me to say the following -

"Listening to it played back I realised that I had made an error when I gave an idea of the energy that could be generated from the methane captured from a small farm in a day. 

 I said that a daily capture of 100kg of methane equated to 15MWh of heat or provide about 7MWh of power and 0.8MWh of waste heat. 

 When I did the calculation in my head I was thinking of a ton to make the sums easier but I must have forgotten to divide back through.

 The correct answer is 1.5MWh of heat if burnt or about 0.7MWh of power and 0.8MW of waste heat in the latest FPT engines. Still not to be sniffed at especially at today’s prices and scarcity."


This was an excellent episode of the podcast and I learned loads as always, and I hope you do too.

If you have any comments/suggestions or questions for the podcast - feel free to leave me a voice message over on my SpeakPipe page, head on over to the Climate 21 Podcast Forum, or just send it to me as a direct message on Twitter/LinkedIn. Audio messages will get played (unless you specifically ask me not to).

And if you want to know more about any of SAP's Sustainability solutions, head on over to www.sap.com/sustainability, and if you liked this show, please don't forget to rate and/or review it. It makes a big difference to help new people discover the show. Thanks.

And remember, stay healthy, stay safe, stay sane!

Music credit - Intro and Outro music for this podcast was composed, played, and produced by my daughter Luna Juniper

ChrisMann:

So a farm, a typical dairy farm will actually produce five to six times more fuel than it could possibly use in its own operations, including running the tractor, which is a real surprise for a lot of people, you know? and that means that you can't really get the best value for it. So in order to do that, we had to turn it into liquid.

TomRaftery:

Good morning, good afternoon or good evening wherever you are in the world. This is the climate 21 podcast. The number one podcast, showcasing best practices in climate emissions reductions. And I'm your host global vice president for SAP, Tom Raftery. Climate 21 is the name of an initiative by SAP to allow our customers calculate report and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In this climate 21 podcast, I will showcase best practices and thought leadership by SAP, by our customers, by our partners and by our competitors. If they're game in climate emissions reductions, don't forget to subscribe to this podcast in your podcast app of choice, to be sure you don't miss any episodes. Hi everyone. Welcome to the climate 21 podcast. My name is Tom Raftery with SAP and with me on the show today, I have my special guest, Chris, Chris, welcome to the podcast. Would you like to introduce yourself?

ChrisMann:

Thank you, Tom. Yeah, my name's, Chris Mann. I am the one of the founders and the CTO of Bennamann.

TomRaftery:

Okay. And for people who might be unaware, can you tell us what Bennamann is?

ChrisMann:

Bennamann is a, a startup company soon to become a ramp up company where we've worked out, how to turn sort of waste materials on a farm, into a valuable vehicle fuel and in doing so make money for the farm or ourselves, and, and ,it's fantastic for the environment, cuz it, deals with, with a really serious issue.

TomRaftery:

Okay. So let's dig into that a little more. So. We're taking farm waste and we're creating some kind of a fuel. Why I guess is, is, is the first question.

ChrisMann:

We, we didn't set out on our journey to do that. Funny enough, we were gonna. Be like the sort of traditional aerobic digestor company, but basing it on waste, grass, grass from marginal lands, like golf courses, football fields, that kind of thing. And then along that journey, we found, a farm in Cornwall called Chinoweth. It means, new home, I think, in Cornwall, which is a little bit ironic as what we're trying to do. And they'd already sealed over their slurry lagoon. We came across this whole issue in farming, which is dairy slurry, and other animal manures and how you store it through the winter, because you can't put it on the land and, and how much methane it was generating. The foot family had invested in a, a sealed slurry lagoon and were taking the, the me think it would otherwise get off into the atmosphere and putting it through an engine, generates some power and, selling the power back to the grid. What we worked out was actually, you know, whilst we were gonna try and make a lot more methane, there's actually a lot of methane already out there and it's effectively free because it's a, a real pain for the farmers to deal with. And so we changed tack, we went away from making biomethane and capturing fugitive methane, which is the phrase you use for methane, that we get into the, atmosphere. And along that part of the journey, we found that there were so many other benefits that the farmer, encountered. and we also encountered a company called new Holland, or certainly a tractor company called new Holland who are own by case Holland industries. And, they were in the process of developing a methane tractor, you know, to replace diesel tractors on farms. And it was just a perfect, perfect marriage. Really.

TomRaftery:

Nice. Nice. And so talk me a little bit through the process for farmers. I mean, first of all, is this just for farmers and, and secondly, what's, what's the process for the farmers? What do they have to do? And what's the big advantage they get from it.

ChrisMann:

So it's not just for farmers it's, anywhere where there's waste waste streams. It's, there's a potential to create much more value with the methane that's produced. So we're already talking to water authorities, about capturing the methane and build it into vehicle fuel. The trick is you've got to get it off. off the land. So a farm, a typical dairy farm will actually produce five to six times more fuel than it could possibly use in its own operations, including running the tractor, which is a real surprise for a lot of people, you know? and that means that you can't really get the best value for it. So in order to do that, we had to turn it into liquid. the farmer actually doesn't do anything different. Obviously there's some investment. we've tried to keep that to an absolute minimum, in terms of doing the difficult processing of methane into liquid. We do all of that with Bennamann that's, that's sort of like our key key attribute. And then the finally the, the other thing that we can do is we can store that methane pretty much indefinitely so that you can then either wait until the price is the right price, or you can use it when there's no wind and sun and get a price that's much better than you would do on a windy day, for example. So. yeah, from the farmer's operations, he, he handles the same thing. Most of these dairy farms, the slurry is fed through channels into a, a big hole in the ground.

TomRaftery:

Yeah.

ChrisMann:

And we came up with a, with a really nice way of capturing the gas on the farm or part processing it, and then visiting the farm periodically to take all the gas away as liquid. And that's what we're working on now.

TomRaftery:

Okay. And so, you know, apart from putting it in these tractors that, Holland are coming up with, what else can you do with the, liquid methane of that comes out of it?

ChrisMann:

That's, that's a really good question because it's pretty unlimited in a sense of generating energy. The very first combustion engines run on gas or town gas in the, you know, in the early part of last century, methane is a fantastic fuel, particularly pure methane. Most people would call, methane natural gas, actually slightly different methane is, is just a, is a single constituent. Natural gas is mostly methane made up of other stuff. So as a, as a very pure fuel, you can have a very high efficiency engine and you can also have a very clean exhaust. So methane as we know, we've gotta keep it from getting into the atmosphere. So you need to be able to, either burn it or put it through an engine and doing so you've gotta make sure you don't lose any because it's 86 times worse over 20 years now that people didn't realize, compared to CO2. So if you lose a little bit, it can be, uh, quite a bad thing. So. Anything that a combustion engine can do. You can do with methane. So generating electricity, for example, you can drive a car. the projects really got off the ground when Cornwell council came on, um, they've got 58 dairy farms in their counts in the county farms estate. They've also got a large fleet, which go around repairing the roads of, of trucks. Uh, something like over 300 of their fleet is over two and a half tons. And the currently there isn't a viable battery alternative or a hydrogen alternative. So we actually take the, the fuel captured from council farms and then sell it back to the council at a profit, to replace the diesel fleet that they need to replace and in doing so actually have a effectively, a huge negative carbon impact compared to doing nothing with the gas. So. It's a win-win all around.

TomRaftery:

Okay. And is, Is there much retrofiting or much work that has to be done on those trucks so that they can work on methane as opposed to diesel.

ChrisMann:

No, no, these are, these are off the production line. Iveco Daily's, primarily, but then they're also bigger vehicles, so they're, they're all. Designed from day one to be methane vehicles. So the, they have to meet the latest European emissions. They've got fantastic power and you don't, you don't actually compromise on pretty much anything. You know, they all have range in the order of 200 to 300 miles, similar to a diesel truck then they can pull very heavy loads. So Yeah that, that, that's part of the reason we focused our sows into those, those areas where you need high power. So that will be high power as in tractors, trucks, but also EV chargers. We're now starting to, deploy, uh, electric vehicle chargers that can be put anywhere that don't need connection to the grid. And again, running off an engine, very quiet, very smooth engine, to generate that electricity. And that has the advantage. We can deploy them very quickly, but also into places where you don't have grid connection,

TomRaftery:

Okay. So the, the idea here is that as you say, it's an EV charger, but it's got an engine in the background, which is burning the, the methane, converting that to electricity and using that to feed electricity into the EV charger, which then charges an EV that that comes by.

ChrisMann:

Yeah. You effectively creating a mobile substation and these engines are typically putting out hundred to 200 kilowats of power. So we can do a fast charge for one car, or we can do multiple charges for others. And funny enough, we, we are based in Cornwell and last summer there were people because you have this terrible problem of lack of infrastructure for EV chargers we had companies set up overnight with diesel generators on the back and chargers and driving down to Cornwall and put 'em in car parks, just so that people could leave the county. So this is, there's nothing wrong with the principle. It's just the.

TomRaftery:

And so if I, if I burn methane, what emissions come off from the burning of it?

ChrisMann:

So it's carbon dioxide and water vapor is pretty much the only thing that come there's a tiny amount of NOx, um, much, much less than you'd get with the diesel engine. And that's CO2. If it's come from grass, which is what ultimately, you know, cows eat that's the same CO2 that went into making the grass in the first place. So that gives you the carbon neutrality. The negative impact comes because at the moment, people are just releasing the methane into the atmosphere. They're not doing anything with it. So when you compare it to that, it's a massive benefit. So doing nothing with the methane, one kilo of methane is equivalent to 86 kilos of CO2.

TomRaftery:

Mm.

ChrisMann:

The typical dairy farm, uh, small dairy farms putting out we're about round, about a hundred kilos of methane a day that's 8.6, tons of CO2 captured a day.

TomRaftery:

Wow.

ChrisMann:

From one small farm. So it has a huge environmental mental benefit in the short term because methane is, such a short lived gas.

TomRaftery:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, if I remember correctly, the, the halflife of methane in the atmosphere is measured in years, single digit years kind of thing. Whereas CO2 is measured in millennia.

ChrisMann:

Absolutely. Yeah, And they still don't truly understand how CO2 gets out of the, gets out the environment. And of course we know that in the sea it's making the sea, I think more acidic, you know? So with methane, it literally, it breaks down in the upper atmosphere. It's interacts with the solar wind and it cuz it's lighter than it's lighter than air. So I don't know the fully, I don't know the full life cycle of methane. It's something that's becoming really interesting actually. So, something we've been looking into. Yeah. I think they, I think they quote 12.8 years, but I don't know where they, I think that might be the half life as you say, or it might be the actual three quarters life, but yeah it's measured in decades. So you can see an immediate impact over the next 20 years if we can start capturing methane today And stop leaking it, you know, let's, we are capturing it from the agricultural world, oil in gas, or they're just losing it through laziness, really. So it's much simpler task for them.

TomRaftery:

I saw an article today saying that the methane releases from coal mining are even worse than from oil and gas. So.

ChrisMann:

I suspect that's the case. Yeah. They, they, all the coal mines haven't even been capped and, um, of course opencast coal mining is just basically open. So there's a huge surface area. Fortunately, now there are technologies around that you can fly drones and actually measure it compared to the background. So we've been talking to a company in America, called Seacops. Who have been doing exactly that they've been flying over oil fields, flying over oil refineries and finding the leaks, finding the background. So the European space agency and NASA have now got satellites. They can see from space if someone's emitting a lot of methane. So you can't hide anymore.

TomRaftery:

Good. Good. Good, good. Yeah, that, that, that is definitely good news. And I mean, you, you mentioned farms and you mentioned the likes of water authorities, so is, is there anything else or are, would those be the two main targets?

ChrisMann:

No, no, not at all. So you've got, um, you've got landfill sites, which obviously huge piles of which again, breaks down over tens and hundreds of years. And you've also got waste food. So the waste food is, you know, that we, we tend to throw away. And one of the questions that came up recently from the UK government is how much biomass is out there. And they say, oh, there's not enough biomas to solve the problem. We can't, we don't need to solve the whole problem. We just have to solve the intermittancy problem, which is when you know the dark evenings in November, when there's no wind very rare, but it does happen. and you've still got your nuclear and you've still got, you know, sort of relatively amounts of high hydro and stuff so you don't have to solve the whole problem, and what people forget is that biomass is coming from farmland, which is capturing sunlight. So the way I look at it is this, if, if 30% of our food doesn't get eaten, that means that 30% of our farmland hasn't as that sunlight hasn't been captured, Right. It's been completely wasted. So 30% of our farmland, and I dunno the exact number, but it's 35 million something probably hectares. so you're looking at huge amounts of energy being lost. Which then ends up turning into methane through various different processes. Same thing with human waste. A, human puts out something like, uh, a least of petrol's worth of energy per month in methane, personally, and then there's something which is, which is an unknown fact. And I think it's something like one to two kilos of methane ends up being emitted per person, from each water treatment plant. So again, its huge resources of methane is coming up with cost effective ways to capture it. And uh, that's what we've really been focusing on at Bennamann is making sure that everyone makes money. And it's a very simple process. We try to minimize any interaction with complicated equipment for the, for the operators. That's our job. That's what we do. Everything or internet enabled. Everything is being monitored remotely in a control system. So, you know, we, we make it easy.

TomRaftery:

Okay. And is the capture process just literally like putting a lid on it and then sucking out the, the air that comes off the top.

ChrisMann:

so, yeah, to be honest. Yeah. I mean, it is the simplest lagoon, the simplest lagoons. we, we have two options, one quite often the farms, lagoon isn't compliant with the latest legislation. So that means we replace the whole thing, but again, it's a very well constructed hole in the ground with a very well constructed bag, which all the slurry goes in, and then there's a separate cover that goes over the top. So the clever bit we do, I think is we we're able to break the, the sort of gas processing down into steps. So the raw biogas, which comes off the, the slurry, there's a, there's a floating cover, which stops it from getting out. And then that gets taken out filtered and cleaned and dried. And then put back into the top layer. So we've already broken down part of the process, but we were able to store a week or two weeks worth of methane. during that process, we can then come along with a much simpler piece of gas processing kit that now all it has to do is separate out the methane and the CO2 and dry it. And that can, that goes on the back of a truck. So that, that goes around between the farms. Whenever the storage bag is, is approaching, being full, then, then the operator goes around and then. 10 to 20 hours, they can empty it and then it start, the process starts again. So it is really simple and we don't even heat. We do, we do nothing to actually enhance the, the production rate. It's not something that we, You know, we, we need to do at this moment in time cuz it's just so much of it out there. So we just, we don't even heat it. There's no need because it's in there for six months at the time.

TomRaftery:

So in terms of energy output, what kind of energy output does a single average size farm put out?

ChrisMann:

That's a good question. So, a herd of about 150 cows puts out about a hundred kilos a day roughly. I feel that's the sort of rule of thumb that we use. So a hundred kilos of methane is equivalent to about 15 megawats of heat. The megawats of energy in the latest methane engines are getting around 40 to 50 per cent efficiency. So seven and a half, seven and a half megawats of electricity per farm per day. It's a lot.

TomRaftery:

That's a lot.

ChrisMann:

Yeah, it's a lot. And a hundred, a hundred kilos of methane is about two and a half times at density. So it's about 250 liters of fuel. So we typically move it in half ton amounts. So we'll be going every five to six days, something like that, depending on the full the output for each farm and obviously bigger farms put out more they're bigger lagoons. We find that different cows put out more because they're bigger, big Friesan might be putting out 50% more milk than a small Jersey herd. So again, they eat more. Therefore they put out more methane. It's, it's all related to the amount they eat. So, Yeah, And there's eight, eight and a half thousand dairy farms in the UK alone. Just dairy. So when you start adding out the numbers, it's a lot, lot of energy that can be stored. I think that's the key thing.

TomRaftery:

yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, no, it's fascinating. What about, I mean, you mentioned water authorities as well as an example. And have you worked with any of those yet or is that, you know, coming soon?

ChrisMann:

it's coming very soon. Yeah. We've been working through, funnily enough we set up a. An organization called IFEAA, which stands for the international fugitive emissions abatement association. And this is all about sectors, different sectors coming together, admitting they got a problem and then working out how we can best and most efficiently solve that problem. So South West Water were the first company to really take this on board. Um, so we've been working with them, looking at some of the, plants, looking at how they operate, trying to work out how we can adapt some of the. Technology, I'll say technology, the products that we've been developing for own farm use and use them in water treatment industry. And it's very similar. It's, big open lagoons, you know, they have to handle lots of rain water as well. obviously they've got smells to deal with, and, and that's one of the things that's quite amazing about completely sealed, covered lagoon is there's no smell, you know, it's really strange. So it's quite popular it's with the neighbours.

TomRaftery:

and, I, I would have to think, that the energy output potentially from a water authority would've to be significantly higher than a farm.

ChrisMann:

You're absolutely right. Yeah. Yeah. So,

TomRaftery:

What kind of scale are we talking about?

ChrisMann:

We, so typical water treatment plant might deal with it. It's measured in a number of people it's catchment area comes from so 40,000 people would put out something like a million kilos of methane a year, something of that region.

TomRaftery:

Right.

ChrisMann:

And that's when the secondary digestion ponds. So they're actually the way that the water treatment is carried out is it goes through two anaerobic phases. First one is sort of heated and it's there to get as much energy out as possible. Some of the energy's captured and used to power some of the plant, um, that's for about two weeks, then it sits in ponds for about another two weeks. So just coming off the secondary treatment ponds, it looks like 40,000 people would do about a million kilos a year. So a million kilos a year to put that into perspective. Currently the price of methane is about three pound a kilo.

TomRaftery:

Oh, nice.

ChrisMann:

So, you know, if you, if you go to the trouble of doing it and doing it properly and doing it well and selling it into the right market, not only does it give you, you know, good financial return, but also it helps with all of these sorts of problems about, you know, energy, costs. And, uh, and at the moment being very, very volatile. So, you know how much poo's dying into a water treat part. So it's a pretty constant output. So you could, you, it solves a number of problems and it, and they're also, they're all dispersed throughout the country. I dunno the exact number, but it's certainly in the high hundreds, you know, of significantly sized water treatment plants. So if they're all, if they're all done and they're all, and by, by doing it, it actually pays for the improvements. So they can start to adopt or up to date practices. You know, some of these are quite, quite archaic.

TomRaftery:

Yeah. Fantastic. And I mean, I gotta think not alone. Could the water authorities get money from selling the methane, but they should also be able to get money from the carbon credits. No?

ChrisMann:

Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. We haven't had time and I'm constantly being harangued by my CEO, why don't we do something that the CO2 you capture? Cause you know, we, 40% of the comes off a slurry lagoon is CO2 and we actually release it because we just don't have the wherewithal to use it at the moment, you know, but if we it's nice CO2 square knife, cuz you can liquidy it by pressurizing it so you can transport it. Then if you then sequester it, then you are actually having a proper negative impact, you know, carbon impact. even when you've, even when you've captured all your methane, you can then sequester all of that CO2 and it's vast amounts that come off of a Soly and water treatment plant would be.

TomRaftery:

Yeah, huge.

ChrisMann:

It'd be three times again, you know, the weight of methane captured. So Yeah you're absolutely right. And then I think it's coming. It has to, because it's, it's almost inevitable because you can see once you can see that you start to make money and you solve so many of these problems. It's a self-fulfilling exercise to expand the network.

TomRaftery:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, no. Fantastic. And I came across an expression on one of the shows a while back where someone said, there's no such thing as waste. It's just something that's in the wrong place.

ChrisMann:

Absolutely. I couldn't agree more.

TomRaftery:

And I, I, I think that's exactly what, what you've come across in this is that you're taking what people are calling waste, but actually it isn't, it's just energy in the wrong place.

ChrisMann:

Absolutely. Yeah. And, and actually not just energy, but nutrients too, you know, we try and capture as much of that energy, but what's left afterwards. The digestate is, effectively a fertilizer that you can replace, fossil fuel derived fertilizer. So again, you've got this huge. Energy impact, but also you've got this huge environmental benefit by doing that. Okay. Again, you're dropping the farmer's cost at the moment. I think fertilizer's gone up by factor three in the last few months. So the cost of it. So, you know, you've got all these other benefits. We actually have to do a, an environmental permit for each site and we are working very closely with the environment agency and they have been absolutely fantastic, in helping us do that because it's quite unconventional. It really is becoming like the truly. Circular system, because when you have an environmental permit, you have to account for all of your waste. So we've sat down with our instructors and they've gone. Okay. So what is the waste on your farm? And we've gone? Well, the digestate goes back on the land. Okay. So what about the methane? Oh, that's a fuel. So, you know, that waste ticket finishes. Once you put it into a vehicle, becomes a fuel. The CO2, we let that go. Is that a waste? Well, no, it came out the atmosphere anyway, so we just put it back where it came from. And then the guy said, oh, you must produce some wastes. Come on. He said, what about the compressors? You, you use oil in the compressors. You do an oil change. I said, well, yeah, we do. But it's rape seed oil. So that goes back into the slurry lagoon. You know, that, that feeds a bit more gas. He said, what about the packaging? I said, damn,

TomRaftery:

You, you got us.

ChrisMann:

he got us, got some packaging. He said, what'd you do with that? I said, we take it back and recycle it. So it really is it's really is, you know, just from doing the actual environment permit, it, it is a circular what we are doing and there'll be other things on the farm as well. so yeah, it's, I think it's a, it's a great demonstrator and this year's, you know, from new Hollands perspective, you know, that marrying the tractor with our technology and that's how, you know, we've now part owned by CNHI seeing that tractor, driving that tractor, seeing it being used for real running on cow poo gas, quite, quite astounding.

TomRaftery:

Amazing. Amazing. And I, I saw a headline during the week that said that the European commission has doubled its ambition for EU biomethane production for agricultural waste. And they've, they've, they've doubled the objective to bring it up to 35 billion cubic meters per year, by 2030, as part of efforts to bolster the block against the energy crisis and, you know, to get off using, Russian oil and gas, I guess.

ChrisMann:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's, it's really welcome. you know, there's no doubt about it. We have to make sure that it's being produced. what's the word correctly, you know, I think if, if it's waste streams, then that's great.

TomRaftery:

Yeah.

ChrisMann:

You gotta make sure you're not losing that methane in the process. monitoring it carefully to make sure that, you know, having, having enough people in the field and, educating the users to make sure that that methane is being doesn't end up with a similar problems. We got what we got in new oil and gas industry, and it does occur. Believe me, I've I've good experience of seeing. Of seeing things that you probably wouldn't believe on that you digest with. Um, but, uh, so Yeah. I think absolutely it's done responsibly it's fantastic thing. I would say the one thing that we, we found with where we are different is we allow. The farmer or the operator to get more gas off the site, because most of these digestors, they're capped by the amount of electricity they can get into the grid or the amount of gas they can get into the grid. And you can't stop it. you know, it's the same problem that as you got with wind almost, but in reverse, you can't stop reduce energy because you've got, you know, where to store it. So where we bring that it's a sort of game changer of them because we bring the technology to store. Week's worth of gas as a liquid on site, and then they can hold it and then they can sell and we'll sell it for them. We'll get the best price as well. And that's a game changer because people don't realize with ADSS, it's pretty much, you have to use it as you produce it. There's very little methane storage on site. And we bring in that element that, and that is that we get a huge amounts of interest with that.

TomRaftery:

And you said it's all internet connected as well. So I'm, I'm assuming you have kind of a dashboard somewhere, which says that this particular farm down this road is nearly full come and get me and this other farm hasn't nearly as much. Don't need to pass by that particular farmer until the following week or something like that.

ChrisMann:

Absolutely. Yeah, So what we are starting to build up now, next year, we'll be doing the first, with the six farms. So in Cornwell, we have six farms that, um, it's called the six farm pilot in funded by Cornwall council. the six farms, uh, the first one is up and running the next two, come on by the end of the summer. By the middle of next year, we'll have all six and we'll be running our equipment between those farms, proving out all of those principles. So behind the scene, um, we've been building that whole. Dashboard, like you say, so all of the equipment, as it comes online, switches over and becomes large. So we're looking for unusual behavior. So something, you know, the temperature suddenly rises in one of our compressors. We know there's an issue, so. We can then go in and have a look at it and say, is it an issue that's we need to fix now? Or can we wait till next week when someone's out there? So it becomes a complete logistical exercise and, um, and that's the power. So we wouldn't have been able to do this without the internet and the internet things in particular and secure internet. You know, that is a big, once you start handling, you know, very cold, very dense, explosive gas. You have to be completely safe. So we have a, we have a heartbeat running through the system. So every piece of kit has, you know, a check-in response which actually gets sent by satcoms. Um, so we put on a, a very simple little set satcoms transciever, because you need to know if something changes and you do need to respond quickly, then you have to, you have to be able to go in and log in on, you know, get more information, if required.

TomRaftery:

Sure. Sure. Sure. How do you get from the six farms you're at today to the thousands of farms you said are in the UK to outside the UK to 35 billion, uh, cubic meters in the EU to. Global domination.

ChrisMann:

It's it's a really good question. And I dunno the answer to that. You know, it's one of the reasons we, you know, we're starting to explore that working with partners because we are not big enough. You know, obviously we are not big enough. We're 40 people based in Cornwall. What we are good at is making the, the first one or fewer of the system. and we do make it all in house, by the way. There's certain big things we buy in like compressors, but all of the cryogenic tanks, cry coolers and electronics and control is all made in house. You know, so we are getting into that point that we can then find partners. We can mass manufacture having CNHI on board, you know, that's really helping, but even, even they're struggling, you know, we're not struggling, but it's, you know, we're having to get a really good strategy as to how we, how we get out that out on a global scale. And of course they're a global company, so they have the sales network, they're the dealer network, they, the services support network. So that that's a huge leap part from where we, where we were. but then how do you manufacture the numbers of systems that need to be manufactured? And we, we don't wanna be making them in the UK and I'm sure there's some people like, but the of that just isn't real, you know, the clever bits will keep here the, the cryocoolers, let's say and the control electronics and the sensors. We make a lot of our own sensors. But actually, you know, you can make a stainless steel tank anywhere in the world. from India, Indonesia, Australia, there's no point in shipping, great big tanks around. You might as well get it made at source. So we are looking at open source manufacturing, I think is a, is a real option. But even then the partners have to be big. They, they have to have the scale to go up to the sort of numbers that we're looking at in the time scale that we're looking at. You know, we, we, we can't afford to wait. This thing has to move now so.

TomRaftery:

Very good. Very good. we are coming towards the end of the podcast. Now, Chris, is there any question I have not asked that you wish I had, or any aspect of this we haven't covered that you think it's important for people to be aware of?

ChrisMann:

I think the, the one question that I have for listeners or something, maybe a pointer for listeners is go and look at the whole issue of fugitive methane the fugitive emissions in particular methane cuz it's the biggest one. It's something that everyone's focused on CO2. and they, and partly because you can make other emissions equivalent in CO2 terms, but if you look at your lifestyles and look at where everything comes from, there's always some fugitive emissions lost along the way. So if you ask me. Is an electric good, a car. Good thing to drive at the moment. If the electricities where it's coming from is good. And the supply chain of the batteries is looking after all of its fugitive emissions then yes, but at the moment, half, half of the industry and sectors, not just electric cars don't know what their fugitive emissions are and they could actually, so for, for a farm, for example, without an uncovered slurry lagoon, the fugitive methane comes off is 10 times more than that coming from the fuel of the tractors or the electricity used on the farm. It's the future. So, you know, looking at your, looking at your lifestyles and looking, don't just look at the CO2, look at the, where the supply chains come from. You know, I think there's been some real horror stores along the way, certain types of things where they're being made and that hasn't been taken into account. So I would, I would urge people to visit IFEAA. very simple. I F E a a. That's the growing group of, people around the world who are starting to really look into it because it's the easy win it's, it's a waste stream that, which shouldn't be a waste stream, you know? So it's either being lost because of, ignorance. They just don't know it's being lost or it's laziness or, or, um, people not doing a job properly. So, you know, that would be the one thing is, is, would, I guess the question would be, in my opinion, you know, is chasing CO2 more important than chasing fugitive emissions. And I think the answer is, it's at least as equal as, and the beauty, but the beauty of fugitive emissions, I think you said it earlier, Tom, is that it's got a lifetime in, you know, less than less 20 years. So do it. Now you have an immediate effect. And, I think they came out when someone was saying, should I, should I plant a tree or should I cover my farmyard slurry lagoon? You should do Both. but make sure you do the farmeryard slurry lagoon first, you know,

TomRaftery:

two things can happen. Yeah, indeed.

ChrisMann:

yeah.

TomRaftery:

Chris. If people wanted to know more about yourself or Bennemann or any of the things we discussed on the podcast today, where would you have me direct them?

ChrisMann:

I would go to our website to start with, because we've really, gone to town, trying to make sure we've put some great little animations on there. There's also some more in depth presentations. There's links through to documents that you might wanna read, like the IP C, C a R six, if you haven't read that. Um, and I think some of their website, so it's Bennamann and it's spelled bennamann.com and it comes from Bennett and Mann, we are the two co-founders that's where had, and, um, Michael Bennetts off in Portugal, somewhere I suspect surfing. So I'm not sure who got the good end of the stick.

TomRaftery:

Lovely. Lovely, Chris. That's been fantastic. Thanks. I've been in for coming on the podcast today.

ChrisMann:

No. Thank you, Tom. It's been a real pleasure. Thank you.

TomRaftery:

Okay, we've come to the end of the show. Thanks everyone for listening. If you'd like to know more about climate 21, feel free to drop me an email to tom dot Raftery at SAP.com or connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter. If you like the show, please, don't forget to subscribe to it in your podcast application of choice to get new episodes as soon as they're published. Also, please don't forget to rate and review the podcast. It really does help new people to find the show. Thanks catch you all next time.