VTT Technological Research Centre of Finland (VTT) coordinates a new European
project, which focuses on studying anaerobic digestion (AD) of organic waste
and developing its control. AD process can be optimized to produce either
biogas or volatile fatty acids that are even more valuable products than
biogas. The produced volatile fatty acids can be converted further to raw
materials with which it’s possible to produce oil-replacing biobased products,
such as bioplastics.
During the anaerobic digestion process, which contains four main steps, the
organic matter is degraded by bacteria to biogas in the absence of oxygen.
Controlling the digestion process is one of the most important ways of making
the biogas production process more efficient. A prototype for process
monitoring and controlling system will be developed during the OPTI-VFA
project. This system enables more efficient control of both volatile fatty
acids and biogas production. It also improves the profitability, efficiency
and reliability of the process.
Anaerobic digestion of biowaste also promotes the green society, due to the
fact that AD process has many positive environmental impacts. After digestion,
waste has considerably less odour problems, reduced acidity as well as reduced
pathogen and pesticides content. Fossil fuels can be compensated by biogas and
thus the amount of emissions can be decreased. Also the methane emissions will
be decreased, when the methane produced as a disintegration product during AD
process will be utilized as energy in a closed process.
The total budget of the two-year OPTI-VFA project is EUR 1.15 million of which
the share of VTT is approximately one third. VTT is responsible for the
planning, building and calibration of the prototype for monitoring and
The project group consists of nine partners: Attero (the Netherlands),
Optomeasures (France), Rikola (Finland), MTT Multantiv (Finland), MSI (Spain),
Maris Projects (the Netherlands), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
(Finland), TUDelft (the Netherlands) and CEIT (Spain).