The EU-funded programmes Low Carbon and Circular Economy Business Action (LCBA) and Digital Global Biogas Cooperation (DiBiCoo) implemented in Argentina by the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA), have held a virtual conference to present the existing opportunities in Argentina for the use and valorisation of digestate. It is an essential product in the process of anaerobic digestion, with a fantastic application as a fertiliser and other high value co-products, being, in addition, a great reducer of emissions with environmental and economic benefits.
The conference began with the appearance of Jorg Weberndorfer, Minister Counsellor, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Delegation of the European Union in Argentina, who presented the challenges of the European Green Pact and highlighted the key role that «renewable gases such as biogas and bioethanol will have in Europe’s transition to a clean energy system with a circular economy and truly efficient in the use of resources».
Dr. Patricia Bres, researcher at the Institute of Microbiology and Agricultural Zoology of INTA, explained to the more than 90 companies and experts attending the event, the regulatory framework for the application of digestate. She also presented the first results of the survey carried out in Argentina to map biogas plants, which show the «existence of a range of opportunities for the use of digestate, such as products that facilitate its management, handling and transport; the elimination of undesirable characteristics to meet quality parameters; and to ensure the controlled and homogeneous quality of the products in the long term».
DiBiCoo expert and consultant, Jorge Hilbert, presented how the programme, implemented in countries such as Argentina, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia and South Africa, seeks to link the demand for technology and supply, and to this end, integrates different European agents into the consortium. He also took the opportunity to announce the launch of a digital tool, the «Biogas Matchmaking Platform» to detect business opportunities and relevant information in the sector.
Simón González, LCBA’s Liaison Officer in Argentina, encouraged Argentinean companies with knowledge or technology transfer needs in the sector to join the programme and benefit from the support tools it provides. «It is a business acceleration platform that offers support services, financial coaching and the search for a European technology partner for Argentinean companies. Once the companies make a business agreement, they can receive a technical assistance park (legal, environmental and financial) free of charge».
SUCCESS STORIES AND TECHNOLOGY
The Environmental Manager of the Argentinean company Bioeléctrica, Mercedes Vázquez, showed the success story of Bio4, an innovative agricultural business group from Río Cuarto and the region, whose «vision is to add value at source, build social capital, care for the environment and promote bio-economic development». In addition, Michael Kottner, Senior Expert in biogas processes of the International Biogas and Bioenergy Competence Center (IBBK), as well as Frank Hofmann, consultant of the German Biogas Association, presented the European technology portfolio for the improvement, application and transformation of digestate.
The summary of the conference as well as the presentation materials are available for download on the LCBA website.