Innovation: Developing a new type of plant to purify biogas


Work is under way to develop a novel plant to purify biogas to be used in electricity production. Based on an ENEA patent, this prototype will be built as part of the project BIOFIDS, which includes the Piedmontese companies TECNODELTA srl as leader, ACDA SpA and RAMS & E Srl, and ENEA and the Polytechnic of Turin as scientific consultants. The project, funded by the Piedmont Region, is part of the innovation hub CLEVER comprising the Science and Technology Park “Environment Park” which implements the synergies between research institutions and businesses.

The method, patented by ENEA, is based on a process which turns  hydrogen sulphide (H2S) into sulfur, thanks to particular bacteria made more efficient by LED lighting wavelenghts.

"One of the major obstacles in the exploitation of biogas is the presence of hydrogen sulphide which, in addition to being a pollutant with toxic effects on humans and agroecosystems, causes corrosion of the gas collection lines and the mechanical equipment related to energy generation”, Elena De Luca, researcher at the ENEA Energy Technologies and Renewable Sources Department, inventor of the patent and scientific manager of the project, explained. “Moreover, this prototype will also facilitate production of biomethane for transport and domestic use”, De Luca said.

ENEA will provide the necessary support for the development and engineering of the proposed desulfurization technology, the Turin Polytechnic its expertise and research facilities located in the area, providing assistance to the preparation of bacterial cultures and prototype testing.

TECNODELTA Srl will deal with the design and construction of the prototype to raise the level of technological maturity from the current laboratory scale, to be industrially tested at the ACDA SpA plant; finally, RAMS & E Srl, by conducting dedicated analyses, will identify the critical factors to consider for  marketing.

"The project, the result of a collaboration between the world of research and industry, will last two years. This kind of synergy is crucial to make the leap necessary to turn ideas into technological products, with the aim of promoting the decarbonisation process of our energy and industrial system ", De Luca said.


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