What are biomasses and how are they used in the energy sector?

Biomasses are organic substances, specifically, according to DLgs 387/03, art. 2, paragraph 1, letter a, biomass is defined as “the biodegradable part of residual products from agriculture (including animal and plant substances) and forestry and related industries, as well as the biodegradable part of industrial and municipal waste”.
Biomass energy is actually the first renewable energy used by man! In order to obtain energy from biomass it is necessary that it produces biogas: a natural gas consisting mainly of methane, carbon dioxide and other elements (such as oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen) and is obtained by means of anaerobic fermentation of organic substances called biomasses (for example, OFMSW or waste from agriculture and agro-industrial activities).
In order to obtain a significant economic benefit, it is necessary to have a rather high material quantity of biomass, therefore very large processing areas.
The reference legislation also recognizes as biomasses the waste of organic substances such as OFMSW and the biodegradable part of industrial and municipal waste.

How a biogas plant works

Biogas is mainly used for the production of electrical and thermal energy, in cogeneration. In the last 5 years there has been a strong implementation of biogas plants:
Capstone Green Energy is a leader in cogeneration systems with gas turbines that use “oil-free” technology, a patent of aeronautical origin that refers to the complete absence of lubricating oil inside the turbines thanks to the use of air bearings capable of supporting the turbine shaft in rotation without mechanical contact.
Thanks to its exclusive technology, it is possible to achieve energy self-production by using as fuel the biogas produced in water treatment plants following the anaerobic digestion of supero sludge and/or of FORSU (Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste), that is the organic material collected through separate waste collection.
This system is characterized by high overall efficiency, low maintenance requirements and near-zero emissions; moreover, it works even in presence of methane-poor biogas (CH4 > 30%) or with non-constant flow rates, thanks to the modulation capacity of the turbine, a factor that makes it particularly suitable for an end-of-life landfill. Finally, IBT Group is able to provide biogas analysis and/or treatment systems so that its qualitative characteristics are suitable to feed a cogeneration plant: in this way, it is possible to exploit in the best way both methane-poor biogas (like the one from landfills) and the one from anaerobic digestion (like the one from water treatment plants).

Where is biomass used?

Thanks to the partnership with Capstone Green Energy, IBT Group is able to provide biogas powered solutions perfect for end-of-life landfills and water treatment plants.
With regard to landfills, Capstone oil-free technology allows turbogenerators to operate even in the presence of biogas with low percentages of methane and decreasing flow rates over time, even in the case of landfills at the end of their life cycle.
In water treatment plants, on the other hand, again by means of oil-free Capstone technology, turbogenerators can operate even in the presence of biogas with low percentages of methane, or not with constant flow rates, ensuring efficiency and avoiding the problems mentioned above. And it is precisely in these areas that enormous progress has been made: thanks to continuous re-search and technological progress, it has been possible to make energy efficiency in compliance with stringent environmental protection regulations, using the waste we produce in our homes, i.e. waste organic material and waste water (white) of our human activities.
Purifiers and landfills use the electrical and thermal energy produced for the operation of the purifiers and biogas production equipment, as well as for their own offices: in perfect cycle!