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Case Studies

Read Some Case Studies from Our Innovation Department

Sustainability has been a driving force throughout each of Innovation’s projects. Bord na Móna’s overall sustainable innovations strategy is to transform from being dependent on its traditional businesses to one that, among other things, produces low Carbon fuel, alternative growing media with a strong emphasis on renewable energy. This is evident in the projects that we have undertaken in recent years.

Biomass Trials

The overall project aim is to both establish new crops and harvest existing biomass crops on Bord na Móna cutaway peatland in order to determine their suitability for various end uses. Initial growing trials are focusing on grassy crops (Italian Rye Grass, Reed Canary Grass, Soft Rush, Reeds etc.). The trials were divided into three areas; the first area focused on the growing of biomass crops while simultaneously measuring Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

The second area concentrated on the ability to harvesting wetland biomass using site specific equipment. The third area involved assessing the potential of the harvested material for various end-uses, including; composting for use as a growing media, bio-gas yield for anaerobic digestion and fuel characterisation for thermal combustion.

 

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Biomass Growing Trials

This project was developed so Bord na Móna could investigate the establishment of new biomass crops and the harvesting of existing biomass crops on Bord na Móna’s cutaway peatland.

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Biomass Growing Trials

This project was developed so Bord na Móna could investigate the establishment of new biomass crops and the harvesting of existing biomass crops on Bord na Móna’s cutaway peatland.

Biogas Treatment Project

4845_(REDC4684)Conventional treatment for removing corrosive elements from landfill gas is using chemical scrubbers for H2S and activated carbon for siloxane. However, because of high concentrations, high costs of consumables (carbon/chemicals) and disposal costs for secondary waste streams, the solutions are very expensive and render pre-treatment commercially unviable.

Bord na Móna’s innovation team have worked on the development of a technology that could be used to clean and/or remove contaminants such as siloxanes and H2S from Biogas and Landfill Gas to render it more suitable for energy production. Bord na Móna have now almost completed the development of this technology from demonstration scale directly to full scale.

 

Obtaining External Funding

One of the functions of Bord na Móna’s Innovation Centre is to secure external funding to support internal R&D/Innovation activities and projects within the company. Such funding comes in the form of Enterprise Ireland Research & Development (R&D) grant, the Lean Transform Programme for Feedstock and Revenue tax credits.

A total of €940k in R&D grant funding has been brought into the company since 2004, with over 80% of this coming since the launch of the Innovation Centre in 2008. The Innovation Team expect to secure a further €570k in funding for the 2016-2018 period. Enterprise Ireland is the state agency responsible for supporting the development of business in Ireland. They provide funding to companies like Bord na Móna to aid in expanding their activities, improving efficiency and growing international sales. Enterprise Ireland, through the Innovation Centre, have provided R&D grants to Bord na Móna over the last number of years. Much of this funding is technology-focused and involves both a technical and financial follow-up audit which is prepared and overseen by the Innovation Team.

Enterprise Ireland’s Lean Transform programme is a large scale, extensive and holistic company transformation programme which seeks to deliver company-wide transformation in culture and productivity performance via increased operation efficiencies and embedding competencies for competitiveness. The principle mechanism for this is through the provision of a training grant. The initiative is primarily designed for larger companies with significant operations who can demonstrate to Enterprise Ireland that they have existing capability and resources to implement a programme of this scale. Bord na Móna’s Innovation Centre is involved in the co-ordination of the funding programme within the Peat business.