Sustainable Engineering Ltd. was founded in December 2010 by Konstantinos and Alexandros Alexandridis, engineers with many years of experience in natural gas transmission and distribution technologies.
The initial scope of the company’s activities was to transfer the research wealth that exists in the field of Bioenergy at a domestic and international level to the real needs of production, in view of the objectives of effective environmental and energy management.
The two main areas on which the research and construction activity of the company was initially focused were the anaerobic digestion of biomass and the co-generation of electrical and thermal energy. Of course, the complex production plants had to incorporate various additional and auxiliary functions such as the collection, storage and pre-treatment of the feedstocks (biomass), the treatment, intermediate storage and disposal of the residue (digestate), the treatment (desulphurization, dehydration, compression) of the biogas before entry in the cogeneration unit, as well as numerous safety facilities against overpressures, overheating and leaks of methane to the atmosphere.
With the accumulated experience in the organization, construction, operation and management of biogas units, Sustainable Engineering reorients and expands the scope of its activities in the production of Biomethane (renewable natural gas) as a final product, diversifying both the production methodologies (to the anaerobic digestion are added the gasification and methanation of hydrogen) as well as in the end-use sectors of biomethane (transportation, heating and industry are added to power generation).
Already in the middle of the decade, it had been established internationally that the choice of Biomethane production instead of electricity generation was not only more energy efficient, but also had a greater contribution (about 4 times more) to the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG). But it took the recent escalation in natural gas prices to lead European Union states to mandate the production of large amounts of biomethane as one of the measures to address the gas supply crisis (REPowerEU).
Sustainable Engineering Ltd., anticipating that soon this need will be recognized by the Greek state which will determine the measures and the institutional framework for supporting Biomethane, has the ability to offer integrated solutions for the production and distribution of biomethane on the market.
With the accumulated experience in the organization, construction, operation and management of biogas power plants, Sustainable Engineering reorients and expands the scope of its activities in the production of Biomethane (renewable natural gas) as a final product, diversifying both production methodologies (gasification of biomass and methanation of Hydrogen are added to the traditional Anaerobic Digestion) as well as the end-use sectors of biomethane (transportation, heating and industry are added to power generation).
The gas transmission and distribution networks do not have the density and coverage of those of electricity. As a result of this, it is difficult to transport the energy product (biomethane) produced in the units to the consumers. For this reason, various transport methods are applied (injection into transmission networks, injection into distribution networks, land transport in compressed form, transport in liquid phase, etc.). In these sectors, Sustainable Engineering, thanks to the 30 years of experience of its in the distribution of Natural Gas, can offer integrated solutions for the production and distribution of Biomethane.
Perspectives - Individual objectives
The main perspective served by Aiforos Techniki is the transition to Biomethane, an energy product that by definition has a higher energy efficiency and therefore a lower carbon footprint. At the same time, biomethane projects are sought to have high degrees of efficiency and effectiveness, so that the produced Biomethane becomes directly competitive with fossil Natural Gas. Biomethane, together with Hydrogen, will be the main renewable gases that in 30 years will replace Natural Gas in most of its uses.
The construction of new Biomethane plants or the conversion of existing power plants is not limited to the basic production processes which are anaerobic digestion and methane separation (upgrading).
For the efficiency – economy – environmental compatibility of the units, it is good to include additional processes – auxiliary functions, such as:
Utilization of by-products (thermal energy, fertilizers - soil improvers, biogenic carbon dioxide).
Energy production (electrical, thermal) for low-cost self-consumption
Cleaning of biogas and biomethane from impurities (polishing)
Internal energy saving.
Creating multiple synergies with the agricultural and livestock sector that contributes to the circular economy and increasing employment.
Dependence on imported raw materials.
Utilization of excess electricity from other RES.
Connection with production – utilization of other renewable gases (Hydrogen, e-Methane)
These are developments expected within the 10 years we are going through, which will contribute, together with other RES, to the complete elimination of fossil fuels by 2050.