Organic waste: an untapped source of renewable energy

21 May 2024

The untapped potential of organic waste

Organic waste is an often overlooked but rich source of sustainable energy potential. Derived from everyday activities such as food and agriculture, these materials provide a continuous and abundant source of energy when converted into biogas and biomethane.

At European level, biogas production is seen as an essential component in achieving the goals of environmental sustainability and energy independence by 2030. The European Union recognises and actively promotes biogas not only as a renewable energy source, but also as a key tool for sustainable waste management, agriculture and the promotion of a more circular and sustainable economy.


What is organic waste and how can it be used to generate energy?

Organic waste is biodegradable material from plant or animal sources that is commonly found in domestic, agricultural, industrial and commercial waste. It typically includes food leftovers, garden waste, agricultural residues such as straw and manure, and sludge from wastewater treatment. 

How organic waste is converted into energy

Organic waste is mainly converted into energy by anaerobic digestion, which is the most widespread and efficient method of converting these materials into energy resources. This process takes place in anaerobic environments, i.e. oxygen-free conditions, where specific groups of micro-organisms attack and decompose organic matter. This decomposition produces biogas, a mixture rich in methane and carbon dioxide, with traces of other gases. Biogas is a versatile energy resource: it can be burned directly to produce heat and electricity, or it can be cleaned and refined to produce high-quality natural gas for domestic and industrial use.

Find out more about the benefits of biogas!


Technologies for Waste to Energy by IDRO Group

The effective use of organic waste as a renewable energy source requires the targeted application of advanced technologies and their systematic integration into the overall waste management cycle. As part of this technological integration, the IDRO Group has made great strides through the acquisition and development of innovative patents in the field of biogas desulphurization and upgrading. These developments have enabled the design and construction of new biogas-biomethane plants, representing a significant advance in the field.

The raw material used in the plants designed by IDRO Group can come from various sources, including livestock and agricultural production, as well as the organic fraction of municipal waste (FORSU). This versatility in the choice of raw materials allows greater adaptability to the specific energy and environmental needs of different areas.

From waste to resource: Idro Group plants

Idro Group can build advanced plants for the conversion of organic waste into energy, including

  • Bovigas plants: these plants are designed to exploit the energy potential of livestock waste, such as manure and slurry. Through an anaerobic digestion process, these materials are transformed into biogas, which is then used for energy recovery.
  • Agripower plants: these are anaerobic digestion plants designed to produce biogas and electricity. IdroGAS plants are optimized to enhance the organic fraction of waste such as agricultural biomass and livestock manure, and other types of waste such as fruit and vegetable residues, agro-food waste, canteen waste, slaughterhouse waste and fish processing residues.

To address the issue of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a highly corrosive agent that requires careful monitoring, IDRO Group has developed the IDRO.deS desulfurization plant, an external desulfurization system for biogas. This chemical-biological system uses hybrid filter technology and incorporates the addition of air directly into the raw gas. The filter, through its specific module, is capable of removing hydrogen sulfide from the biogas, lowering the concentration of H2S to levels below 5 ppm, thus ensuring greater safety and efficiency in the use of the biogas produced.

To learn more about our biogas-biomethane plants contact us now!


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