A new technology NIR technology for the rapid and economic analysis of the quality of native biomass is presented for the Expobiomasa Innovation Award


The quality of biomass is defined by physical-chemical parameters that vary depending on its nature (PCI / PCS, humidity, ash, volatiles, fixed carbon, etc.). The Biomasstep project has developed a fast, non-polluting and innovative analytical methodology, which establishes the biomass quality parameters instantly, and which is based on the application of NIRS Technology (Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy).

NIRS technology consists of the emission of a beam of light on the sample, which, depending on its physical-chemical composition, will absorb a certain amount of energy at each of the wavelengths. The NIRS spectrum generated from the radiation absorbed by the sample is characteristic for each type of biomass, and is a reflection of its chemical, physical and sensory composition. With this technology, with a low cost per analysis, different products are analyzed and different analytical parameters are obtained at the same time, in a few seconds, with almost no sample preparation. It does not use reagents or generate chemical waste.  

In order to be able to apply NIRS technology to the biomass sector, it has been necessary to obtain a set of biomass sample spectra and associate them with the chemical-physical data obtained in the laboratory and later, with specialized software, make a prediction model that allows analyzing the biomass without the need to go to the laboratory. 

NIRS technology can play a central role in the transition towards an increasingly controlled and competitive biomass market, since its applications are not limited only to determining the quality of the product, but also to detecting fraud or adulterations in batches and biomass batches. 

The use of this technology requires the purchase of a NIRS equipment. From that moment on, the Biomasstep project makes prediction models based on NIRS technology available to any user in the biomass sector, developed so that any company in the sector that is interested can develop their own models based on their needs and objectives. 

The NIRS model for the prediction of the quality of olive grove biomass has been based on a bank of more than 1.500 bone and olive pomace samples analyzed in the laboratory, and all this information generated is available to the sector: companies that generate and consume biomass that already have, or not, NIRS technology equipment; biomass quality control and analysis laboratories; biomass and quality control certifiers; NIRS equipment distributors; and boiler manufacturers.

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BIOMASSTEP Project - Hispano-Portuguese cooperation project consortium formed by the University of Cordoba (Leader) Andalusian Energy Agency, CTA, APPA, Prodetur and more