Q: What was the reason for founding your organization – what was the open niche you saw that could be addressed with a new product or service? What was the problem, or gap, or opportunity?
Sustainable Technologies is active in the niche of R&D on fermentative processes. The company has developed a rational method for the management of anaerobic digestion processes. Currently the company is also engaged in a research on the production of biographene from purified biogas.
Q: Tell us about your organization. What do you do?
- Consultancy on biogas plants optimization.
- Active collaboration in the redaction on the Italian norm UNI 11703:2018 on BMP tests of biomass for energy production.
- Professional training of researchers and plant operators in the field of fermentative processes.
- Sales and technical services of laboratory instruments for the R&D and routine tests on fermentative processes.
- Laboratory tests on BMP of biomass and methanogenic activity of sludge (30 batch reactors, two AMPTS II instruments).
Q: What stage of development are you?
Commercial stage – have mature products or services on the market.
Q: What do your technologies, products or services do and accomplish – how does it (they) work, who is it (they) aimed for?
The BMP (Biochemical methane potential) tests have three main uses:
a) Assessing the energy potential of biomass or waste destined to anaerobic digestion. This is particularly important in those countries where energy crops are employed as feedstock for the digester. Knowing the exact BMP allows checking if the price of the feedstock is congruous with its energy productivity.
b) By testing reference feedstock whose BMP is known in advance, it is possible to check the health state of the bacterial ecosystem in the digester, and preventing well in advance any biological problem. The full method is explained in the book Managing Biogas Plants: A practical Guide already referenced above.
c) Assessing the eventual inhibitory potential of a waste. This is particularly important in anaerobic waste treatment plants, for preventing substrate-induced inhibition.
Q: Competitively, what gives your technology, product or service set an edge in cost or performance, sustainability, or any other aspect, that makes it stand out from the crowd, In short, what makes it transformative?
By the application of the method developed by the company’s owner, prof. eng. Mario A. Rosato, more than 200 biogas plants have benefitted of:
a) Short start-up times of the digester.
b) Consistent savings in the purchase or enzymes, trace elements, “boosters” and other, usually useless, additives largely hyped by the marketing.
c) Consistent savings in the purchase of feedstock for the anaerobic digester.
d) Early warning of any biological problem in progress, avoiding thus the process disruption and increasing the plant’s productivity.
e) Assessing if a given waste is suitable for a given anaerobic digestion plant, and its maximum loading rate. This prevents biological collapses and plant shut-off.
f) Installation of on-site laboratories, saving teh cost of external, usually also useless, lab tests. In a 1-MW biogas plant, the CAPEX of a field laboratory usually returns in 1 year.
Q: What are the 3 top milestones you have accomplished in the past 3 years?
- Training more than 100 biogas plant operators, engineers and researchers and doubling the capacity of the company’s laboratory.
- Defining and getting the publication of the Italian standard UNI 11703:2018 on BMP of feedstock for anaerobic digestion.
- Publishing the book “Managing Biogas Plants, A Practical Guide”, after being peer-reviewed by 6 top-level researchers.
Q: What are the 3 top milestones you will accomplish in the next 3 years?
- Demonstrating that a mini-biomethane plant is not only feasible but also more profitable than a big one.
- Building the prototype of a new system, fueled by biogas or biomass, that will allow better conservation of harvested fruit and vegetables, reducing the waste of food at the source, both in industrial and Developing Countries.
- Proof of concept of a low-cost mini-Stirling motor for small biogas plants.
Q. Where can I learn more about Sustainable Technologies srl?