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BTS Biogas to build four biomethane plants in Italy

Italy-headed biogas technology developer and supplier, BTS Biogas Srl has revealed that it has signed an agreement Biogas Refinery Development (BRD), a company with a high know-how in the renewable energy sector with specialization in the field of biogas and biomethane, for the construction of Italy's first four biomethane plants fed exclusively with manure, leftovers, and by-products of agricultural origin.

According to a statement, the landmark agreement for the construction of these first plants was signed on August 1, 2017.

After years of waiting due to the length of the legislative process, the Italian Biogas market is re-starting also on the agricultural front. Our company will start construction back in Italy after the success of biogas/biomethane plants built in the UK: some fed by the organic fraction of solid urban waste, others with agricultural byproducts such as straw and chicken manure. There are many advantages for the agri-industrial sector, municipalities as waste management and of course for BTS Biogas with a very strong agricultural experience, said Michael Niederbacher, CEO of BTS Biogas.

The plants, some of which already have permits in place, will be located in Veneto, Lombardy and the south of the country and represent the starting point for agricultural biomethane in Italy with an appropriation defined by Ministerial Decree of about EUR 1 billion.

Residual feedstock experience

The biogas plants will be engineered, built and commissioned by BTS Biogas and fed exclusively by agricultural feedstocks: cattle slurry and manure, triticale, citrus paste, and other residual feedstock.

BTS Biogas has a comprehensive range of pre-treatment and post-treatment technologies for biogas feedstock and digestate.

BTS Biogas has already 130 feedstock pre-treatment systems installed (BIOaccelerator) – technology required for the sole use of by-products and agricultural by-products such as straw and corn stover.

Plant operators can rely on our high experience in the processing of a variety of organic materials used in anaerobic digestion (AD) plants. This will be crucial in the incoming biogas era of by-products, leftovers, and organic waste, he said.

In particular, BTS has developed a straw pre-treatment systems (water EXTRUSION/fibreCRACK), making fermentation possible of the enormous quantities available which are now still a problem.

The technical, agronomic and biological know-how of BTS Biogas will continue to give big support to the agricultural sector by providing highly efficient agronomic, logistical and economic solutions. Technologies for the post-treatment of digestate are now well established: BTS has successfully developed and installed many BIOdry systems, pelletising (BIOpellet) and composting (BIOcompost) of the digestate. Those final products represents precious renewable organic fertilizers that will replace fossil fuels and mineral ferilisers with greater efficiency, said Michael Niederbacher.

Biomethane key for transportation

According to Niederbacher, the landmark agreement marks the real start of the “Biogas done right” where the concept of waste disappears, giving space for all the technical and biological opportunities that can enhance the “enormous potential” of organic agricultural wastes available in Italy.

Our company is using a fleet of gas-powered vehicles for more than five years and soon we will have biomethane in Italy as well. We are sure and with us the big automotive companies like Fiat and Volkswagen – Audi, that the future of automotive and renewable fuels is biomethane. We are entering a new era characterized by the utilization of renewable energy sources and smaller amounts of emissions, said Niederbacher.

He pointed out that a biomethane powered car emits less than 5g CO2 per kilometer compared with other technologies emitting over 130g per kilometer.

BTS Biogas has signed an agreement Biogas Refinery Development (BRD) for the construction of Italy’s first four biomethane plants fed exclusively with manure, leftovers, and by-products of agricultural origin.

By feeding a plant exclusively with agricultural wastes or the organic fraction of the solid urban waste, the emissions could be negative as a biomethane plant eliminates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from landfills or from agricultural waste streams.

Carbon monoxide (CO) and NOx emissions are reduced by more than 95 percent compared to a diesel-powered machine, he said.

Niederbacher says that biomethane could solve most of the problems of internal combustion engines since the electric car has not yet reached full development potential.

Biomethane technology is an immediate key solution, especially for heavy transport. The four plants we are going to build will produce 8 million kg of biomethane per year in Italy, equivalent to about 160 million kilometers of biomethane cars, which corresponds to 10 000 cars per year and 12,000 tons of CO2 avoided to safeguard our beautiful planet, concluded Michael Niederbacher.

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