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Mapua University and Lipp in Germany partner in biogas research


The GERMAN producer of biogas tanks Lipp GmbH has entered into a partnership with the University of Mapua to research new raw materials for the production of biogas.

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

“The close collaboration between industry and academia is the cornerstone of German higher and dual education and one of the main reasons for the country’s economic success. Thanks to the Lipp-Mapua partnership, we have been able to locate an important part of the German training system here in the Philippines and support research on waste-to-energy,” said Christopher Zimmer, Executive Director of GPCCI.

Biogas is generated by the anaerobic digestion of raw materials. Potential feedstocks include 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 production laboratory here in Mapua. This will support our research and accelerate the growth of the Philippine biogas industry through industry-academia collaboration,” said Mapua University President Reynold B. Vea.

According to Lipp’s managing director, Manuel Lipp, the Philippines is a good candidate for biogas production.

“As a tropical country, the Philippines is full of organic materials whose performance in biogas 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 Metro Pacific Group, has built two utility-scale biogas plants in Mindanao for the use of Dole Philippines, located in Surallah and Polomok in South Cotabato.

“Both plants use 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 feedstock should be evaluated for biogas yield potential before investing in a biogas plant, a capability currently lacking in the Philippines.

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