The project BIOGASMENA follows an innovative, integrated and multi-disciplinary approach for the development of biogas technology and know-how in the ERA and the MENA region, combining technology transfer and laboratory research with academic exchanges, communication and training activities directed to both the general public, especially small farmers from the MENA region, and the academic community, with a particular focus on young researchers. The project includes the following tasks:
(1) building dry fermentation biogas plant at pilot scale,
(2) building a hybrid energy system at pilot scale, combining biogas, solar and wind energies for autonomous electricity supply,
(3) equipping biogas laboratories in Algeria and Tunisia,
(4) investigating biogas production in the MENA region, in particular via dry fermentation in lab-scale and bench-scale experiments,
(5) including results into an online database for modeling of bioconversion kinetics,
(6) optimizing digestate treatment, characterization and utilization,
(7) investigating the combination of biogas production with microalgae cultivation,
(8) LCA and techno-economic analyzes of designs for biogas production in the MENA region,
(9) training young researchers from the MENA region in EU, in particular by following CIHEAM courses
(10) informing of the research community, farmers, and the general public about biogas technology.
A small-scale pilot plant of 5m3, with a planned electrical power of 500W will be built in Tunisia with concerted efforts from the partners. A thermal solar heating system will be implemented to maintain the temperature of the reactors. The biogas plant will be integrated into a hybrid system with solar photovoltaic and wind energy for grid-independent (island) electricity production, and serve as a demonstration platform for future research in the MENA region.
Research laboratories in the MENA region will be equipped. In Tunisia as well, dry fermentation reactors will be built at the laboratory and coupled with a module for dewatering and ultrafiltration, which will be connected to microalgae cultures. In Algeria, a highly efficient, patented methane potential assay developed previously at the University of Hohenheim, will be installed. In the MENA region and EU, concerted research efforts will be carried out to optimize the biogas process, in particular with dry fermentation, focusing on temperature level, structure of the feedstocks, nutrient balance, as well as trace metals supply and supplementation.
The quality and maturity of digestates from dry fermentation will be analyzed, and tested for plant growth in pot experiments. Furthermore, innovative digestate treatment methods will be tested, including a system for ammonia recovery during drying of digestate, and the cultivation of saline microalgae and mixotrophic microalgae fed with the liquid fraction of digestate.
Young Researchers from the MENA region will move to EU to work on practical topics of the project.
Promising young students will be sent to CIHEAM-IAMB in Bari to follow the International Master course in Land and Water Engineering, with second-year secondments on the project.
Finally, experiences of rural communities in Egypt with household biogas production based on Indian-type digesters will be analyzed, and the techno-economic potential for the implementation of dry fermentation for electricity production will be studied.Συνεργάτες: