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Biomass energy in the municipality of Bregaglia

Updated: Dec 9, 2023



WHFF Project: 2021.17

Project leader: Stephan Gasser, Molinari Projects AG

On behalf of : Mr. Ueli Weber, Vice-President of the Municipality of Bregaglia


The short video about the project on YouTube can be watched at the following link (only available in German): https://youtu.be/hK_ZqUJFWlI



The most important facts in brief

  • The energy potential of the biomass produced in Val Bregaglia was investigated using a range of currently available technologies.

  • The aim is to produce energy from local biomass while reducing the transport distance involved in waste disposal.

  • Electricity generation using wood-chip boilers or wood-fired cogeneration plants was studied as a conventional technology.

  • Hydrogen production from heterogeneous biomass such as green waste, kitchen waste, chestnut leaves and wood was investigated as an innovative option.

  • The combination of pyrolysis and hydrolysis in a patented process now needs to be further concretized, as such a plant makes it possible to produce and valorize heat, hydrogen and vegetable charcoal.


Project description

Val Bregaglia and the Maloja region produce various types of waste and biomass, including wood waste, chestnut production residues, agricultural waste, wastewater and municipal waste. Rather than seeing them solely as a disposal problem, the possibility of using them in energy production is being explored, particularly in the context of hydrogen technologies.

Biomass plants often need a certain size to operate profitably. The focus was therefore on the study of plants that can be operated decentrally and with heterogeneous biomass.

The municipality of Bregaglia, made up of five villages, is planning to renovate its infrastructure, for which the present project serves as a preliminary study, examining the conventional solution of cogeneration plants as well as an innovative solution of hydrogen production using a BlueFlux plant.

To this end, system boundaries for further consideration, requirements and resource availability have been defined. In addition, the challenges, development options and needs of energy production in Val Bregaglia, as well as the use of distribution networks and the potential demand for the end product, were examined more closely.



Conclusions

There are a number of plants that are modular and can be combined to use local biomass for energy purposes.

The study illustrates that a pilot plant from the company BlueFlux Energy, which enables pyrolysis and hydrolysis to be combined, should be investigated further as the best possible example for rural Switzerland.

It has also been found that the combination with conventional plants - for example, a cogeneration plant using sewage gas that is not fully utilized and cannot be valorized in the BlueFlux plant - could also be of interest.

The next phase of the project will involve concrete planning of the plant, installation of district heating pipes and clarification of hydrogen use and logistics.


The full report to download (DE):

2021.17_SB_Weber_Bergaglia
.pdf
Download PDF • 2.50MB

More information about the project on ARAMIS.



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