Convion SOFC generates zero emission electricity and heat from biogas in Italy


Convion has started operating a biogas fuelled C50 SOFC system in Italy. The start-up marks a launch of a demonstration of Convion’s fuel flexible C50 SOFC co-generation unit at an industrial biogas installation and an important milestone along the path of commercialization of the product. After a successful trial operation of the module in Finland and completion of site installation at Collegno waste water treatment plant of SMAT, the unit started producing power and heat for the plant’s own consumption. The installation is the largest solid oxide fuel cell plant in the world fueled by biogas directly.

The installation is part of a European project called DEMOSOFC. The project showcases a state-of-the-art implementation of SOFC fuel cells in a replicable application of waste water treatment. Cleaning of waste water is an energy intensive municipal function in communities of all sizes and it is critical to well-being of people and the environment. Capturing the energy value of the waste can significantly contribute to energy independence and carbon emission targets of cities and provides a dependable source of energy for the facilities’ critical functions. SOFC produces zero local emissions of particulates, NOx, SOx, CO or hydrocarbon and does not therefore impair urban air quality.

The Collegno waste water treatment plant is a medium sized facility serving a population of approximately 180 000. As part of the waste water treatment process, organic matter is digested by an anaerobic, microbial process producing biogas with approximately 60-65% methane content. Converting the gas to power and heat directly maximizes the local resources value, minimizes losses of transportation and eliminates a need to upgrade the biogas to biomethane compatible to pipeline transmission.

The site installation and integration to the wastewater treatment plant is a joint effort by Politecnico di Torino, the project co-ordinator, Convion, the fuel cell provider, and SMAT, the owner of the facility in Collegno. Local utilization of biogas at the plant by a well-integrated fuel cell CHP generator offsets approximately 30% of grid-purchased electrical power. Yet, recovered waste heat from SOFC’s exhaust is sufficient to provide all of the heating necessary for the waste treatment process. Own power generation in a microgrid improves the plants energy independence and operational resilience. By its size and functionality, the DEMOSOFC plant is unique in the world.

Convion is a technology leader in medium-to-large SOFC systems and has a long history and unparalleled experience in using biogases of varying qualities directly in fuel cell systems. Fuel flexible SOFC generators are a key technology for unlocking vast, yet underutilized potential of sustainable waste bioenergy in sub-megawatt power range. Convion SOFC outperforms conventional generating technologies at this scale by a factor of 1.5 to 2 in electrical power production. Together with autonomous operation capability, modularity and long maintenance intervals, Convion SOFC offers game changing benefits for adopting a resource-smart circular economy approach in small scale installations.


24.10.2023HD Hyundai makes a Strategic Investment in Elcogen
26.09.2023SolydEra and Convion to jointly address growth in fuel-cell and hydrogen market
04.05.2023Convion And Shell Form Partnership To Commercialise Solid Oxide Electrolysers (SOEC)
04.05.2023Norsepower secures €28 million from investors
13.12.2022Octopus Energy Group’s Kraken acquires Power Fund III investee Depsys
10.05.2022Elcogen receives €24 million investment from HydrogenOne
01.05.2021Cority erwirbt Power Fond III Beteiligung WeSustain
18.12.2020Die Hälfte der Top 10 der “nachhaltigsten Unternehmen Deutschlands” setzt auf WeSustain als Softwarepartner
21.01.2020Test of wind propulsion on Maersk Pelican completed: Norsepower Rotor Sails confirmed savings of 8.2% fuel and associated CO2 on Maersk Pelican
21.01.2020OGCI Climate investments leads MEUR8 investment in Norsepower
21.01.2020Elcogen Named Winner of Innovation at European Business Awards 2019
01.10.2019Introducing WeSustain’s ESG Management
02.09.2019Swiss smart grid expert opens subsidiary in Singapore
12.02.201913,2 Millionen CHF: Erfolgreiche Finanzierungsrunde stärkt DEPsys im Wachstumsmarkt Smart Grid
12.02.2019#InnovFin: EUR 12 million loan from EU to Estonian clean tech company Elcogen
31.10.2018Cajo Technologies Oy is the winner of Growth Open (in Finnish: Kasvu Open) 2018 competition
31.10.2018Cajo Technologies Oy voitti Kasvu Open 2018 kilpailun
08.02.2018Wello to export Wave Energy Converters to China
08.02.2018New clean energy system to make Finnish business district self-sufficient
18.01.2018Schweizer Smart Grid-Firma DEPsys erhält zusätzliche CHF 2 Millionen Finanzierung
09.11.2017Convion SOFC generates zero emission electricity and heat from biogas in Italy
02.11.2017Power Fund II investee Visedo sold
21.09.2017Visedo CEO, Kimmo Rauma, Takes Electric Message to the World
30.05.2017Maersk Tankers in wind power project
11.05.2017DEPsys has been selected for global energy startup accelerator program Free Electrons
11.05.2017Superb performance with renewable biogas
06.03.2017Innovative Off-Grid Stromversorgung im Anwendungstest
19.12.2016Visedo is ready to take a global lead in providing smart and high performance electric drivetrain systems
07.09.2016 WeSustain konzipiert Reporting-Software für das Bündnis für nachhaltige Textilien
13.06.2016Swiss Smart Grid Solution Company DEPsys Raises CHF 3 Million of Financing
22.03.2016Finnish Laser Marking Machine Provider Cajo Technologies heads to US markets
29.01.2016Performance monitoring and verification drives orders and investment for Norsepower
11.01.2016Visedo joins forces with Dutch marine electric system expert Electric Power Conversion B.V.
03.11.2015Nachhaltigkeit managen 2.0 – WeSustain erzielt Bestnoten von Nachhaltigkeits-Managern
30.10.2015WeSustain ist SASB-ERP-Partner
11.06.2015Visedo’s electric drive trains to equip world’s largest electric ferryboat
14.01.2015Merus Power wins its biggest contract ever
14.12.2014Wachstumskapital (Series B) für die WeSustain GmbH
21.10.2014Wartungsarme und schadgasfreie Energie zum Mitnehmen
21.10.2013Das Brennstoffzellen Unternehmen Siqens erhält Finanzierung vom finnischen Investor VNT Management Oy und der KfW
11.10.2013Mobilemarking Gets Nearly
€1 Million in Funding for Internationalization
10.09.2013Wello’s Wave Energy Converter Producing Clean Energy
06.05.2013GASEK Oy, CCM-Power Oy and Asmacon Oy to combine their business
31.01.2013Final Closing of Power Fund III