The importance of the biomethane plant for Cartiere Modesto Cardella.

In the heart of the town of San Pietro a Vico in Lucca, Cartiere Modesto Cardella has played a significant role in the production of packaging paper since 1946.
Through constant innovative drive, the company recently built a biomethane production plant, marking an important step toward more sustainable and efficient production.
In 2020, Cartiere Modesto Cardella launched an ambitious project to improve water purification efficiency, with the aim of reducing environmental impact and using resources available within the industrial site to derive renewable energy in the form of biomethane (intended for use in the automotive sector). This is a fuel, an alternative to fossil fuels, derived from the organic component of process wastewater, which is in any case destined for biodegradation.

The project at a glance

An anaerobic digestion section was introduced in the water purification area. This made it possible to reduce the organic load in the paper mill’s wastewater, producing a gas mixture consisting mainly of methane and carbon dioxide. This mixture, known as biogas, was subsequently transformed into bio-methane through an upgrading process.

In 2021, after careful evaluation successfully confirmed the design phase, construction of the plant was started.
In 2023, the new facilities were completed and the SNAM grid operator activated the biomethane delivery point.
Cartiere Modesto Cardella has obtained the necessary qualification for bio-methane production, confirming its commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency.

The plant results in a positive impact on the environment in two ways:
on the one hand greatly improves purification efficiency and on the other reduces the company’s CO2 emissions.
In fact, the introduction of new plants for obtaining (from a production waste, which would have generated CO2 in its natural degradation anyway ) “renewable” gas, which will be used in Italy as a replacement for fossil-derived methane, makes it possible not to count the corresponding CO2 load in the calculation of the carbon footprint of the paper mill site, thus reducing, compared to the set-up without such new plants, its contribution to the overall climate-altering impact.

The implementation of the biomethane plant at Cartiere Modesto Cardella represents an important step toward more sustainable and environmentally friendly production. An initiative that not only demonstrates the company’s commitment to sustainability, but also highlights the potential that green technologies can have in the industrial sector, promoting a more sustainable future for all.

From biogas to biomethane: the treatment

In order to purify the biogas thus produced it undergoes a filtration and washing treatment so as to obtain the actual biomethane.
In this way, of the starting biogas, 80 percent is transformed into highly pure methane ready to be fed into the distribution network.

Where to look for the future of industrial process

Through this process, Cartiere Modesto Cardella is able to generate about 150 Nm3/h of biomethane, reducing CO2 emissions and improving overall energy efficiency, despite the addition of the biogas treatment plant.

To give a practical idea of the amount produced in a year, we can say that it corresponds to the annual gas needs of a community of about 860 households.

In conclusion, we can say with objectivity and pride that the recently activated plant is an excellent model of how industrial waste can be converted into renewable energy through innovative technologies.

The reduction in CO2 emissions already achieved and the potential for further improvements are concrete examples of the mill’s commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency, but also a demonstration that the future of industrial production can and should be driven by respect for the environment.

Share this article

You might also be interested in