GERMAN biogas tank producer Lipp GmbH has entered into a tieup with Mapua University to research new feedstock for producing biogas.

In a statement on Monday, the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) said Lipp will donate biogas yield testing equipment to Mapua to support its research.

“Close collaboration between industry and academia is a cornerstone of Germany’s higher and dual education, and a main reason for the country’s economic success. Through the Lipp-Mapua partnership we were able to localize an important element of the German training system here in the Philippines and support waste-to-energy research,” GPCCI Executive Director Christopher Zimmer said.

Biogas is generated via the anaerobic digestion of feedstock. Potential feedstock includes animal by-products, agricultural waste, vegetable and fruit waste, slurry, and manure.

GPCCI added that the research partnership between Lipp and Mapua is a public-private partnership supported by the German government.  

“We welcome the opportunity to establish a biogas yield laboratory here at Mapua. This will support our research as well as fast-track the growth of the Philippine biogas industry through industry-academe collaboration,” Mapua University President Reynold B. Vea said.  

According to Lipp Managing Director Manuel Lipp, the Philippines is a strong candidate for biogas production.

“As a tropical country, the Philippines has plenty of organic material whose biogas yield has not yet been tested. I think there is a lot of potential for biogas production in the Philippines and we want to help access that potential,” Mr. Lipp said.

GPCCI said MetPower Ventures, a unit of the Metro Pacific Group, built two industrial scale biogas plants in Mindanao for the use of Dole Philippines, located in Surallah and Polomok, South Cotabato.

“The two plants use the Lipp biogas digester technology and have a combined capacity to produce 5.7 megawatts of clean energy per year. The energy generated powers Dole’s canning operations,” GPCCI said.

GPCCI said the feedstock needs to be evaluated for biogas yield potential before investing in a biogas plant, a capability currently lacking in the Philippines.

Biomass accounted for only 1% of the energy mix in 2020, according to a Department of Energy report cited by GPCCI. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave