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INNOVATIVE BIOLOGICAL PRE-TREATMENT TO INCREASE THE METHANE YIELD OF LIGNOCELLULOSIC AGRO-INDUSTRIAL WASTE IN BIOGAS PLANTS

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BIORELOAD (INNOVATIVE BIOLOGICAL PRE-TREATMENT TO INCREASE THE METHANE YIELD OF LIGNOCELLULOSIC AGRO-INDUSTRIAL WASTE IN BIOGAS PLANTS)

Reporting period: 2017-05-01 to 2017-08-31

Europe adopted a new target of at least a 27% share of renewable energy consumption by 2030. Biogas, which is produced from the fermentation of different organic feedstock, can play an important role in replacing high CO2-emitting conventional fuels and diversify the energy supply. The attractiveness of plant matter as feedstock for biogas production varies due to its degradability which impacts methane potential. Energy crops are typically considered more attractive than waste products due to high methane potential.
BIORELOAD is a pre-treatment bioreactor inoculated with a consortium of bacteria and fungi capable of altering the lignocellulosic structure of plant based feedstocks making high lignin content materials (e.g agricultural wastes) more attractive as a feedstock. The objective of our project was to evaluate the commercial viability of BIORELOAD and create a robust plan for prototype optimization and testing under different operational real-scale conditions. At the conclusion we have sufficient market, technical and commercial knowledge to continue the development of the BIORELOAD. To reach market, we require additional funding to develop the product and our primary option for this funding would be through Phase 2 H2020 SME funding.
We have performed a detailed market analysis, verifying the commercial potential, the regulatory requirements and validating the possible routes to market for the BIORELOAD bioreactor. We have identified stakeholders and additional partners and have undertaken a Freedom-To-Operate analysis. On the technical side we have completed further development on the inoculum and developed an execution plan for the ongoing project. On the economic side we have developed a detailed business plan including revenues and costs analysis, a commercialization plan and risk assessment.
BIORELOAD works with both agricultural waste with a high lignin content and energy crops (lower lignin) allowing for greater diversification in the type of feedstock used in biogas production and it reduces feedstock input and associated costs by at least 10%. BIORELOAD addresses the limitations of existing pre-treatment technologies as it does not require significant energy or chemical consumption making it cost efficient and sustainable. BIORELOAD will contribute to the circular and low-carbon economies while addressing wide European objectives.
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