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New products for the biogas supply chain: another step towards sustainability

Finally something is moving.

We are talking about Legislative Decree 17/2022 which, although born in the dramatic circumstances that we all know, seems to have the merit of making a faster step forward on the path towards the development of renewable.

Specifically, thanks to an amendment inserted in art. 12 bis of Legislative Decree 17/2022 "Urgent measures to contain the costs of electricity and natural gas, for the development of renewable energy and for the relaunch of industrial policies" being converted into law by the Chamber of Deputies, various by-products of the agri-food industry until now not usable in biogas and bio-methane plants, will finally be usable.

Article 12 bis (Biomass that can be used in agricultural biogas and bio-methane plants for the use of agro-industrial digestate)

among the various voices reads:

In order to simplify the production process in biogas and bio-methane plants, the by-products referred to in points 2 and 3 of Table 1A of the ministerial decree of 23 June 2016, published in the Official Gazette no. 150 of 29 June 2016, in compliance with the requirements set out in article 184-bis of the legislative decree of 3 April 2006, n. 152, and admitted to entry to biogas and bio-methane production plants, are understood to be included in the definition referred to in Article 3, paragraph 1, letter i), of the decree of the Minister of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies of 25 February 2016, published in the ordinary supplement to the Official Gazette no. 90 of April 18, 2016. if they comply with the conditions set out in article 184-bis of the legislative decree of April 3, 2006, no. 152 and if the agronomic use of the digestate produced also complies with the provisions of Title IV of the decree of the Minister of Agricultural Policies

From the entry into force of the ministerial decree in 2016, Biological Care had taken steps to correct what immediately appeared to be a brake on the development of renewable in the biogas sector.

Precisely, the "famous" Table 1A of the aforementioned DM2016 provided that many by-products, although they could be virtually used in the plants, gave rise to a digestate classified as waste and were in fact excluded and not usable.

This limit, over time, has turned into a real problem. On the one hand, due to the growing demand for by-products by the plants and, on the other hand, due to the need for the agri-food chain to value residual biomass with great energy potential.

Thanks to the amendment, in addition to all the agricultural and agro-industrial by-products already admitted, the following matrices (until now excluded) will also be allowed to produce digestate suitable as fertilizer:

  • by-products of the baking industry, pasta, confectionery industry: scraps of pasta, biscuits, other baked goods;

  • by-products of coffee roasting;

  • by-products of beer processing;

  • by-products of fruit and oil seed processing: used oily bleaching earths, patches and tails of vegetable oil processing.

  • by-products of the transformation of sugars through fermentation;

  • by-products of the production and transformation of sugars from non-food biomass;

  • by-products of the processing or refining of vegetable oils

This integration solves an age-old problem, to enhance a series of processing residues that can make an excellent contribution to national energy production. The final approval of the provision and its publication in the Official Gazette are now awaited.

Biological Care, hoping for this scenario, has already taken steps to be able to manage more types of by-products by opening a new plant, specifically dedicated to the treatment of solid biomass, i.e. to the whole range of products and vegetable by-products from the agricultural and agro-industrial sector. .

It is about 5,000 square meters of covered area, 20,000 square meters of yards and 6,000 tons of silos with attached dryer, where we plan to treat about 20,000 tons / year of biomass, equal to about 5 million cubic meters / year of bio-methane.

Another Biological Care investment in the energy transition of the future.

Sergio Frascari

CEO Biological Care


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