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The first biomethane plant from agricultural waste in Italy

Passed the milestone of 10 thousand hours of activity

Feeding the earth and producing energy in a sustainable way while respecting the planet is the mantra that is revolutionizing the way agriculture is done. The agricultural-circular model, based on the organic fertility of the soil and the efficiency of use of production factors, is recognized as a fundamental tool and a sustainable response to the growing need for nutrition. On the other hand, the growth potential of biogas and biomethane production is an integral part of the evolving scenario of the agricultural sector, as a function of the fight against climate change towards the energy transition, as pointed out by the minister for ecological transition, Roberto Cingolani, during the hearing on the programmatic lines of his dicastery a few days ago. In this context, the La Castellana di Corbetta farm, just outside Milan, is an example of this philosophy, valid for the entire sector.

The biogas upgrading plant for the production of biomethane, based on AB's Bioch4nge project and technology, is in fact grinding record after record and after being the pioneer in the production and placing on the grid in December of the first cubic meter of biomethane in Italy at starting from agro-zootechnical waste, in these days it has crossed the important milestone of reliability with more than 10 thousand hours of activity. At Castellana, fields are cultivated on an area of 900 hectares, pigs are raised (about 15,000 head) and electricity was produced from two 999 kW biogas plants. One of the two biogas plants was then converted and upgraded by reducing the production of electricity by 30% to coexist the production of biomethane which is now at 450 Sm3/h.

The estimates of the Cib (Italian Biogas Consortium) foresee that our country could potentially produce up to 10 billion m3 of biomethane in 2030, of which at least 8 from agricultural matrices, to be used in the ongoing process towards decarbonization and energy transition even in sectors where its use is now marginal, such as for the production of LNG for heavy transport. "This state-of-the-art AB plant has allowed us to reach important goals both in terms of biomethane production, with the first cubic meter produced from agricultural waste in Italy in December, and for reliability, with the 10 thousand hours of activity achieved in these days", said Francesco Crivelli of the La Castellana farm. "Through our experience we can confirm that this technology is 'mature' and we are particularly pleased to be able to contribute, in our small way, to be an example in this sector, hoping that always more realities follow our model for the good of agricultural production and the environment".

"For us at AB, sustainability is a priority commitment, which never stops, and for this reason we are particularly proud to celebrate the 10,000 hours of life of our Bioch4nge plant for the production of biomethane from agro-zootechnical waste", declared the president by AB Angelo Baronchelli. "La Castellana has chosen to integrate the upgrading system with an Ecomax cogenerator with an electrical power of 337 KW fueled by natural gas, a synergy that allows the creation of a highly efficient energy system, which maximizes the production of biomethane at sustainable energy costs".

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EFA News - European Food Agency