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8246833056: Alternative Methods for VOC Removal from Biogas

  • Award: Collaboration with A2A
  • Challenge type: Electronic Request for Partners (eRFP)
  • Challenge under evaluation

Challenge overview


In biogas plants the biogas formed through a controlled fermentation process is often used for power generation, thanks to its high concentration of biomethane.

However, biogas generated from the increased use of different types of waste as a raw material may contain high levels of pollutants which can have a significant impact on the upgrading process for the biogas (removal of carbon dioxide from biogas to produce biomethane). Among them, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) must be removed to allow biogas to be used in other applications besides energy production.

However,  VOC abatement techniques currently available on the market involve the use of expensive activated carbon filters. A2A is looking for effective and less expensive alternatives to activated carbon filters to remove VOCs from raw gas, particularly for biogas with high VOC concentrations.

This is an electronic Request-for-Partners (eRFP) Challenge; the Solver will only need to submit a written proposal to be evaluated by the Seeker with the goal of establishing a collaborative partnership.



Upgrading processes of biogas produced in plants through controlled fermentation aim to significantly reduce the presence of carbon dioxide and other impurities in the gas in order to enhance the biogas to be used for purposes other than electricity generation, such as feeding it into the natural gas grid or using it as a vehicle fuel. These various applications obviously require extremely high levels of purity of the final biomethane, with very severe commercial penalties if contaminant limits are not respected.

To enable this development, it is therefore necessary to treat, in addition to carbon dioxide, the so-called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which in fact constitute a significant percentage of the impurities in the gas (> 2000 mg/Nm3), and which above all can cause various problems during the upgrading process, even leading to plant shutdown due to clogging of the system. In addition to being harmful to the plant equipment, VOCs are considered to interfere with odorization, causing significant problems when biomethane is introduced into a gas distribution network for domestic use, heating or to fuel vehicles. The abatement of VOCs is therefore of fundamental importance in the upgrading process, but today has a major cost limitation as it requires activated carbon filters, which are among the most expensive technologies in the market, with an investment of about 200-300K €/year.

A2A is therefore looking for new technologies which, by maintaining the current efficiency of VOC removal from biogas (99%, reaching 10 mg/Nm3 in the biomethane), will lead to a significant reduction in the costs of producing quality biomethane.

This is an electronic Request-for-Partners (eRFP) Challenge. The Solver will write a preliminary proposal (about 2-4 pages, including supporting non-confidential information and contact details) to be evaluated by the Seeker with a goal of establishing a collaborative partnership. Upon completion of the evaluation, the Seeker may contact selected Solvers directly to work out terms for a collaboration contract. The monetary value of the contract will vary depending on the amount of work to be delivered and the agreed upon time frame.

NOTE: Proposals from Solvers who have the ability to work directly as the collaboration partner or supplier will be considered first. The Seeker will also consider proposals from other Solvers who refer a suitable candidate as a partner for a finder’s fee of $2,000 USD if convinced the candidate is worth contacting a second time. See full description for details.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on 03-Nov-2022.
Late submissions will not be considered.


The A2A Group is the largest Italian multi utility, at the forefront of territorial services and technological solutions. We design smart and sustainable cities, with respect for the citizens, we are protagonists of energy transition, and we implement the principle of the circular economy in all of our activities. With a far-reaching strategic plan, we manage the generation, sale and distribution of electricity and gas, district heating, waste collection and recovery, e-mobility, public lighting, and the integrated water services.


What is the Wazoku Crowd?

Imagine a world where any problem you have can be looked at by millions of expert, motivated eyes. The Wazoku Crowd makes this possible. With twenty years of experience in crowdsourcing, the Wazoku Crowd is the gold standard for open talent and external innovation solutions. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with the Wazoku Crowd to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an eRFP Challenge?

A Wazoku Crowd eRFP Challenge allows Seekers to submit Requests for Proposals for a partner or supplier to provide materials or expertise to solve a business challenge by leveraging the Wazoku Crowd Solver network. This global community includes organizations and individuals, such as contract research organizations, scientists, university researchers, and technology companies.

After a Solver submits an eRFP response, the Seeker evaluates the responses to determine which Solver(s) to contact for further business discussions. With eRFPs, the Solver must not provide any confidential information in the eRFP response. If your eRFP response is selected, you negotiate the terms of the contract (including scope of work, tasks and duration) directly with the Seeker.

This Challenge type does not require Intellectual Property (IP) transfer. However, sometimes Seekers request that certain IP arrangements be made should a partnership be formed.