Biomethanol from biogas, but also from woody biomass. This was the challenge won by Politecnico di Milano and Fattoria Autonoma Tabacchi S.C.
The BIGSQUID (biogas-to-liquid) technology was presented in Rome on 13 July during the Confagricoltura Annual Meeting 'For over 100 years we have been imagining the future. Together with agricultural enterprises to make Italy grow'.
It was devised by the Centre for Sustainable Process Engineering Research (SuPER) guided by Flavio Manenti, Full Professor of Chemical Plants of the 'Giulio Natta' Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering, and patented by the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) of Politecnico di Milano. BIGSQUID technology was proposed for engineering and industrialisation to Fattoria Autonoma Tabacchi S.C., headed by Dr. Fabio Rossi.
It is a technological alternative to biogas and biomethane. This is an interesting option especially considering the upcoming expiry of incentives for existing biogas plants, which cannot be converted to biomethane production.
The plant in which the technology was developed is located in the Giove locality of Città di Castello (PG). The facility can produce up to 4,500 tonnes of biomethanol per year. This energy source can be used as an 'advanced fuel for the decarbonisation of agricultural and industrial transport, as well as a biochemical carbon negative (-88%) to trap CO2 and in all methanol derivatives such as chipboard, polymers, paints and glues,' Politecnico explained in a note.
According to researchers, BIGSQUID technology could make a major contribution to the green transition. "If applied to a third of Italian plants (around 600), up to 3 million tonnes/year of biomethanol could be produced. 1 million tonnes/year would cover the current national demand and could be put on the market to replace imported fossil methanol, for a total decarbonisation of one of the main industrial sectors. A surplus of 2 million tonnes/year could be exported or used as a substitute additive in petrol to make it more environmentally friendly,' they say.
Source: Canale Energia