Research & Development
New ideas forge new opportunities
VERBIO drives innovation through its in-house research and development (R&D). We enjoy taking unconventional approaches and developing opportunities for new technologies and methods. In fact VERBIO's plants already operate almost entirely on the basis of technology developed internally.
This enables us to process plant-based raw materials and waste into biofuels, high-purity materials and agricultural fertilizer with maximum CO2 reduction in highly efficient bio-refineries.
With a strong R&D team made up of process engineers, chemists, biotechnologists, and laboratory and chemical technicians, we're able to work on many ideas both theoretically and practically. In addition, we work closely with regional universities as well as public and private research institutes.
At our R&D centres in Bitterfeld and Zörbig, we can scrutinize all the main existing processes and develop new methods on laboratory and pilot scale. And when necessary, we devise our own analysis techniques in our first-rate R&D laboratories.
In our pilot plant we prepare the industrial implementation of newly developed processes by means of preliminary studies and trials in which economic parameters such as yield, consumption and product quality are analysed. Once a method or process modification proves viable during these trials, the production process is modified accordingly. The implementation and commissioning of process-related changes in the production plants are assisted by R&D personnel.
The proximity and flexibility of our production facilities ensures the swift implementation of our ground-breaking concepts.
Our processes in the biodiesel segment have always set the benchmark for product quality, economy and sustainability. Even so, they are still subject to constant improvement, and the R&D department collaborates with production to order to build up VERBIO's competitive advantage in biodiesel production.
In addition, we explore the potential for using unconventional raw materials and produce additional by-products by adapting the biodiesel process.
Another key target of our R&D activities is innovative biodiesel qualities whose fuel characteristics are superior to those of regular fatty acid methyl esters and thus meet the requirements of future generations of vehicle engines.
VERBIO produces bioethanol especially efficiently using the cold mashing process. This VERBIO technology has been optimized for a broad base of raw materials at the R&D department in Zörbig. For example, we are already able to use low-quality grain as well as waste materials containing sugar and starch. Moreover, we are researching the possibilities of using waste containing cellulose.
The entire production process can be simulated, examined and improved in our bioethanol laboratory. This allows us to apply new approaches at the production facilities.
We exploit the advantages of VERBIO's bio-refinery to the full by consistently and systematically analysing and reviewing our production processes. Particular attention is paid to CO2-enhanced bioethanol production.
Thanks to our many years of R&D, we are already able to use distillery slop and straw for industrial-scale biomethane production. In addition to the continuous improvement of our existing biomethane plants, we are exploring the use of other raw materials for biomethane production, chiefly agricultural residues such as manure and slurry.
At our R&D centre in Zörbig, we have a biomethane pilot plant with 50 batch fermenters as well as 10 continuously operated fermenters with a fermenting volume of up to 600 litres where we can evaluate new materials. Continuous long-term tests enable us to determine the optimum fermentation parameters.
We also have apparatus for the study and optimization of raw material processing and waste treatment which we use to directly develop scalable strategies for industrial plants.
Analytical support for our R&D projects is provided by our own R&D laboratory, which has all the usual analysis facilities available.