New research project on biogas and AI
Amy Loutfi in the robotics lab at Örebro University and Anna Schnürer in the biogas lab at SLU, fuelling a biogas reactor.
Producing biogas more efficiently with the help of AI. That is the goal of a new research project at Örebro University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU – and has been granted over SEK five million from the Swedish Energy Agency.
If Sweden is to achieve its environmental and climate goals, biogas will play a key role. New raw materials and more production facilities will be needed as production increases. And above all, a step up in technological development.
The chemical processes can be monitored and measured – degradation, gas production and fatty acids. However, it is more difficult to follow the microbiological processes, where the interaction of countless microorganisms is critical to the breakdown and conversion of waste into biogas.
“We will use AI to do this – and to examine the cause and link between these chemical and microbiological processes,” says Amy Loutfi, professor in information technology at Örebro University.
AI is the solution
While researchers describe how many plants run safely and without costly stops in production, they are also aware that settings are far from optimal.
“I am convinced that AI is the solution to understanding the highly complex microbiology that drives a biogas process,” says Anna Schnürer, professor of microbial biotechnology at SLU and who leads the new project.
“For us, it’s a win-win situation. We can help optimise the facilities and at the same time further develop the AI methods,” explains Amy Loutfi.
Text: Linda Harradine
Photo: Maria Westerholm and Jesper Eriksson
Translation: Jerry Gray