Biomethane production plant FAQ


  • Why does the biomethane production plant support the circular economy?

    The biomethane promotes, through the treatment and recovery of the organic waste, the completion of the virtuous cycle of waste, in line with European and National policies on the circular economy.

    In particular, plants for the treatment and recovery of the Organic Fraction Municipal Solid Waste (OFMSW)produce clean energy or biomethane as well as quality compost that can be used as natural fertilizer.

  • What are the advantages for the area generated by biomethane production plants?

    The direct benefits for the local community are:

    • - Employment and skills generation: at least 8 permanent and qualified job positions
    • - Investments in the territory: economic value for local companies, which will be involved in the construction phase and to support plant operations
    • - Savings for the citizens and the Municipality: for organic waste biomethane plants, the saving value relies on the reduced cost of organic waste disposal, because of a reduced transfer fee to deliver the tons of local organic waste to the Enersi site and removal of cost to export waste outside Sicily.
  • Does the biomethane production plant pollute the atmosphere?

    The biomethane, primary output of the plant, is directly injected into the gas transport network in compliance with current regulations and the environment. Despite its gas nature, biomethane is considered an emission-neutral source and is entirely renewable because its production occurs via deterioration of waste and organic material that would otherwise produce emissions. Furthermore, for biomethane from agricultural biomass, it is recognized thatcarbon dioxide emissions produced along the lifecycle are equal to the quantity absorbed by the harvest during the growth phase. The process can even become "negative" from an emission point of view, when the carbon dioxide, produced and separated in the biogas purification phase, is used for industrial and / or food purposes.

  • What is anaerobic digestion?

    Anaerobic digestion is the biological process allowing the transformation of the Organic Fraction Municipal Solid Waste (OFMSW) into renewable energy and natural fertilizer. OFMSW obtained through separate waste collection is stored inside soundproofed and waterproofed structures without oxygen (bio-digesters). A period of a few months is necessary before the organic waste decays into a gaseous substance, the so-called biogas. Purification of biogas results in biomethane, then injected in SNAM’s natural gas transport network. The solid left over from of the OFSWM treatment, called digestate, are sent to the composting phase and mixed together with the green fraction, i.e. waste from of the maintenance of parks and gardens, to produce compost, a natural fertilizer.

  • Does a waste combustion occur in a biomethane production from organic waste plant?

    Absolutely not, the process does not involve any combustion, and never burns the organic waste in any stage. Furthermore, compliance with national regulations of Firefighter policy brigade is strictly monitored. Firefighter brigade also certifies the plant in accordance with current legislation.

  • How is the correct management of the organic waste in input ensured?

    The organic waste is subject to recurring routine controls to ensure the suitability of the waste in compliance with current regulations. Furthermore, trucks transporting supply of organic waste are rigorously monitored with respect to hygienic conditions.

  • How is smell control managed in a biomethane production plant?

    The plant is equipped with the best technologies available on the market to minimize and reduce odors in compliance with current regulations and the environment. In particular, the premises used for the treatment of the organic waste are atmospherically isolated and pressurized. Furthermore, systems for air purification and air capture are envisaged and fully operated, while entry gates are equipped with devices to reduce odors. In conclusion, the biogas production process occurs in an oxygen-free and completely hermetic environment.

  • Does the biomethane production plant generate significant noise?

    All OFMSW treatment activities occur in soundproof areas to control and minimize noise emissions. In particular, the level of noise generated is equivalent to a common farm in the biomethane plants from agricultural waste.

  • Does the biomethane production plant involve hygienic - sanitary risks?

    The treatment process adopted requires the organic waste to be sealed for a long time in an hermetic area at high temperatures, completely removing the risk of developing pathogenic bacteria. 

  • Does the biomethane production plant generate risks for the groundwater?

    The contamination of groundwater is avoided via waterproofing transit areas for vehicles and barriers between the groundwater and the land where the plant is located.

  • Does the biomethane production plant have an impact on vehicular traffic?

    The biomethane plant from OFMSW minimizes long-haul vehicle traffic, and therefore emissions into the atmosphere. In fact, the purpose of the site is reducing the distances traveled by the trucks carrying organic waste produced locally outside of the local area. The biomethane plant from agricultural biomass collects remainders of the local farms and does not involve a substantial variation of the current vehicle traffic.

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21 October 2020 - 11:24 CEST