Clean Development Mechanism

A project that impacts the world by Tequendama.

One of the biggest concerns in the world today is the impact of human activities in the so-called global warming; threatening the only habitat that can give shelter to mankind.

In 1997, one of the biggest agreements between nations to reduce emissions of so-called greenhouse gases (GHGs) was signed; the Kyoto Protocol. Its main objective is to reduce, between 2008 and 2012 at least by 5%, the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and industrial gases with high contents of fluorine and carbon, based in 1990 emissions.

Colombia signed the agreement and it is clear that both public and private sectors, have decided to bring forward a series of actions and projects to control the generation of the substances listed above. The National Federation of Palm Growers - Fedepalma - has been one of the first unions to assume bodies directly, through its affiliates, the task of reducing GHG emissions. In the same context, C.I. Tequendama S.A., a Daabon Group firm, has also become one of the first Colombian companies to take this project and reduce is GHG emissions by 80%.

The CDM Project

Cleaning our atmosphere

In many cases - although everyday are less - water-wastes from extraction plants come and go from pipes, canals, or rivers, generating, by the action of external natural agents, high levels of pollution, both in water atmosphere. In the latter, gases, such as methane and carbon rise from the decomposition of this organic matter that comes along with the liquid.

At this time, these waters that are discarded by the extraction process are poured into settling pools, which create an optimum environment for millions of bacterias to act and decompose the organic waste. The gases from this process rise up into the atmosphere freely. There is no mechanism to capture these yet. However, the water left in the pool, which by bacterial action has lost large percentage of its organic load is dumped once again into the watering crops without any pollution.

Well, the new project being conducted by C.I. Tequendama S.A. known as a CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) or umbrella project will not only allow a higher level of organic waste disposal in water reuse, but also will enable the methane produced by the bacteria be captured and not being released to the atmosphere.

The water-wastes will be covered with tents made of geomembrane to prevent the release of gases and facilitate the movement of the gas to a industrial infrastructure in which the methane is burned for energy or stored as fuel. It is important to note, that the gas that emerges from these pools has the following composition: 60% methane, 30% carbon dioxide and 10% water vapor. The only gas captured is the methane, since this is most dangerous gaseous element that threatens the natural conditions of our planet.

The United Nations (UN) has created a so-called Reduced Emissions Certificates (CER) like a monetary reward mechanism or compensation for the efforts made by those countries and companies which decrease their emissions of GHGs. For every 123 cubic meters of methane captured, the UN issues a certificate that can be sold to interested countries to reduce their emissions.

The funds generated from the sale of these certificates must be invested in social and environmental projects that benefit small producers, neighboring communities and extractor workers. The purpose is to help many other people to become more efficient or productive in their domestic processes and this, in turn, will lead to a healthier environment.

Power Generation

Next Step in CDM Project by Tequendama

After having completed the installation phase of the Clean Development Mechanism project (CDM), which included the adequacy and encapsulation of the water-waste pools and installation of the entire drive system for the burning of the metahne gas, begin the steps towards power generation. Through the installation of generators, we have the opportunity to give the desired use to the methane gas, which is to make fuel for the Tequendama Extraction plant, thus gaining independence from the national electrical grid.

So far, the system has been developed to delete a total of 1100 cubic meters per hour of biogas; a volume that generates an electrical capacity of 1.5mW (Megawatts) - 100% of the energy required of the extraction plant to function - operating with an ostensible reduction in production costs.

Thus, the CDM project becomes one of the most important agricultural technological advances by C.I. Tequendama S.A. a Daabon Group firm and the national palm oil industry. This is the work of several years of engagement in optimizing its processes, mitigation of undesirable impacts and achievements in efficiency in management of natural resources. In the medium term this project will be replicated in the Tequendama refinery, from which it is already working on the recovery and use of effluents from all surrounding group companies beside of the use of cow dung from the Alberto Davila Diazgranados firm, a cattle operation. The goal is to generate methane boilers and electricity, managed efficiently to become the first sustainable power cluster in Latin America.