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Biogas – Biomethane

In Italy energy production from biogas has experienced a period of strong growth. Today, however, digesters are fed primarily with corn silage form dedicated crops, presenting the “food/no-food” conflict concerning resources utilization.
To overcome this conflict and prevent the majority of food resources and crops from being used for energy production, the enormous quantities of lignocellulosic residues, resulting from agricultural activities, are to be adequately valorized.

The Hypercritical Separation Technology (Hyst) has bridged this technological gap by making agricultural residues more productive than dedicated crops and by achieving results that the International Energy Agency considered possible in 10-12 years time (IEA, Sustainable Production of Second-Generation Biofuels, 2010).
In Italy, more than 20 million tons of straw and prunings, processed in digesters together with manure, can meet approximately 10% of the natural gas national demand.

The legislative decree no. 28 (March 3rd, 2011) allows Italy to integrate biomethane* in the natural gas network, as other European countries already do. Therefore, in the near future, biomethane will be used to power industries and fuel our cars.
New economy and work prospects will open up for Italy, in particular for Southern Italy -currently excluded from the biogas market- being extremely rich in biomass which can become “green gold”, through the Hyst process. All this is made possible without consuming the planet’s food resources.

The Hyst system is the only viable solution to produce second-generation biofuels.

The Hyst biomethane production chain:

  • can be used in a well tested industrial context;
  • has extremely competitive realization costs;
  • in respect to traditional fuels it is highly competitive even with small plants. Its territorial impact is very little and it can find the necessary biomass (approximately 25,000 Tons per year) within a 15-20 Km radius from its location;
  • it can absorb CO2 from the atmosphere (GHG negative) and, moreover, it gives an actual solution to the manure disposal problem.

* Biomethane is obtained by upgrading the biogas produced in common anaerobic digesters. This fuel can be injected into the pipeline network and used also in the automotive sector.