The COMBINE Approach


COMBINE is based on the IFBB technology. IFBB stands for integrated generation of solid fuel and biogas from biomass and was developed at the University of Kassel in the early 2000s. It was tested on laboratory scale up to the year 2008 and successfully up-scaled (to 1:20) between 2009 and 2012 in the forerunner project PROGRASS.

In COMBINE the technology will be combined with a strategic and participatory regional development approach that will be implemented in four diverse NWE regions to trigger large-scale investments in decentralised bioenergy production.
Major strategic innovations allow COMBINE to contribute to the development of an environmental-friendly biofuel production.
Biogas production from extensive grasslands and landscape management materials depends on an intensive technical decomposition of fibres, leading to increased energy requirement and reduced efficiency. Contrarily, the proposed technology benefits from these components as they improve internal mass and energy flows and increase the fuel quality.
By adding an IFBB process to existing biogas or waste water treatment plants the waste heat is used for drying press cakes and consequently stored in solid fuels which increases the efficiency of the integrated process.
The suggested technology supports nature conservation through the use of biomasses from grasslands with a delayed cut (e.g. NATURA sites, DE). Water bodies benefit in case of the maintenance of extensively managed areas as a buffer area against neighbouring fields which is one main ecological issue in Brittany. Furthermore, it prevents the emission of large amount of methane produced by ruminants when fed with fodder from such grasslands.
COMBINE explores unused biomass resources in Europe, e.g. roadside green cuttings (FR, BE) or endemic plants that suppress biodiversity (UK). The use of such (waste) biomasses definitely lowers the ethical conflicts related to the concurrency between food and common biogas production on fertile land.
COMBINE will make use of a mobile demonstration plant that was designed and successfully operated in the forerunner LIFE+ project PROGRASS. The refurbished mobile plant will be used as demonstration and exploration unit in the partner regions.
In combination with the first full-scale pilot plant which is currently operated in an experimental stage in the city of Baden-Baden the results of the explorations from the four regional locations will be combined and extrapolated to deliver profound forecasts on feasibility and sustainability of future investments of full-scale plants in the partner regions and beyond.
Connections to LIFE+ project GREEN PELLETS exist through the participation of AILE and CG22 as French partners in the programme. COMBINE project will allow going further in biomass use initiated in Côtes d’Armor. One main input of Green Pellets project into COMBINE will be the use of the combustion test protocol developed there.