Our success is built on research, process expertise, and continuous innovation
Protech is responsible for research and development and assists the group with engineering expertise for production facilities and investment projects
The technology team within Protech provides Biokraft's production facilities and investment projects with engineering resources. For production plants, support is needed with process-related questions and control systems, partly for daily operation and partly for questions about prevention and improvement measures. In Biokraft's larger investment projects, Protech usually holds the technical project management role but also fills the engineering roles in the project's client organisation for process, controls/rules and mech.
In the commissioning and ramp-up phases, these people are central to the team that brings the facilities to total production in collaboration with the operations organisation. In Biokraft's smaller investment projects, e.g. improvement measures or new procurement of unit operations, Protech's engineers often carry out the entire work with planning, ordering and execution for the respective business area.
Research and Development Team
The research and development team has a high level of competence and extensive experience in the microbiological part of the biogas process (i.e., the biological decomposition that takes place in the digesters). The work aims to understand better variables in the basic microbiological processes to achieve the best possible resource efficiency, flexibility and profitability in our process facilities. Today, we also work a lot with issues related to pretreatment and dewatering/digestion processing techniques.
Our research and development team includes experienced researchers, lab technicians and process engineers. Development and evaluation of new or improved digestion concepts are done in our lab in Linköping.
The basis for our lab tests is conventional anaerobic lab-scale reactors that are incubated in mesophilic or thermophilic temperatures. The process concepts are then tuned to maximise methane yield and organic load. The reactors are often run to simulate imagined full-scale processes, and the daily follow-up allows the R&D group in the lab to identify and remedy various types of process problems, the majority linked to some nutrient or trace element deficiency. The results and data from our lab tests are central to the continued work on dimensioning, mass balances, commissioning and ramp-up carried out by the engineering department.
In order to increase ethical and sustainable biogas production, the market needs to find new/unconventional substrates. Our research and development team has evaluated more than 400 substrates. Waste and residual products from various process industries where mainly the food industry, forest, agricultural and aquatic production systems, as well as wastewater from paper and pulp mills, have been in focus, but also substrates/residual products connected with the production of other biofuels such as bioethanol and biodiesel are well investigated by our research team. Each evaluation gives us a substrate characterisation concerning degradability, nutrient content and methane potential. The data is the basis for modelling new process concepts, including biomethane potential, quantities, and quality of the formed biofertiliser. The substrate evaluation is also central to requirements and certifications (HBK, ISCC and SPCR etc.). The documents produced are used, among other things, to estimate the amount of biomethane from traceable substrates and predict levels of nutrients in the process and, later, the biofertiliser.
National and international networking
We actively collaborate to develop biogas solutions industrially and are part of networks with national and international research institutions, universities, industrial partners and other stakeholders.
Our activities also include coordination and participation in various research and development projects funded by, among others, the Swedish Energy Agency, FORMAS, the European Commission and the Norwegian Research Council. Biokraft also collaborates with Linköping University and the Biogas Solutions Research Center (BSRC) – the national competence centre funded by the Energy Agency.
Biokraft HOLD Technology™ optimizes large-scale biogas production.
One of our successful concepts is HOLD Technology™, an advanced process technology that we have been continuously developing since 2005 to optimize large-scale biogas production. The method is one of the most effective globally, and when it was first implemented in full scale in Ulsan, South Korea, in 2007, our facility's production efficiency increased by 3-5 times.
HOLD Technology™ is based on three cornerstones:
In-house design of critical plant components creates optimal living conditions for the microorganisms working in the digesters.
Optimised recipes - The Leadership of Microbes™
We have developed recipes for the right combination of substrates that result in optimal biogas production. Biokraft has developed a unique expertise after testing over 400 substrates in laboratory environments. In a production facility, the blends can be supplemented with additives to achieve an optimal balance between maximum energy extraction, efficient degradation, and minimisation of byproducts.
Correct supply of substrate
Introducing different substrates into the digester is sensitive, and its efficiency depends on the design of the facility and the substrates being added. The goal is to keep the "pot boiling" even when introducing the new substrate. We measure gas production and control the mixture in the digester to ensure that the microorganisms maintain efficient production with high utilisation of the energy inherent in the substrate.
The resulting products, biogas and digestate, are then processed and transported to end-users, while any byproducts are managed to ensure a closed-loop system.