Award-winning local biotech firm to invest in R&D

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mexican biotechnology provider Sistema Biobolsa plans to invest in research and development into the use of biogas and bio-fertilizers after coming second in Mexico's nationwide search for socially innovative projects, company COO Camilo Pagés told BNamericas.

The company, which developed a bio-digestor that uses organic waste to generate electricity and fertilizers for small and medium-sized agricultural producers, won second prize in the annual Iniciativa México competition.

The company intends to use a third of its 15mn-peso (US$1.12mn) prize money to provide microfinance for small and medium producers to buy bio-digestors. The rest of the money will be used to create a network of small agricultural producers and to fund further research into better and broader uses for bio-fertilizers and biogas, said Pagés.

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The Biobolsa system's advantages include savings on energy consumption, chemical fertilizers and the potential to generate income through the sale of bio-fertilizers, according to the COO.

A biogester processing 1m3 of biogas per day - the average produced by two cows - can generate 2.2KWh/d of electricity.

The cost of the product, which ranges from 13,500 pesos to 54,000 pesos, is partially offset by carbon credits that finance the bio-digestor over the long term, Pagés said.

The bio-digestor is mainly designed for animal waste; however, the company has also installed the systems in schools and hospitals, and says the technology could also be used to treat organic kitchen waste.