BIOMASS TREATMENT and biochemicals extraction PLANT
This plant is designed to test the main biomass treatments suitable for improving exploitation. The facilities are designed with the main purpose of improving biodegradability of biomass for biochemicals and sugars extraction by increasing the yield in subsequent processes. This plant could perform different processes on biomass in order to enhance its utilization as a renewable source. The main scope is to extract all the valuable components, sugars included from vegetable sources. Treatments available allow to improve hydrolysis, transforming lignin and hemicellulose and reducing the crystallinity of cellulose.
The plant is characterized by 3 main reactors which can operate both in series and in parallel on different types of biomass (lignocellulosic, amylaceous, proteins, sugary, oleaginous wastes, etc).
- THERMAL SECTION, based on Steam Explosion process (30L), if required after chemical conditioning, particularly suitable for lignocellulosic biomass.
- CHEMICAL SECTION (150L), based on chemical hydrolysis, to be performed directly on raw biomass, mainly amylaceous and proteins, or even lignocellulosic.
- BIOLOGICAL SECTION (150L) based on enzymatic hydrolysis on the separate fractions (hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin) and on other types of biomass.
The plant was designed to:
- Treat different types of biomass
- Choose the best combinations for increasing the process yield
- Obtain optimized cost-based process results
Fermentation pilot plants
For test and validation of fermentation processes, Environment Park operates a pilot plant for carrying out tests aimed at optimizing biochemical processes.
The pilot plant consists of 3 stirred digesters (5, 35 and 150 L), suitable for biochemical processes or even for biogas production optimization, in which it is possible to perform fermentations with yeasts and bacteria in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
All the reactors can operate in batch (STR) and in continuous (CSTR) and they are equipped with a pH, temperature, gas production flow rate and composition monitoring system in order to control the key parameters of the process during the fermentation.
To create anaerobic conditions, or for processes in which the reagents are gases, the system is equipped with a gas inlet at the bottom of the reactor, where inert gas, i.e. nitrogen, or reagent gas can be injected. During fermentation the gas produced is released through a relief valve which opens at a fixed pressure (operative range 5-100 mBar) and is connected to a gas collection system.
Produced gas composition is continuously evaluated through a micro gas-cromatograph and the rate of production is measured through an on-line gas counter in order to control both the quality and the quantity of gas stream.
The plant is also equipped with a system for data logging in order to perform continuous test over few days, in order to define and optimize the process parameters.
SEPARATION AND PURIFICATION plants (REALIZED in the framework of INFRA-P CALL IN COoperation WITH politechnic of turin)
Alfa Laval’s Clara 20 separator module is designed to be a multipurpose unit for liquid solid separation. The unit consists of a stainless-steel skid fitted with a separator and all the auxiliary equipment needed. Separation takes place inside a rotating bowl. The feed is introduced to the rotating centrifuge bowl from the top via a stationary inlet pipe and is accelerated in the distributor before entering the disc stack. The distributor is designed specially to ensure smooth acceleration of the feed liquid. The solids are collected in the periphery, from where it is discharged intermittently into the solids collecting tank.
- Throughput capacity; low-high flow max. 1 m3/h-4 m3/h
- Bowl speed: 9,5 rpm
- Bowl liquid volume: 2.2 L
- Sludge space volume: approx. 1.1 L
- Capacity: up to 4000 l/h
MEMBRANES FILTRATION PLANT
This is a tangential filtration plant suitable for operating with ceramics membranes and wound spiral membranes. It can perform micro-ultra and nano filtration, and also reverse osmosis for the purification and concentration of cell lysates, hydrolysed solution of biochemicals and fermentation broths containing high value compounds. The machine is technically structured with innovative features compared to the regular separation technologies, in order to achieve higher levels of performance in terms of quality and quantity. The plant is equipped with a pressurization system, a recirculation loop and a membrane pressurization control system; the monitoring system allows control of variables such as temperature, pressures and flow rates.
- Capacity: 30-200 l/batch
- Solution characteristics: blend previously clarified with centrifugal separator
- Average permeate productivity: 20-100 l/h depending on the type of solution and membranes