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How RES Transforms Carbon Dioxide into the Fuel of the Future

RES Italia’s key projects include Tethys, a UAV for water sampling, and Tapyro, an eco-friendly thermal weeding device. Their goal is to advance technology while upholding environmental and circular economy principles. RES established a unique pilot plant in Cagliari, Italy, converting CO2 and hydrogen into biomethane while storing surplus energy, promoting energy sustainability and innovation.




An idea: transform carbon dioxide and hydrogen into methane. One project: build a new experimental facility and store excess energy. An achievement: today this type of plant, which is based in Cagliari, is unique in Italy. This series of steps is implemented by RES Italia, a company from Ravenna which has chosen the Sardinian capital to carry out its pilot project, not by chance.

Founded in 2004 by Chato Della Casa, originally from Vulcano (Messina), the company is committed to the development and promotion of innovative plant applications and solutions, based on anaerobic digestion.

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RES Italia, between circular economy and innovation

This innovative SME was founded in Ravenna in 2004 by 3 partners : the president, Davide Bersani, a graduate in Mechanical Engineering and designer of R&D machines and systems, who in the company deals with design for the creation of prototype systems and experimental equipment, Chato Della Casa, vice-president, graduate in Environmental Sciences and landscape architect, who works in the biogas sector and collaborates in plant design, study and analysis of biomass and Stefano Silvi , graduate in Building Engineering-Architecture and energy certifier.

Since its foundation, RES has developed and matured know-how and specific skills on anaerobic digestion (in particular with regard to applications relating to the production of biogas/biomethane and power-to-gas) and on thermochemical processes, also dealing with different typologies pre-treatment of waste and organic by-products. RES is engaged in applied research activities and technological innovation projects, addressing issues relating to various application areas: from environmental monitoring and protection to the circular economy.

Among the most important projects are Tethys, a remotely piloted aerial vehicle for the sampling and analysis of water bodies, and Tapyro, an eco-friendly device for thermal weeding and pyrodisinfection ( editor’s note: an innovative low-impact technique environmental to disinfect). The main objective of RES is to provide products and services useful for supporting technological progress, reconciling the principles of environmental protection and circular economy with solutions for the use of renewable energy and energy saving.

From Ravenna, RES has chosen Cagliari to start a one-of-a-kind pilot plant in Italy that is capable not only of obtaining biomethane from carbon dioxide and hydrogen but also of retaining the surplus energy. «There are only 2 plants of this type in Europe», declares the CEO of RES. Let’s find out in detail.

From Ravenna to Cagliari

Created for Sardegna Ricerche, in Cagliari, Res has created a biological methanation plant , consisting of a reactor in which specialized bacterial strains grow that feed on carbon dioxide (introduced via cylinders in this experimental phase, but in fact one of the pollutants that cause the most problems for the environment) and hydrogen. This process needs energy to take place, which can be green, produced by any excess renewable energy.

That is stored in the form of methane through the conversion of hydrogen. Thus, for example, we move from a surplus of solar energy, which cannot be stored long-term in batteries, to biomethane, which is an energy resource that can be stored and preserved without major complications. Furthermore, through the automation and control system it is possible to acquire, record and regulate the process data detected via various sensors with which the machine is equipped, and the system can also be monitored remotely.

“The biological methanation process has been known for some time, but this plant is one of a kind: here there is an active energy circularity project that is well integrated with other plants that we have installed in past years” – explained the CEO of Res Italia.

It is about a technology that still requires an experimental process to make the process that takes place by managing and controlling a bacterial culture as stable as possible. In the energy-environment sector it is necessary, having to investigate the client’s needs, to carry out studies on the process to control, equip and instrument the pilot plant so that it achieves maximum performance. The higher the potential, the more biomethane is produced.” And the applications can be very virtuous.

Potential applications of the process

“The applications that we foresee as possible, through this process, are truly countless if we just think that a pollutant such as carbon dioxide is used to produce renewable energy – said Davide – Transforming an energy-intensive process in itself into a process that allows energy to be stored renewable electricity (in this case biomethane) this plant can respond to many energy requests and can also be replicated in other areas not only in Italy but in the world.”

As regards volumes, the CEO stated: “It depends on how it will be managed by the market. In our opinion, in the next 5-10 years the idea should begin to be developed at a commercial level , with enormous advantages throughout the entire supply chain.” If all went well, therefore, the RES Italia project could really make a difference.

“We work with universities, spin-offs, public-private or private companies that have a strong scientific-technological component that supports us in the development of products and services in the bioenergy sector – concludes the CEO – Since 2008 we have also worked alongside Sardegna Ricerche , the year in which we supplied them with the first pilot plant which still continues to be used for the production of biogas.”

In short, a work in progress that aims to expand not only at a territorial level: “These technologies would allow greater energy independence in the context of the Sardinian island to make energy production more efficient. In Sardinia, in particular, there is unexplored potential regarding the wind sector . I cannot take it for granted that the Region will be able to achieve self-sustaining, we cannot know, but it would certainly achieve a good level of autonomy. And this model could be replicated in many other areas , not only on the Peninsula but globally.”


(Featured image by catazul via Pixabay)

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First published in StartupItalia. A third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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Jeremy Whannell loves writing about the great outdoors, business ventures and tech giants, cryptocurrencies, marijuana stocks, and other investment topics. His proficiency in internet culture rivals his obsession with artificial intelligence and gaming developments. A biker and nature enthusiast, he prefers working and writing out in the wild over an afternoon in a coffee shop.