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Wine to Energy

Project period: January 2019 – December 2019

Today, the largest amount of energy demand is fulfilled by fossil-derived energy. This generates tremendous negative effect on the environment, natural resources and health. Anaerobic Digestion (AD) is considered the most promising green approach currently to address two issues: waste management and energy production.

Producing biogas from waste represents an enormous opportunity worldwide to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, environment degradation, waste management, and treatment. With this project, we aim to take our work to a larger scale through a feasibility study with agroindustrial partners in Lebanon and Germany. Lebanese and German members will conduct field visits to wine growers to enable an economic study depicting the cost and benefits of AD from the community’s perspective. At the end of this project, we believe we will have a thesis and research paper highlighting the advantages and limitations of AD for agroindustries and encouraging agricultural communities to adopt it for a sustainable future.

This project has a very broad interdisciplinary approach, bringing together waste management-related skills from several areas to create interaction on many levels:

  • between industry, academia and society
  • between different perspectives (agricultural, economists, biochemists and politicians)
  • between different disciplines and areas of expertise.

© Image: RLI

RLI assumes the following tasks within this research project:

  • Overview of AD technology (Field visit to Beirut (Bekaa valley))
  • Description of techno-economic value chain of AD plants
  • Site assessment (i.e. economic study framework, data collection, data processing)
  • Feedstock assessment
  • Market analysis fo heat and power
  • Economic and financial analysis
  • Field visits (e.g. AD plant and German bioenergy association) and meeting in Germany to discuss intermediate results and application of framework to German wine region.

After completing the research project, the following results are expected from the RLI point of view:

  • The results will increase the availability of information about the use of digesters, which describes the operational costs and environmental benefits of developing a collaborative approach to produce green energy as well as to treat the large quantities of waste produced. Focus is laid on the decentral used of digesters in Lebanese wine yards.
  • The obtained results will outline a plan for implementing feasible collaborative options for using AD to bring long-term energy, environmental and economic benefits to the stakeholders, employees and residents.
Saint Joseph Université de Beyrouth_USJ

Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung_UFZ





Philipp Blechinger

Project manager