Institute of Computational Technologies, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Science

Novel biomass converter for smart agriculture with adaptation of the technology to the Southern Europe through Italian-Russian partnership

Posted by Alexander from Institute of Computational Technologies, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of ScienceResponsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Russian Federation

Summary of the technology

Russian engineering company has developed and patented a novel biomass converter for processing biomass and carbon containing wastes with generation of heat, energy carriers and fertilizers. The technology uses filtration combustion with superadiabatic heating and processing of materials in fluidized bed.
The biomass converter can be used to process different carbon containing materials of natural and technological origin (e.g., wooden chips, wood processing wastes, agricultural wastes, textile production wastes, packaging, paper-making, cellulose, municipal wastes, etc.).
The company field-tested the technology by processing very complex wastes such as poultry droppings (including wastes from broiler chickens raised in cage chicken houses), cattle manure, straw, wastes from seed oil production, wastes coal from refining. The biomass converter can produce heat, biocoal, and ash. This means that the companies using this technology can earn revenue from processing wastes, generating power stored in biocoal as well as from production of mineral fertilizers in the form of ash. There are different designs of a biomass converter depending on the type of wastes to be processed.
The partnership may be developed within the project that in its own turn is dedicated to adaptation to the South European sources of biomass and streams of carbon containing wastes of an innovation equipment and method developed and patented by the Russian partner. The project will involve identification of biomass sources in the Southern Europe, primarily Italy by the conditions in which biomass is produced, by kinds of wastes, amounts of wastes, location of sources of wastes, location of consumers of biocoal and fertilizers and other factors.
The project will result in a newly designed biomass converters each of which can be installed as nodes into a distributed network of alternative energy sources based on biomass. The equipment will have high potential for commercialization in Southern Europe and Russia. Pilot processing station will be built for demonstration and further commercialization in Italy.

Description of the technology

An innovation company (Russia) is seeking for an Italian partner for product and services development and subsequent commercialization in Europe and worldwide. The project consists in adaptation of Russian partner’s technology and equipment to South European sources of biomass and stream of carbon containing wastes and through designing adapted biomass converters and services for smart agriculture with the use of them. It will enable the partnership to scale up the business based on development of a smart grid of biomass converters which will process biomass, agricultural wastes, wood wastes, etc. into various valuable products for agriculture: heat, biocoal, minerial fertilizers.

New and innovative aspects of technology consist in developing the design of equipment and technical processes for converting biomass including design of vortex dryer and thermal reactor which combine in one technological complex the conversion of such biomass that is difficult to process with the use of traditional methods, particularly biomass with high water content (up to 75%) and high ash content. Such biomass may be produced by poultry farms and cattle breeding enterprises.  

The equipment can fit well into concept of distributed energy sources based on smart grids and can be used to build networks of alternative energy sources based on local carbon containing wastes and biomass produced in Italy.

Main advantages of the technology include the following:

  • Comparatively easy scaleability of the technology;
  • Compact design that allows to fit the equipment onto mobile platform;
  • A possibility to process different kinds of biomass: agricultural wastes, woodworking wastes, digestate of biogas plants, sewage sludge, etc.
  • A possibility to produce different products with the use of single design of equipment: heat, biochar, fertilizers. 
  • Low capital expenditures and operating expenses dues to using low temperature thermal and chemical processes.
  • An opportunity to build distributed networks of alternative sources of energy based on biomass when biomass is processed in the nodes of the network with production of heat and biochar, then the biochar is brought to central cogeneration station deployed in proximity to consumers of heat and/or power.
  • Applications:
  • Processing complex biomass and wastes including those with high water content and high ash content.
  • Utilization of agricultural wastes.
  • Utilization of woodworking wastes.
  • Processing of digestate of biogas plants and sewage sludge.
  • Processing residues of oil refinery.
  • Generation of power from biomass and carbon containing wastes.
  • Production of high quality biochar.
  • Production of mineral fertilizers from agricultural wastes.
  • Alternative energy sources based on biomass.
  • Distributed network on energy sources.

The project of partnership development can involve identification of biomass sources and carbon containing wastes streams in the Southern Europe. Identification may include studying the conditions in which biomass is produced, identifying major streams of carbon containing wastes by their volumes and geographic distribution.

Also, industrial design can be used to improve the equipment perception by prospective clients and users.

The project will result in innovation products and services: equipment that can be an element of distributed network of alternative energy sources based on biomass and the services of such a network. This equipment will be technically and economically efficient, have substantive advantages and values for the markets of the Southern Europe, many other countries of European Union and for Russia.

Russian partner has an R&D experience, patented new method and device in Russia and international territories, made and built several experimental plants of different total thermal power: 10 kW, 100 kW, 300 kW. The demonstration equipment is used to process agricultural wastes including poultry droppings with high water content, cattle manure, etc. The latest demonstration equipment operates at one of the large poultry farms in Novosibirsk region, Russia.

There are different partners who may participate in the project:

  1. Commercial partner who would like to take on a task of sales development to increase market value of the technology.
  2. Licensing partner if the partner would like to commercialize the technology independently.
  3. Technology partner, for instance, an industrial design company that can develop industrial design of the equipment for providing biomass converting services and for better commercialization perspective.

Technology partner(s)can be represented by a company or network of companies which have wastes to convert to some valuable products. In that case the joint venture or other partnership may be formed to develop a smart grid of biomass and wastes converting stations and products making stations.

The collaboration sought with a technological partner can consist of the following. An Italian partner is supposed to study sources of biomass, their distribution throughout the Southern Europe and Italy in particular, to characterize quality and quantity of biomass, evaluate economic feasibility of building distributed networks of processing stations. The Russian partner is supposed to adapts its technology and equipment to special features of biomass in the Southern Europe and design in team with Italian partner a new biomass converter.

Both partners will use Italian and Russian results to design demo biomass converter in compliance with European standards, the equipment will be made, installed and started up in Italy.

Also the parties will make efforts in joint launch of novel product (equipment) and services (for biomass processing) onto the Italian market and the markets of other European countries and Russia.

It is supposed that an Italian partner may be from different industries, agricultural sectors or technological services. For instance, a partner can identify sources of biomass in Italy and other South European countries, characterize them and determine the most economically efficient way of building distributed network of local stations for biomass processing. A partner can be an agricultural company aiming at smart agriculture development. A partner can be an industrial partner producing machines for agricultural sector who would like to expand its scope of machines by addition biomass converters to the line of products. An Italian company or organization can be active in processing carbon containing wastes, for instance, municipal wastes. The Russian partner is supposed to adapt its technology to the South European needs and concept of distributed energy sources. Also investors and venture funds are invited as partners.

Intellectual property status

Granted Patent

Patent number :

Where : Russia, South Korea, Canada, publication of EP patent application

Current development status

Working prototypes

Desired business relationship

Joint ventures

Adaptation of technology to other markets

Additional information (attached documents)

Related keywords

  • Energy Technology
  • Agriculture and Marine Resources
  • Agrofood Industry
  • Protecting Man and Environment
  • Energy Market

About Institute of Computational Technologies, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Science

Technology Transfer Office from Russian Federation

Biological Sources of Energy LLC is a technology company from Novosibirsk, Russia. It has developed a internationally patented technology and equipment for converting biomass and various organic wastes into heat and energy carriers (biocoal, syngas) as well as fertilizers. The major advantage of the technology is its versatility in relation to types of sources of biomass, end products (solid, liquid, gaseous), processes used (gasification, pyrolysis, carbonization) and its scalability from low (10 kW) to high (10X MW) power and throughput rate (from tens of kg a day to dozen tons a day). Therefore the technology can be seen as a flexible technology platform for development of distributed alternative energy sources based on different biomass streams and producing various end products depending on the needs of particular users. The company has built and successfully tested a 10 kW prototype that demonstrated technology feasibility. The prototype was used to process charcoal, sawdust, straw, wooden chips, poultry droppings. The company completed tests of pre-industrial biomass converting unit with thermal power of about 300 kW at a large poultry farm in Siberia.

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