Area Science Park: inauguration of Jolly Cow, the microplant for biogas production
Biogas is a mixture of various types of gas composed mainly of methane and produced by bacterial fermentation in the absence of oxygen, derived from the exploitation of organic residues from vegetable or animal residues. Digestates are by-products of biogas production and can be used as high-quality fertilizers.
The residues used for the production of biogas come from farms (slurry, manure and feed waste), food production (fruit and vegetable residues, residues from the processing of meat, fish and milk, beer, food leftovers, etc.) and from waste waters from industrial and municipal purifiers.
NRE Research S.r.l. and POOPY3ENERGY S.r.l., two innovative startups set up at AREA Science Park and BIC FVG in Trieste, respectively, have developed Jolly Cow, a microplant from an innovative technology that produces biogas from zootechnical waste using a biological process similar to that of the digestive system of a cow, whcih is the result of the research and development activities jointly carried out by the two startups.
The plant is particularly suited for small bovine livestock and requires a smaller investment than traditional biogas production plants.
To simulate the functioning of cows’ digestive system, where intestinal villi are a very large area of exchange capable of digesting an exceptional amount of food daily, the plant has a fixed layer of bacteria capable of providing the necessary exchange surface. The absorption of the organic material is complete and produces digestate and hygienized biomass.
The efficiency of the plant would allow exclusive feeding with residues from livestock and extremely fast digestion times with a yield up to twice as high as traditional digesters, at lower construction and production costs.
Digested slurry is mineralized and reduced in volume, thus becoming a compost easily assimilated by the soil and plants, harmless to sprouts, with an important saving of fertilizing products, maintaining nitrogen percentages within the limits set by the EU directive on nitrates. The first Jolly Cow plant was installed at Michele Pecile's farm in Mereto di Tomba.