SEMPRE-BIO’s 3rd General Assembly


Madrid, Spain, May 23rd, 2024

Project’s progress mirrors Europe’s push for sustainable energy

The SEMPRE-BIO project team, supported by the European Union’s Horizon Europe Program, held their third General Assembly on May 23rd, 2024. This biannual gathering of consortium members, held online this year, highlighted significant advancements in biomethane production technologies that enhance Europe’s energy resilience and support the circular economy.

Led by CETAQUA, Water Technology Centre, SEMPRE-BIO unites 16 key organizations from six European countries. These include industry leaders, research centers, and academic institutions dedicated to reducing the costs and extending the potential of biomethane production through innovative waste valorization.

Meeting overview

The assembly offered a detailed review of the project’s progress, focusing on strategic plans for future activities. Discussions were robust, with an emphasis on aligning project timelines and enhancing collaboration across the consortium. The involvement of SEMPRE-BIO’s Expert External Advisory Board (EEAB) members added an additional layer of oversight and expertise, contributing to the project’s overall success.

Case Studies, Practical Impact Across Europe

The project illustrated its broad impact across Europe through its three case studies in Belgium, France, and Spain. Each location provides unique insights into local challenges and how SEMPRE-BIO’s solutions are tailored to meet diverse European needs. The assembly assessed the testing of five innovative technologies across three locations, aimed at diversifying the conversion technology base for biomethane production. Notably:

  • Case Study 1: The pilot plant in Baix Llobregat is making remarkable progress. The site is being prepared for the installation of crucial components, with the development of the bioreactor and PEMEL advancing in tandem. Efforts are focused on enhancing productivity and yield for biogas upgrading, balanced with economic viability through a meticulous cost-value analysis. The reactor and Piping and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) are developed, with the reactor expected to be operational early next year. Construction of the PEMEL, a technology used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, is progressing and slated for completion by year-end, followed by a series of performance tests.
  • Case Study 2: In Bourges, the project has secured site agreements, established the ground plane, and arranged for a woody waste supplier. The plant design and 3D model are finalized, and equipment procurement is underway. A smaller pyrolysis kiln has been installed for training and optimization, with the main kiln assembly and operations starting in August. The biomethanation tank is expected to be operational by early 2025, with smooth progress on other project aspects.
  • Case Study 3: The demonstration plant in Adinkerke has made significant advancements, featuring two operational anaerobic digesters producing over 5,000 m³/year of biogas from manure. Comprehensive testing has been conducted, and the final Process Flow Diagram (PFD) is established, guiding the system’s installation and operation. The plant is set for completion by year-end, with operations to begin in early 2025, including the production of food-grade CO₂ for further applications.

Work Packages Update

Progress across various work packages was thoroughly evaluated:

Advanced CO2 Valorization Technologies (WP4) detailed the promising lab experiments for producing biochemicals and biopolymers from biomethane streams, using synthetic mediums and digestate from gas plants. Further optimization is needed to optimize the systems and maximize production. A 50L pilot hybrid fermenter with sensors was implemented in April, and future steps include testing various digestates. Research on microalgae as a sustainable protein source for animal feed is also progressing.

Economic Assessment and Market Strategy (WP5) addressed the refinement of biomethane guidelines and policy recommendations, highlighting new promotion policies and market gap analyses. Process simulations for all case studies are progressing, with models updated as new data becomes available.

Communication, Dissemination, and Exploitation (WP6) emphasized sustained efforts in communication and public engagement highlighting a strong social media presence and consistent content publication. Upcoming activities include a webinar in autumn and a video on case studies by mid-2025.

Environmental Impact and Future Directions

SEMPRE-BIO’s aims to significantly reduce CO2 emissions by up to 213 million tons annually by 2050. This aligns with the European Green Deal’s goals to cut Europe’s reliance on imported natural gas and liquefied natural gas, promoting the use of biomethane as a cleaner substitute for fossil fuels in various sectors, including transportation and heavy industry.

Closing Remarks and Acknowledgments

The third General Assembly has demonstrated SEMPRE-BIO project’s significant strides towards enhancing biomethane production technologies. The consortium’s efforts are in step with Europe’s overarching goal to become the first climate-neutral continent. The project extends sincere thanks to all consortium members and partners for their invaluable contributions and steadfast dedication. Their collaborative efforts are instrumental in driving the success of SEMPRE-BIO.

Looking forward, the project is determined to maintain its momentum with further trials and initiatives aimed at broadening the adoption of these technologies across Europe.

For more information about SEMPRE-BIO visit our Project Page


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This project has received funding from the European Union’s HORIZON-EIC-2021-TRANSITIONOPEN program under grant agreement No xxx . Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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