We understand the biomass treatment usually in conjunction with biogas plants. Whether the treatment and processing of non-fermentable biomass, such as Wood, or the treatment of digestate for further energetic or material use.
Three main techniques can be used for the utilization of biomass: fermentation, incineration and composting. To decide which type of technique should be used, we need to know the type of available biomass for further energetic or material use. For example, if we want to treat recalcitrant biomass, such as wood, we need a suitable treatment for substrates that have a low water content and high concentration of lignin; or, if there is a lot of remaining wastewater from a process, we need a treatment which works with a high water content. Each of these substrates should be managed differently as the type and origin of the biomass determine which treatment is best.

The treatment methods should be adapted and used according to the properties of the available biomass to treat, also considering the prevailing market situation.

  • Fermentation is an effective method to treat biomass with a high content of water and soluble organic matter. Biogas and digestate are produced as outputs, used to generate energy and fertilizer, respectively.
  • Incineration of biomass is predestined for dry biomass, with a high proportion of recalcitrant (woody) organic matter. Biomass combustion generally offers the highest rate of energy production which can be directly used as heat and/or steam.
  • Composting is commonly used for biomass with low water/dry matter content (about 50% DM) and with a solid structure; the biomass can be humid but should not be wet.


We consider these three techniques not as competitors, but as techniques which work in cooperation. The type and origin of biomass determined not least that recovery is possible and useful.

The interaction of
Digestion - Composting - Biomass firing
Presentation by Anselm Gleixner at tha Qualification Course "BIOGAS-Intensiv" in Kirchberg/Jagst, Germany on July 5th, 2011

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The profitability of a biogas plant can also be supported by the use of thermal energy. From a biogas plant’s energy produced, heat makes up half to two-thirds of the output, which can be internally used, or sold. Years ago we introduced the concept of a biomass fuel reprocessing plant to our clients and projects. This plant produces a cost-effective fuel production by using "waste" biomass. For example, we incorporate unused waste, such as tree and bushes cuttings, grass and other green material, which may be produced in the plant or collected by local waste management associations and companies. it allows the producing of inexpensive solid fuel by using of otherwise unused thermal energy of a biogas plant.

Biogenic Solid Fuels
Processing - Characterization - Combustion
Presentation by Johannes Ketter at the 12th Witzenhaeuser Conference „ENERGIEWENDE Chancen für die Landwirtschaft" on December 2nd, 2003

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