Events Information regarding research and more
Notes from our BioENox workshops
All the participants introduced themselves and their projects: universities, research centers and companies involved. Each one of them mentioned its role in the network. We presented the project core lines and we explained the importance of the creation of a network, focused on renewable energies. The projects already existent and created by Xaquixe were introduced: use of burnt cooking oil for hand blown glass ovens, biogas and solar concentration. The meeting was also useful to recognize the participants points of view, as well as their concerns.
Lecture presentation to mezcal producers, regarding biogas potential as a renewable energy, by PhD. Ing. habil. Gunter Busch, former director of the Renewable Energies Area at the Technological University of Brandenburg (BTU). We also visited Xaquixe’s facilities and were introduced to the substrates and biomass laboratory by PhD. Violeta Bravo (BTU). Finally the mezcal producers saw a presentation of the mezcal test-plant, as an alternative to save money while generating energy from stillage, and use it for mezcal production.
We had a work session to understand mezcal producers needs and doubts regarding the use of new technologies for mezcal production, mostly related to the reduction of wood in the cooking process and the efficient use of energy while distilling. We presented the pilot plant, as well as scale models to reduce wood utilization, and provide an anaerobic treatment to stillage. We also discussed the use of biogas as a fuel for different processes in order to reduce the greenhouse effect. At the end of the session, we had an exchange of opinions between the audience and our international experts.
We also opened a forum with experts from areas related to energetic efficiency, sewage water treatment, certified chemical analysis, biogas technologies and anaerobic processes modeling. A workgroup related to research and development was created, with the aim to produce, in the shortest foreseeable future, renewable energies from stillage for the artisan sector in Mexico. This forum also provided the opportunity to detect special needs for technological innovation in this sector, under the Sustainable development paradigm.
The objectives of this two-day workshop (June 18 and 19, 2022) were the following:
1. Presentation of the latest design of the “Biodigester-Column PCR (Piston – flux)” as a technological alternative for the treatment of mezcal stillage, all while using renewable energies that proceed from the process residuals, in mezcal production centers.
Dr Violeta Bravo presented previous prototypes, and the research conducted during 5 years, aimed to solve the different challenges that stillage treatment has presented. She explained how they were solved and how the last model was reached. In the session, she also introduced: a) the potential uses of methane gas produced by bacteria during the stillage treatment, and b) the treatment left-overs, which could be used as fertilizer in different type of crops.
This prototype of “Biodigester-Column PCR + recirculation column 2 in 1” will be built in 2023 and will be presented in the last workshop, to be conducted this year.
2. The presentation of the study related to the analysis of efficiency of the “pit stone oven” employed to cook the mezcal heads (or “pineapples”). The goal was to improve this type of oven without affecting the thermic process of pyrolysis, which is central for the homogenous cooking of mezcal heads, that is, to avoid an irregular burn or roasting.
3. The presentation of the “principles” for an appropriate combustion, in order to attain the efficient use of gas in still ovens. New models of gas burners were introduced.
4. Presentation of the highly efficient oven for mezcal distillation, developed by Studio Xaquixe through technology transference from its glass ovens. This study and development were reached during the 20+ years of operation of the company.