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VOLUMe Induced micro-COgenerator for high energy efficiency of gas distribution networks

Project description

Novel device turns energy losses from natural gas into electricity

Natural gas is presented as a promising candidate in the energy transition to reduce carbon emissions. Despite its potential, there are a number of issues that hamper its widespread adoption. At the last stages of its distribution, gas pressure reduction is applied to keep the distribution network at a low pressure, which causes energy losses and cancels out the benefits of natural gas. The EU-funded VOLUMICO project is supporting Italy-based company Sinergia SpA in developing an autonomous, easy-to-install and robust device to reduce gas pressure in a single step and recover the energy loss. The device recovers the energy loss from the gas expansion and pressure drop to produce additional low-cost, low-carbon electrical power to be used internally or fed to the grid.


To address its growing energy needs, Europe is seeking to increase the usage of more environmentally friendly energy sources with increased efficiency. In response, the market is leaning more towards natural gas, with market penetration growing at 64% faster than any other source! However, its wider adoption is being hampered by the energy losses and energy wastage resulting in the gas depressurisation from the transportation network pressure (40-60 bar) to the local distribution network pressure (≤1.5 bar). The losses result in reduced efficiency in the gas networks and higher infrastructural and plant management costs – which are often passed to the final end users. There is a dire need to develop a technology that streamlines the gas distribution network, being capable to recover the energy lost during pressure drops and boosting its cost effectiveness. We are SINERGIA, an Italian company specialized in the design and development of plants for the production, treatment, drying, filtration and separation of compressed air and technical gases. Leveraging 22 years of industrial experience and our closeness to the natural gas and its stakeholders, we have developed the VOLUMICO micro-cogenerator. While providing in a single step the gas at the desired pressure to the required value of the domestic or industrial users, VOLUMICO recovers the energy loss from its expansion and pressure drop to produce additional low-cost, low-carbon electrical power to be used internally or fed to the grid. Targeting consumers – SMEs, municipal utilities, public institutions, industrial/residential districts – and gas suppliers, VOLUMICO will enable reduction in energy bills (-35%) through highly efficient energy extraction for the first ones, and reduction of infrastructure and maintenance costs (-30% of CAPEX/OPEX) for the latters. Within a 5-year period, Sinergia will generate a cumulative revenue and profit of €49.6M and almost €12.7M respectively, creating a total of 33 jobs.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
Via serio 29
24021 Albino

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Nord-Ovest Lombardia Bergamo
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 21 429,00