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CRPA-Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali (CRPA)

CRPA - Research Centre on Animal Production

Adress: Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi, 42, 42121 Reggio Emilia, Italy
Contact person(s): Sergio Piccinini
Web: http://www.crpa.it/nqcontent.cfm?a_id=1109&lang=en

The Research Centre on Animal Production (CRPA) (www.crpa.it) is a research and consulting organization dealing with the improvement of the livestock sector and the related agro-industry by means of researches, studies, dissemination and technology transfer actions. The capital holders are the local public authorities, some farmer unions and a bank foundation. CRPA has several research units: environment, livestock production (cattle and pig husbandry), forage crops and agronomy, machinery and farm buildings, economics, software development, dissemination of research results and communication (hosting an European Carrefour Carrefour Emilia). CRPA is a member of the CIB - Italian Biogas Consortium with representation in its technical committee. It is also a member of ITABIA – Italian Biomass Association and of IWA International Water Association. CRPA has undertaken biogas and manure/organic waste treatment-based projects (studies, monitoring and supervision of pilot and demonstration plants for biogas production and nitrogen and phosphorus removal) for the European Union, the Emilia-Romagna Region, ENEA - National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment, CNR - Italian National Research Council, ENEL National Electricity Industry.

The CRPA Environmental sector offers innovative solutions to pollution problems, disposal and recycling of byproducts and residues from farms and agro-food industries for the production of biogas. For biogas the main services offered are: feasibility studies aimed at the sizing of the plants and their economic sustainability; monitoring of anaerobic digestion plants to optimize and consult the process with the support of its chemical laboratory; assistance during functional testing, management of biogas plants and training of staff.

Concerning the most relevant concerted actions and European research projects in Environmental department at the moment are:

  • SEBE (Sustainable and Innovative European Biogas Enviroment) (http://sebe.crpa.it, http://www.sebe2013.eu) a Central Europe. The project aims at coordinated further development of biogas utilization, technology and transnational competence knowledge centre within the central program area. Different operating environments (legal, economical and logistical, technical), shortages on qualified and specialized human resources (planning, operation, support and maintenance) as well as several regional factors (e.g. available resources, logistics, or failed biogas plants from past projects) throughout the member states in the central area form a challenging environment to work in.
  • MANEV (Evaluation of manure management and treatment technology for environmental protection and sustainable livestock farming in Europe) (http://www.lifemanev.eu) is a LIFE Plus project, aims to improve the protection of the environment and the quality and sustainability of livestock promoting the use of treatment technologies in surplus areas of production of livestock waste in Europe. The task assigned to CRPA concerns the monitoring and evaluation of process based on utilization of energy from biogas to manage nitrogen content and GHG emission from pig slurries in Emilia Romagna region.
  • AQUA (Achieving good water Quality status in intensive Animal production areas) (http://aqua.crpa.it) is a LIFE Plus project, designed to demonstrate how to reduce groundwater and surface water pollution from nutrients of agricultural origin, by optimising the utilization of nitrogen and phosphorus in livestock farms thus reducing nutrients losses to water. CRPA is coordinator of the project (http://aqua.crpa.it).
  • BIOMASTER (Biomethane for transport) (http://www.biomaster-project.eu) is a project, co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe-Programme and is comprised of 17 partners, coming from Austria, Italy, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The goal is to exploit the potential of biomethane production and use for transport to overcome the current impasse and bring the key components of the biomethane chain into a joint initiative, stimulating investments, removing non-technological barriers and mobilising action for uptake. (http://www.biomaster-project.eu).

The CRPA has a chemical laboratory for analysis of livestock manure and biomass, operating since June 1985. The lab is equipped also with instruments to determine the ammonia content of the gaseous emissions with different analysis methods.

The CRPA uses the NIRS method for analysis service with accurate prediction curves which are continuously checked and updated with Italian hay and forage characteristics. Not only is the scientific nature of the service guaranteed by the long experience of CRPA in the forage cultivation but also by partners with a high technical profile in the field of food analysis: Cumberland Valley Analytical Services (USA) and Facoltà di Veterinaria dell'Università di Bologna.

Recently it is created and activated a new biogas laboratory for the determination of the Biochemical Methane Potential (BMP) for the evaluation of the maximum amount of methane produced by biomass subjected to anaerobic digestion (Figure 1). The system consists of: thermal cabinets (mesophilic or thermophilic regime) that contain 32 complete digesters/reactors (1,5 dm3 each of volume), completed by valves and flow measurement systems of biogas produced and a control unit (computer) of the entire system. The BMP is a biological batch test that allows you to evaluate the maximum amount of methane or biogas produced from a interested biomass. The result is expressed as kg SV biogas/Nm3 (normal cubic meter of biogas per kg of solid, volatile organic substance) and includes both the qualitative analysis of biogas (% CH4) that the analysis of total solids ( ST or dry matter) and volatile solids (SV or organic matter). It also present in laboratory a system consisting of 6 pilot reactors for continuous anaerobic digestion tests of agro-industry residues, livestock manure and other biomass. The digesters volume is about 25 dm3 each. Each anaerobic digester is equipped with a loading system suitable for utilization of solid biomass and a mixing system. Data loading, discharge, temperature and volumetric biogas production are recorded by datalogger. The system allows to simulate a biogas plant in real scale with daily biomass load and digestate discharge and so the monitoring of the biological process, biogas production and biogas quality during the test.

In addition the CRPA has olfactory analysis laboratory deals with internal research and experimentation projects and provides external service on odours emission problems. It is equipped with a German olfactometre (TO7 byECOMA GmbH) which satisfies the conformity prescriptions of the Olfactory measure and of UNI EN 13725/04 law and with a sensory analyzer (the electronic nose) made in Italy (EOS 835 by Sacmi in Imola).



This project is implemented through
the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme co-financed by the ERDF