BIOGASMENA

Demonstration of dry fermentation and optimization of biogas technology for rural communities in the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) region

Program at a glance

Funding Agencies

Cyprus Research and Innovation Foundation (ERANETMED)

Program Period

2017-2020

Action Acronym

BIOGASMENA

Project Number

ΚΟΙΝΑ/ERANETMED/0316/01

Action Name

Demonstration of dry fermentation and optimization of biogas technology for rural communities in the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) region

Coordinator

University of Hohenheim, Germany

Cyprus Host Organisation

 Nireas – International Water Research Center, University of Cyprus

Beneficiaries

University of Verona, ITaly
AUA (Agricultural University of Athens), Greece
EGE University, Turkey
Université des Sciences et Technologies d’Oran (USTO), Algeria
LBE (Laboratoire de Biotechnologie de l’Environnement) of INRA, France
IMDEA (Madrid Institute of Advanced Studies), Spain
CBS (Centre de Biotechnologie de Sfax), Tunisia
Nenufar, France
ERM, France
FnBB e.V. (Fördergesellschaft für nachhaltige Biogas- und Bioenergienutzung), Germany
University of Cairo, Egypt                                                                                                                                                           RTD Talos Ltd, Cyprus                                                                                                                                                                  S.K. Euromarket Ltd, Cyprus

Nireas-IWRC Contact

Dr. Despo Fatta-Kassinos

Project Website

https://openilias.uni-hohenheim.de/ilias.php?ref_id=30661&cmdClass=ilrepositorygui&cmdNode=ux&baseClass=ilRepositoryGUI

Budget

1.349.062 €

Budget for Cyprus

174.952,5 €

Abstract:

The project BIOGASMENA follows an innovative, integrated and multi-disciplinary approach for the development of biogas technology and know-how in the ERA and the MENA region, combining technology transfer and laboratory research with academic exchanges, communication and training activities directed to both the general public, especially small farmers from the MENA region, and the academic community, with a particular focus on young researchers. The project includes the following tasks: (1) building dry
fermentation biogas plant at pilot scale, (2) building a hybrid energy system at pilot scale, combining biogas, solar and wind energies for autonomous electricity supply, (3) equipping biogas laboratories in Algeria and Tunisia,  4) investigating biogas production in the MENA region, in particular via dry fermentation in lab-scale and bench-scale experiments, (5) including results into an online database for modeling of bioconversion kinetics, (6) optimizing digestate treatment, characterization and utilization, (7) investigating the combination
of biogas production with microalgae cultivation, (8) LCA and techno-economic analyzes of designs for biogas production in the MENA region, (9) training young researchers from the MENA region in EU, in particular by following CIHEAM courses (10) informing of the research community, farmers, and the general public about biogas technology.

A small-scale pilot plant of 5 m3, with a planned electrical power of 500 W will be built in Tunisia with concerted efforts from the partners. A thermal solar heating system will be implemented to maintain the temperature of the reactors. The biogas plant will be integrated into a hybrid system with solar photovoltaic and wind energy for grid-independent (island) electricity production, and serve as a demonstration platform for future research in the MENA region.

Research laboratories in the MENA region will be equipped. In Tunisia as well, dry fermentation reactors will be built at the laboratory and coupled with a module for dewatering and ultrafiltration, which will be connected to microalgae cultures. In Algeria, a highly efficient, patented methane potential assay developed previously at the University of Hohenheim, will be installed. In the MENA region and EU, concerted research efforts will be carried out to optimize the biogas process, in particular with dry fermentation, focusing on
temperature level, structure of the feedstocks, nutrient balance, as well as trace metals supply and supplementation.

The quality and maturity of digestates from dry fermentation will be analyzed, and tested for plant growth in pot experiments.  Furthermore, innovative digestate treatment methods will be tested, including a system for ammonia recovery during drying of digestate, and the cultivation of saline microalgae and mixotrophic microalgae fed with the liquid fraction of digestate.

Young Researchers from the MENA region will move to EU to work on practical topics of the project. Promising young students will be sent to CIHEAM-IAMB in Bari to follow the International Master course in Land and Water Engineering, with second-year secondments on the project.

Finally, experiences of rural communities in Egypt with household biogas production based on Indian-type digesters will be analyzed, and the techno-economic potential for the implementation of dry fermentation for electricity production will be studied.

DISSEMINATION MATERIALS

MEETINGS

Kick-off meeting, Germany, December 2017

The kick-off meeting was held at the University of Hohenheim on December 5-6, 2017. The first day of the meeting was dedicated to the general presentation of the project and the major activities included in each Work Package. Self-presentations of all partner organizations were given, in order to introduce their fields of activities. During the second day, a field trip to two dry fermentation biogas plants in Southwest region of Germany was organized by FnBB e.V..

Second meeting, Tunisia, May 2018

The 2nd meeting was held at the Center de Biotechnologie de Sfax, Tunisia on May 15, 2018. The main objectives of this meeting were the presentation of the progress made since the last meeting, the problems encountered, the planned research activities/expected results which deserve a special attention, and the completed deliverables and milestones achieved. On May 16, 2018, a separate meeting of all the members participated in WP2 took place, in which the pilot plant details were discussed.

Third meeting, Turkey, October 2018

The 3rd project meeting took place at the EGE University, Turkey, on October 24-25, 2018. The main objectives of this meeting were the presentation of the progress made since the last meeting, the problems encountered, the planned research activities and expected results which deserve a special attention, and the completed deliverables and milestones achieved

Fourth meeting, France, July 2019

The 4th project meeting took place at the Laboratory of Environmental Biotechnology, National Institute of Agronomic Research, Narbonne, France, on July 2-3, 2019. The main objectives of this meeting were the presentation of the progress made since the last meeting, the problems encountered, the planned research activities and expected results which deserve a special attention, and the completed deliverables and milestones achieved. 

Fifth meeting, Cairo, December 2019

The 5th meeting took place at the University of Cairo, Cairo, Egypt, on December 10-12, 2019.

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