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17/01/2019

The IRTA consolidates its expert position in the field of Biogas as an AEBIG partner

Through the Integral Management of Organic Waste Programme the IRTA has been recognised as a “knowledge partner” of the Spanish Biogas Association (AEBIG in its Spanish initials). Thus, we form part of this platform together with stakeholders to promote biogas projects and we provide the expertise of our researchers at a technical level. The IRTA representatives at AEBIG will be Belén Fernández, a researcher who specialises in agro-industrial biogas, and Francesc Prenafeta, head of the programme.

The other members of this association, which was founded on 20 January 2009, are companies, individuals and institutions which are active in the field of biogas in Spain. The AEBIG’s main objective is to bring together and represent the sector related to the anaerobic digestion of organic waste to promote biogas as a source of renewable energy which, in addition to reducing the environmental impact, also supports rural development. The AEBIG is also a member of the European Biogas Association (EBA). For this purpose, it has established a communication and collaboration platform between sector players at the international level, where the IRTA will have the opportunity to play a significant role.

Biogas is obtained from the decomposition of organic waste by anaerobic (without oxygen) digestion, in a process carried out by bacteria. With the biogas both biofuels and also organic fertilisers are obtained through the waste products from the process. The IRTA’s current research on biogas focuses on the agro-industrial sector. Specifically, most of our projects are focused on the recovery of organic waste from agricultural, livestock and agro-industrial activity through what is known as “anaerobic co-digestion”, which is optimised to treat mixtures of various types of waste allowing the performance of the anaerobic digester to be maximised in terms of biogas production. Moreover, we are also investing a great deal of effort into projects on the production of organic fertilisers based on the digestate (the treated fraction which comes from the digester).