The use of waste for the production of bio-products, in particular renewable energy is not just an issue constantly on the agenda both in Brazil and abroad. Brazilian and foreign companies focus on waste management as an essential tool in the pursuit of energy efficiency. In other words, the watchword is to produce energy from all types of waste, starting with organic waste, such as those generated by fruits and vegetables supply markets; by urban waste, which is more commonly called garbage; by agro-industrial waste coming from the biodiesel industry, such as glycerin; for effluents, which are human sewage or from refrigerators.
Within this context, the ERGOSTECH Renewal Energy Solutions, a Brazilian company in the biotechnology industry, was born in 2004 with the purpose of bringing innovation to the biotechnology sector, especially in renewable energy to produce bioenergy, specifically bio-hydrogen, bio-methane and bio-products from agro-industrial waste. “We want to solve the environmental problems of waste generating industries, adding value to these products transformed into bio-energy, to close a sustainable cycle.”
As flagship, the company belonging to Anhumas Group, has developed, in partnership with companies Sapporo Brewery and Petrobras, processes for the production of bio-hydrogen from organic waste, mainly agro-industrial effluents. Throughout this period, the only existing plant in the world for the production of bio-hydrogen via anaerobic fermentation process and a sophisticated laboratory infrastructure to support the development of research activities in order to process improvements and productivity was built. In this sense, and to contribute to the sustainable development of Brazil, ERGOSTECH’s mission is to make a difference in science and contribute to the sustainable development of mankind.
Bio Hydrogen and ERGOSTECH
The bio-hydrogen can be readily used as fuel to drive vehicles or power generation with strategic advantages, economic, environmental and social.
In the strategic field, there is the decentralized generation of fuel and coming energy waste production points. In economic part has been the use of fuel available on site with low cost and bio-fertilizer which can be marketed for use in reforestation or urban gardening. In the environmental area, there is a proper disposal of waste and use of bio-hydrogen as a renewable fuel for energy purposes, either vehicular or power generation, and finally in the social area, the liquid waste generated in the process can be used as organic fertilizer and partially returned to the farmer supplier of horticultural increasing the sustainability of the entire production chain.
To achieve continuous production of bio-hydrogen on an industrial scale, which is the great challenge of the company, ERGOSTECH saw also as an opportunity to Law No 12,305, the Law on Solid Waste, and more than 6 million tonnes of waste generated by individuals annually in Brazil alone.
Apart from these waste generated by individuals, the marketing of agro products to national distributors and end users is carried out mainly by Supply Centers as CEASA (Supply Centers). The fresh produce markets in general moves from 20,000 to 150,000 tons of fruit and vegetables per month, generating a large amount of waste during the handling of products (CEASA, 2012).
In addition to the major problem faced by the sugar and ethanol industry (vinasse) and the Supply Centers (organic waste), as well as municipalities towards waste generated, bottlenecks found in plants producing biodiesel (glycerin). Reference only and to summarize, from the waste to be treated to include biodiesel plants (59 plants in Brazil), ethanol distilleries (413 units in Brazil), Fruit and Vegetable Supply plants (more than 56 units in Brazil, urban organic solid waste (generation of more than 62 million tons per year).
Recognizing the industrial potêncial, scientific and managerial know-how, ERGOSTECH consolidated its partnership with Petrobras and the Japanese brewery Sapporo Brewery, through terms of tripartite cooperation, and achieved a great success in the consolidation of technology for production of bio-hydrogen.
In the current situation the three companies has worked extensively in the executive project to implement the scheduling of this nationally established technology, and to enable this great dream, and high-impact, still requires a considerable investment by supporting other national institutions see as opportunity in a project to add value to solid waste, treating them and turning them into renewable energy, and to develop and leverage the national scientific knowledge, bringing the whole community to commit to environmental issues.