IREN Ambiente and Nippon Gases, the European subsidiary of Nippon Sanso Holdings Corporation, have recently signed an important collaboration agreement for the management and commercialisation - following purification and liquefaction - of biogenic CO2. This CO2 is derived from the anaerobic digestion of the sorted organic fraction carried out at the, recently opened, new organic waste recovery plant in Gavassa (Reggio Emilia).
IREN Ambiente's organic waste recovery plant, which produces compost, biomethane and CO2, is fed by the separated organic fraction of food residues and will be able to guarantee compliance with the most stringent quality specifications of purity and reliabilitỳ of CO2, as required by the food market.
The biogas generated in the plant and transformed into biomethane through a membrane upgrading process will allow completely renewable, zero-impact energy to be fed into the distribution network. Downstream of the Gavassa plant, a biogenic carbon dioxide recovery and valorisation plant has been installed: an innovative process that enables the purification and liquefaction of CO2 to the quality required by the food and beverage sector.
A winning agreement which sees the valorisation of the "zero impact" CO2 produced by IREN Ambiente's Gavassa plant, and on the other side Nippon Gases which, with its many years' experience in the production and distribution of food gases, will provide IREN Ambiente the necessary support and consultancy. Nippon Gases will also take care of the training of IREN Ambiente's staff in charge of operating as professional food-grade gas operators, as well as the consultancy needed in drawing up the correct procedures for loading tanks, defining production batches and issuing the relevant certificates of analysis.
"This agreement," comments Eugenio Bertolini, CEO of IREN Ambiente, "is part of IREN's broader commitment to maximizing the sustainable and circular use of resources. Food residues and pruning clippings, instead of being a problem, become important resources. In addition to producing biomethane and quality compost, the FORSU plant also produces high-purity technical and food-grade CO2, which is now valorised thanks to the agreement with NIPPON GASES. Our goal is to generate shared value from a truly circular economy, through plants like the one in Gavassa that meets the needs of people, the economy, the environment and the territory".
"We are pleased to be part of this important project, which sees us leading a concrete example of the circular economy and strengthening our leadership position in the carbon dioxide and dry ice market,' comments Davis Reginato, General Manager of Nippon Gases Industrial. The biogenic CO2 produced by the IREN AMBIENTE plant will be zero-impact, a concrete contribution to sustainability and the protection of our planet."
About Iren Ambiente
IREN AMBIENTE part of IREN Group, a leading multi-utility in the North West. The Group operates in the territories with a variety of services such as the production of electricity (73% of which is already derived from renewable sources) and thermal energy for district heating, a sector in which IREN is the national leader; the implementation of technological solutions for energy efficiency and smart cities to support the public administration; the management of the integrated waste cycle (where it boasts percentages of separate waste collection with peaks of 80%); the development of circular economy solutions thanks to more than 40 waste treatment plants; the management and enhancement of the integrated water cycle and the electricity and gas distribution networks with high efficiency performance; the strengthening of a support and sales network for the benefit of its 2 million customers through physical counters, call centers and apps.
The Group is implementing a 10-year strategic plan with EUR 12.7 billion of investments up to 2030, of which more than 80 per cent is earmarked for sustainable investments and based on the ecological transition by strengthening its leadership in the circular economy and sustainable use of resources, also referring to the UN Agenda 2030 goals.