Finland’s VTT Technological Research Centre is to coordinate a new European project focused on studying the anaerobic digestion (AD) of organic wastes and developing methods to optimise its control.
According to the organisation, the largest multi-technological applied research organisation in Northern Europe - the AD process can be optimised for the production of either biogas or volatile fatty acids, which can be even more valuable than biogas.
Furthermore, VTT explained that the volatile fatty acids can be converted into raw materials with which it’s possible to produce oil-replacing bio-products, such as bio-plastics.
During the AD process, for which there are four main steps, the organic waste is degraded by bacteria to biogas in the absence of oxygen. Controlling the digestion process is one of the most important ways of making the biogas production process more efficient.
VTT said that during the OPTI-VFA project it will develop a prototype system for process monitoring and controlling the AD process. It is hoped that the system will enable more efficient control of both volatile fatty acids and biogas production.
It is also hoped that the system will improve the profitability, efficiency and reliability of the process.
The project group consists of nine partners: Attero (the Netherlands), Optomeasures (France), Rikola (Finland), MTT Multantiv (Finland), MSI (Spain), Maris Projects (the Netherlands), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (Finland), TUDelft (the Netherlands) and CEIT (Spain).
For its part in the project VTT said that it is responsible for the planning, building and calibration of the prototype for monitoring and controlling system.
The total budget of the two year project is €1.15 million, of which VTT said that it will receive approximately one third.
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