Small-scale biogas production plants offer an opportunity to valorise the organic matter in waste through the application of anaerobic digestion technology. The aim of the BIOGAS3 project is to promote the sustainable production of this type of renewable energy in the agrofood sector, through the concept of small-scale plants and energy self-sufficiency. The project is co-funded by the European Union within the framework of the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme (IEE-13-477).
Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a biological process involving the degradation of organic matter and the reduction of inorganic compounds, mainly sulphates. In this process, groups of specialised bacteria and archaea carry out a number of biochemical reactions using different electron acceptors in the absence of oxygen to produce energy (biogas).
Anaerobic digestion has multiple advantages over aerobic treatment processes:
• Positive energy balance and valorisation of the organic matter through the production of biogas.
• Reduction of sludge handling and disposal costs because anaerobic processes generate less biomass (6 to 8 times less).
• Reduced need for nutrients, making the treatment of industrial waste feasible.
• Reduced space requirements for the implementation of biogas plants due to the fact that high volume loads can be treated.
• Minimisation of negative environmental impact and reduced carbon footprint.
Javier Claros y Begoña Ruiz
AINIA Centro Tecnológico, Department of Environment, Bioenergy and Industrial Hygiene