Researchers at the AZTI-Tecnalia technological centre in Derio want the plant to produce both gases from fermenting food industry waste for renewable energy use by 2010

The centre said in a statement last week (Tue, March 31): “The technological centre foresees adapting the plant and making a commitment to that renewable source of energy which has seen the greatest surge in recent years: Hydrogen.

“So the aim is to be able to obtain hydrogen and methane from the same combined fermentation process.”

The centre’s food research experts say the new plant will not only exploit the “enormous potential” of obtaining biogas from agricultural food waste but also help the food industry cut the environmental impact of organic waste.

It will extract methane-rich biogas by anaerobic digestion – a fermentation process in which bacteria breaks down organic matter in the absence of air to produce biogas.

This gas can then be used as a renewable source of electrical and heat energy or as vehicle fuel.

By 2010 the experts want to adapt the plant to produce both methane and hydrogen from the same combined fermentation process.

They are looking at the feasibility of doing this using a range of agricultural food sub-products alone or in combination with other elements.

These sub-products include animal husbandry silage and waste from agricultural food industries, such as the fishing industry, fruit and vegetable markets and milk whey.

The centre says the plant will cut greenhouse gas emissions and also odours making it more socially acceptable.

It will be available to government bodies, food businesses and environmental services for research and development projects that could lead on to building similar plants on an “industrial scale”, it adds.

For more details go to the following link.

David Gibbs

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