Founded in 2005 by a group of young farmers in the area of Medicina, the agricultural cooperative AGRIBIOENERGIA has been developed with the aim of realizing a local chain connected with agroenergies.
“We have been motivated by the economic and historical situation, affected by a great difficulty for the conventional crops as well as by the need for researching something new that until that time had not been known yet”.
“The idea of building something together, something we could have not reached individually: from a productive, a financial and a psychological point of view. These are the reasons why we have decided to be part of this group”
After years of research and design, the plant has been set up in 2010; it is one of the first biodigesters in the province of Bologna.
The members of the cooperative, which have become 25 over the years, cultivate dedicated biomasses (corn and sorghum) and deliver them to the plant where the biodigester is located. The system uses the principle of the anaerobic fermentation, transforming biomasses into biogas, and then into electrical energy.
The cooling of the cogenerator generates thermal energy in the form of hot water at 80 °C.
At the end of the fermentation process, a by- product is obtained, the “digestate” from bio-waste, which is organic mass entirely used as fertilizer on the fields of the cooperative members.
From 2011, thanks to the modification of the regulatory framework, it is possible to replace part of dedicated biomasses with vegetable waste and by-products (such as peels of potatoes, onions and industrial tomatoes, residues from cereals and flour working processes) and animal waste (such as cattle slurry). All this is possible with a very short chain supply.
In order to enhance the thermal energy of the plant, an intense research has led, in 2014, to the birth of a new business branch related to the cultivation, drying and processing of medicinal plants.