BIOTEC was established by the family Conil in Belgium in 1984 with the aim of developing appropriate conceptual, technological and methodological tools for carbon and nutrients management in tropical regions. Activities have been focused on the valorization of wastewater (agricultural, agro-industrial and urban) and organic waste, avoiding any discharge to the environment and adding value through their transformation in feed, energy and fertilizer. Progressively, BIOTEC has been named “The biogas experts for tropical countries”. In fact, BIOTEC scope is a lot wider and is rather focused on “ZERO DISCHARGE MILLING”, a concept developed by BIOTEC to optimize the industrial processes and incorporate the land and the soils (source of the raw material) and the factories (the process).
Mission - Vision
Sustainable development of the Humanity, fed through organic agriculture and powered with renewable energy
The sound management of the organic matter (carbon and nutrients) to generate renewable energy and to increase the fertility of soils.
- To replace fossil fuels by biomass-sourced fuels.
- To reduce the use of chemical fertilisers in agriculture, optimising the cycle of nutrients (return of the organic matter to the soil)
- To generate gas and electricity from energy crops (grasses & forage) – through the specific company AGROGAZ.
- To find creative solutions to prevent any discharge of effluents or waste to water bodies.
Our top managers
Founder of BIOTEC INTERNATIONAL in 1984.
S. Julee Edmund
Director for Asia
BIOTEC in a nutshel
1984 – Setup of Biotec in Belgium.
1986 – Setup of Biotec in Colombia and farms intensification.
1988 – First bio-digester to treat the effluents of palm oil mills in Latin America (Colombia).
90´s – Wave of bio-digesters (UASB reactors and other models) for paper industry, livestock and poultry slaughterhouses, coffee industry, sugar mills, yeast factories, rendering plants and urban wastewater.
1999 – First Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) biodigester in the world in the form of a covered lagoon (Colombia).
2006 – First POME biodigester in the world registered as CDM (Clean Development Mechanism – tool of the Kyoto Protocol) (Honduras).
2008 – Establishment of Biotec International Asia Sdn Bhd (Malaysia).
2009 – First bio-digester for lemon juice effluent in the world (Argentina).
2010 – First system in the world of monitored liquid organic fertilisation in oil palm plantation (Honduras) – application by macro-drippers.
2013 – First biodigester that combines POME and effluent from biodiesel plant (Colombia).
2014 – First large agro-industrial biodigester for POME in Africa (Nigeria/Ghana).
2015 – First POME biodigester in Brazil.
2015 – First POME biodigester in Brazil.
2015 to 2020
- Three biodigesters of 2 MW each on Bangka Island (Indonesia)electricity for the Grid (Feed-In-Tariff).
- R&D on “gas farms” using grass as feedstock + alliance with the SAUTER company in Germany (sauter-biogas.de) for the setup of AGROGAZ, a specific company for the generation of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) from solid biomass in the Tropics (agrogaz.com).
- Alliance with the company SSP from India (sspindia.com). Production of a nutrients-rich soluble powdered bio-fertilizer.
- Launching of the ZDM concept (Zero Discharge Milling) for the agroindustry with focus in (sugarcane) distilleries and palm oil mills
Corporate Social Responsibility
BIOTEC International sponsors the PRO-ORGÁNICA foundation for social projects in Colombia (pro-organica.org).
BIOTEC, consistent with its vision and mission, commits technical, human and financial resources in the pursuit of sustainability for the planet and humankind.
Pro-Organica has four fields of action:
- Environmental education.
- Social projects (Organic agricultura / Renewable Energy)
- R&D centre
- Think Tank
Research, Development and Innovation
Research, development and innovation has always been the strength of our evolution. We optimise and constantly renew our products and look for new solutions to the challenges presented to us.
Our department responds to external and internal requests, using a diverse range of media, such as laboratory tests, industrial testing, collaboration with equipment suppliers, literature searches and feedback from our plants in operation.
The department has a well-equipped research laboratory to carry out experiments in BMP (Bio methane Potential), and Methanogenic activity. These facilities also allow to assess the toxicity of a given compound, as well as the influence of particle size, temperature and other parameters.
Our lab biodigesters can also work under continuous operation to be able to get reliable data on organic loads, yields, gas quality, nutrient deficiencies, etc.
Our partner SSP (sspindia.com) on its side has a ½ hectare R&D Center on Evaporation and Drying (in Faridabad, India) with all the models for testing.
Our R-D lines:
- Optimisation of existing systems
- New feedstocks
- New concepts
Major developments in the last years (2015-2020): Gas Farms
- At small scale: to generate (renewable) gas and electricity in remote tropical regions from local biomass (energy self-sufficiency + local development and job generation)
- At large scale: to complement/replace Fossil Natural Gas by Renewable Natural Gas in tropical countries, on the same way some of these countries have been able to complement/replace Gasoline by Bioethanol. With only one million hectares of intensive crops, a country like Colombia can replace 100% of its fossil natural gas (=25% of the country energy matrix) and generate an impressive local development in its remote regions.
It has been a double R&D:
a) To find the best crop (high biomass yields, easy to implement, to grow and to harvest, good biodigestibility, good methane generation per ton of dry matter, etc.). Large R&D on tropical grass crops.
b) To find the most suitable biodigester models to “methanize” the grass, with the best yields, the lowest O&M costs and avoiding floating layers. We took advantage of the biomass (and specifically grass) biodigestion experience in Germany and used the SAUTER sprinkling system instead of the traditional mixing systems.
This R&D drove to the set-up of the company AGROGAZ, with our partner SAUTER from Germany (www.agrogaz.com).
Major developments (2018 – 2020):
- Bio-Evapo-Drying of Palm Oil Mill Effluents (POME):
As a result of a R&D with its technological partner from India, and subsequently to a similar development with cane vinasse, BIOTEC conceived POME bio-evapo-drying units. It is a combination of biodigesters, evaporators (MEE) and dryers (spray & paddle), to transform palm effluents into a bio-fertilizer powder with 50% organic matter and 30% of macro-nutrients.
- Three side-line technologies have also been developed:
– Raw POME evapo-drying to produce animal feed (= SSP development in India; already implemented in 2019 at industrial scale (Godrej, 20 m3/h).
– Liquid raw POME co-composting with EFB (Empty Fruit Bunches) to process, in a very compact plant, four meters high, 100% of EFB with 50% of POME and recover around 5 US$ of fertilizer per T FFB (Fresh Fruit Bunch) milled.
– Concentrated raw POME co-composting with EFB to process 100% of the EFB with 100% of the POME, generating around 7 US$ of fertilizer per ton of FFB (and avoiding any discharge to the environment).