Energy  |  Successes  |  29.10.2013

From waste to energy: green savings for small industries

Re.Bi.Co (Reattore Biologico Compatto or Compact Biological Reactor) is the first small scale modular biogas plant studied for the processing of different matrices (e.g. organic waste, sewage sludge, animal waste, etc.) through anaerobic digestion. It has been developed by N.Envi.Sol, a startup of young engineers from Salerno, in Southern Italy, and will be commercialized starting in 2014. 

The idea of designing a “compact” reactor came up to meet the needs of small companies, producing a limited amount of waste. Re.Bi.Co. is designed in single modules with a power of 1 kW that can be combined together and easily adapted to different needs and availability of space and material supply. 

According to N.Envi.Sol, until now the market has ignored the potential of offering small business owners the chance to produce energy via organic fraction, believing that only large scale plants could allow maximising profits. However, Re.Bi.Co is inspired by a different concept of profit: the energy generated through this system is produced for daily needs and not for speculative purposes.

Re.Bi.Co. allows to produce “purified” electricity from biogas combustion and to reduce the volume of waste treated. The production of electricity will have three major benefits: reduction of the electricity bill, gain related to the production / sale of energy produced, and reducing dependency on traditional energy sources. The reduction of the volume of waste will also reduce the costs involved in transporting and disposal.

Which industries could benefit from this innovative system? First of all, the ones working in the food sector (6300 in Italy), but also the ones involving agricultural and breeding farms and companies working in the wastewater treatment. Also, Re.Bi.Co could be installed in residential settings such as large flat blocks: these entities will be able to direct their waste to the digestion system to produce energy to be used within the building system or to be sold to the national energy grid, reducing the amount of disposed waste and consequently also the costs.

After the phase of development and testing, which lasted a year and a half and produced good results, the machine is now being finalised and will be ready for the market next spring. This project seems to be particularly promising in a moment where there is the strong need for greener innovation that could bring economic benefits for small companies that are facing the difficulties of the crisis.

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