|1||Please provide a short description of the state-of-the-art and/or current trends in the field? How does the result fit into it?|
The biogas process is a well established technology and considered as the most efficient way to convert biomass to energy combined with environmental depollution. Nevertheless, biogas (biomethane) process is very versatile and non-selective of substrates, and therefore can be considered as an excellent way to remove organic matter from waste streams. Recently the co-digestion concept has emerged, where different organic streams are mixed in an intelligent way for the best utilisation of the feedstocks and at the same time for alleviation of the inhibition from potential process inhibitors. Preliminary research in biogas production from organic wastes has been conducted by the Laboratory of Alternative Energy Sources in Agriculture. Specifically, the research group has been involved in the following studies: The effect of the natural zeolites on anaerobic decomposition of swine wastes, in order to increase the energy yield of waste.
Anaerobic thermophilic digestion of cattle manure for biogas production.
Anaerobic mesophilic co-digestion of swine manure with olive mill wastewater, in order to investigate the optimum mixing ratio for optimization of biogas production.
Anaerobic digestion of poultry manure with different inoculums and various doses of zeolite.
|2||What is the problem/need/knowledge gap that the research result is responding to? How was it addressed before?|
Preliminary research in biohydrogen production from organic wastes has been conducted by the Laboratory of Alternative Energy Sources in Agriculture. Specifically, the research group has been involved in the following studies:
Biohydrogen production in granular up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors with mixed cultures under hyper-thermophilic temperature (70o C)
Biohydrogen production from pig slurry in a CSTR reactor system with mixed cultures under hyper-thermophilic temperature (70o C)
Despite the progress made in research there are some basic weaknesses and problems that prevent the acquisition of a holistic concept for the production of biogas and biohydrogen. The key deficiencies arise from the lack in infrastructure and in specialized know-how in the fields of microbiology, mathematical modeling and industrial design. A detailed description of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the Laboratory is referred in SWOT analysis, bellow.
The BioH2R concept is broken down into the following objectives, in alignment with the work programme:
Improvement of Lab. Unit infrastructure.
Development of know-how in the field of anaerobic microbiology and bacteriology.
Development of know-how in the field of mathematical modeling, in order to export crucial conclusions for the kinetics and stoichiometry of the several chemical reactions that take place in anaerobic digestion.
Development of know-how in the field of industrial design, so as to obtain design tools for quick assessing and designing reactors.
Development of a scientific network to disseminate knowledge and also enhance scientific cooperation between Universities and Institutes.
Optimization of wastewaters treatment by development of a two steps process for biohydrogen and biomethane production.
Demonstration of the final-derived best environmentally and economically sound BioH2R concept at pilot plant facilities.
Increase of the contribution to regional economic and social development by strengthening BioH2R interactions with regional actors
Improvement of the Lab Unit potential to participate in FP7 projects (i.e. in KBBE theme- Biorefinery call, Energy theme- Hydrogen and fuel cell call, Biomass call, Biofuels from energy crops call)
Dissemination of BioH2R scientific information as well as to promote biogas & biohydrogen research result
|3||What is the potential for further research?|
|Hydrogen can be used efficiently by a number of different ways, such as in fuel cells or mixed together with methane (hythane) or can be converted to methanol by reaction with methane. This versatility of its utilisation and its high energy density makes hydrogen a unique energy carrier. For example, energy utilization of hydrogen through fuel cells is double as high (approx. 40-45%) as the best diesel motors (20-25%). Therefore, many car manufacturing companies have already invested a lot of research in developing hydrogen driven cars and many cities are launching demonstration programs with hydrogen driven vehicles. Thus, although the current extent of utilisation of hydrogen as fuel is small, the future prospects are very promising. Hydrogen can be produced both from fossil fuels and from biomass. Among the hydrogen production methods, the most promoting and environmental friendly method seems to be the dark fermentation from organic matter as it utilises biomass which is a renewable resource rather than using fossil fuels|
|4||What is the proposed method of IPR-protection? (patent, license, trademark etc.)|
The laboratory has already a patent from OVI for the digester. The plan is to expand the IPR into an industrial design type.
|5||What are the steps that need to be taken in order to secure the IPR-protection? What is the cost of IPR-protection?|
Design of the application file to OVI for industrial design.
Application to OVI.
|6||What is you overall assessment of the scientific maturity of the research result?|
|The Laboratory of Alternative Energy Sources achieved significant results in this research area. However, the Laboratory requires new knowledge and support to realize its development. The BioH2R project follows a comprehensive action plan including exchange of know-how with leading institutions, employing high level experts, in order to improve research infrastructure and to refresh the relevant scientific knowledge. Moreover, the laboratory provides an impact of profitable ecological activities on agro-industry and energy market through dissemination and exploitation plans. The research potential will be realised in close cooperation with the European leading research partnering Organizations (Bio-energy groups of DTU, JyU and UB) in the fields of biogas and biohydrogen production|
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