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27th of July 2011

Italian workshop and field trip

On 21 and 22 June 2011 ENEA together with CRPA (one of the Italian CEBCs, Central European Bioenergy Centers) organized a Workshop, focused on the state of the art of biogas in Italy, regarding both technical and normative aspects, and a Field Trip at a biogas plant.

The first day, the Workshop was held at the headquarters of the Italian Biogas Consortium in Lodi (Milano), attended by more then 100 stakeholders.

Vincenzo Alfano, ENEA, presented in detail the 4Biomass Project, emphasizing the main goals achieved and the opportunities for the stakeholders offered by the contents of Project Web site, data bank of demo projects, Joint Management Tool, Info Pool, project reports.

Viller Boicelli, CIB, presented the activities of the Italian Biogas Consortium, member of the European Biogas Association, EBA. The Consortium, born in 2009, has about 160 members, most of them are farms producing biogas from agro-zootechnical biomass. CIB promotes the cogeneration from biogas, giving assistance regarding both technical and normative aspects.

After the introduction, the morning session took place with technical relations.

Sergio Piccinini, CRPA, showed the increasing trend of biogas plants in the last years in Italy and their regional distribution, together with an analysis of their characteristics, installed power and substrates feeding. He concluded his speech pointing out the opportunity offered by upgrading biogas to biomethane, that is a possibility introduced in Italy by a latest legislative decree.

Vito Pignatelli, ENEA, completed the picture, pointing out the current biogas contribution into the Italian Energy Balance, together with the other renewable energy sources, and showing the growth opportunity for the sector to achieve the 2020 goals fixed in the national REAP, not only for electric and thermal sector but also for the transport sector as biomethane.

Lorella Rossi, CRPA, went then into the normative aspects concerning the whole biogas chain, warning the stakeholders on which by-products are evaluated by Italian regulation as residues and/or as wastes. During the following discussion the stakeholders moved a lot of questions about these aspects and in particular on the agronomic utilisation of digestate.

The biogas potential in Italy has been the theme of the relation taken by Nicola Colonna, ENEA.

Italy has a huge biogas potential from fermentable biomass, as estimated by ENEA in a recent evaluation carried out into National Biomass Atlas (www.atlantebiomasse.enea.it). The participants showed great interest in the results from the zootechnical sector calculated referred to the farm size.

During the lunch break the participants had the opportunity to look at an agricultural machine modified to spread digestate into the soil, placed in the square in front of the conference room.

The afternoon section was dedicated to the presentations of case studies and for the debating.

A technical analysis of four plants, fed by different substrates, was carried out by Claudio Fabbri, CRPA, with the pros and cons related to the main operating parameters and seasonal availability of biomass.

A very interesting report was made by the technical responsible of the biogas plant to be visited in the second day (Field Trip) about his experience into the construction and management of the plant.

The day closed with a very animated debating. The main aspects examined were the problems concerning the use of digestate, the economic convenience to upgrading biogas to biomethane and other aspects related to legislative framework.

Half of the participants answered to an evaluation paper aimed to obtain a feedback from them. The results of such questionnaire will be very useful to improve the organization of future similar activities.

In conclusion, the Workshop was successful and much appreciated from the participant stakeholders.

On the second day the Field trip at a biogas plant in the Azienda Agricola Cominello in Volta Mantovana (MN) took place. This visit was attended by about 50 participants.

Vincenzo Alfano, ENEA, introduced the visit with a description of the 4Biomass Project, leaving then the description of the plant and the technical issues to Claudio Fabbri, CRPA and Sami Shams-Eddin, Azienda Cominello.

The plant has a power of 1 MWe and it is fed mainly with corn silage, mixed with a small amount of agro-industrial by-products and poultry manure. There are two main CSTR digesters, connected with a post fermentation tank. The digestate is stocked into two covered storage tanks for a further biogas recovering. Corn is cultivated on the farm land (300 ha) and the digestate come back on it.

The visit continued for about 4 hours and every question from participants was answered with a great appreciation.

For more information you can either visit the ENEA web site containing all the presentations or read more about the workshop or field trip in Italian language as pdf for download.




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