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Biogas plant in Lana

Lana. General view of the plant ©:

In South Tyrol there are about 30 biogas plants which turn manure and agro-waste into energy but the Lana plant is the only one that produces energy from the wet fraction of urban waste collected from 34 neighbouring municipalities. The potential of this technology seems to be not fully exploited and should be further supported. Its inclusion in the CNA might be therefore of relevance in promoting this technical solution.

Description of the measure

Lana . Detailed view of the plant ©:

Title in original language: Impianto di fermentazione di Lana

Location of CNA: Italy

Municipality / regional entity: Lana (BZ)

Category of the experience: Measure

Type(s) of CNA: Principal nomination: Technological

Thematic field(s): Principal field: Energy, Secondary field(s): Land use, Industry & services

Spatial scale: Regional (small scale)

Time & duration: Start date: 2006

Key word(s): environmental quality, renewable energies, technological innovation


Produce electricity for local use (public and private) through biogas cogeneration produced by the fermentation of municipal organic waste. Contribute to the production of compost for agricultural uses and flowers. Ensure waste procurement with short chain (34 surrounding municipalities). Optimize the municipal waste stream and minimize the quantities for dump. Educate local population (and tourists) to the intelligent use of biomass for a more sustainable and efficient lifestyle. Create an activity which is easily transferable to other alpine situations. Make best-practice ... a minimum standard.


The plant created in 2006 allows the production of biogas (approximately 60 % methane content) through a process of fermentation of organic waste, mixed with water, screened, concentrated and sent in a digester (1600 m3) in which it persists for 16 days. The decomposition of the bacterial flora produces biogas which is converted to electricity through 2 cogeneration groups (334 kW and 536 kW). The residual material is then dehydrated with production of sludge sent to a center of production of compost.


Wet waste delivered to the plant: 12.000-13.000 tons / year. Electricity produced: 1800-2400 MWh / year, partly consumed by the plant (40-60 %), partly sold to the national grid (equivalent to the coverage of the annual requirements of 450-500 homes). Production of 1400-2000 tons / year of sludge to produce compost for agriculture and horticulture. There are only 1200-1400 tons / year of sand and screenings to be disposed of in landfills (approximately 14 % of the total rejection of the material).

II Assessment criteria

03Lana. Waste loading ©:

Mitigation effects: Very high

The use of a renewable energy source such as biogas from municipal organic waste has an overall positive impact on climate change mitigation due to the reduction of atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases where otherwise it would be necessary to produce similar volumes of electricity through traditional systems (power plants). The annual electricity production from biogas (1800-2400 MWh) corresponds to a reduction of about 720-970 tons / year (net) of CO2 equivalent.

Impacts on adaptation: Neutral

Impacts on environment:

  • Landscape: Positive 
  • Alpine ecosystems / biodiversity: Positive 
  • Water / soil / air: Positive 
  • "Other": Positive

In addition to energy benefits, the fermentation treatment significantly reduces quantities of waste to be allocated to final disposal (landfill), approximately 14 % of the initial volume, with a great benefit to all environmental components involved in the process (air and soil in particular). The production of fine particles generated in the plant is very limited thanks to the best abatement technology adopted.

Impacts on society:

  • Social justice: Positive 
  • Regional / cultural identity: Positive 

Impacts on economy:

  • Employment / job creation: Positive 
  • Added value / income: Positive 
  • Know how / competitiveness: Very positive 

Creation of new jobs; added value created by the park plant; reduction of costs of electricity supply for the end user; benefits available by the Italian government for the exploitation of renewable energy sources (White Certificates and Energy Bill) which can be a budget item of interest for companies involved in the management of various plant systems and for the same local government .

Public relations impact and awareness-raising: Low

Plant information is available on the website of the company that manages the facility (see point 25). There is no information about modalities and details of any other public communication and awareness of this CNA for the general public and / or schools.

Transferability: High

High transferability to all areas of the Alpine region with medium-high population density and which are able to ensure sufficient and continuous local production of organic waste. A very short supply chain is fundamental, however, in order to minimize potential impacts due to transport of waste from the areas of production to the plant.

Cross sectoral and integrative approach: Very high

Lana is an example which is particularly significant as direct action towards carbon neutrality. As a matter of fact, it represents a good example of a territorial energetic strategy and planning to apply in many Alpine and extra-Alpine areas.

Good governance: Very high

The high number of municipal governments (34) involved in the catchment area for the collection of organic waste is certainly a very positive example of a participatory approach.

III Executive body and contact information

Executive body: Private enterprises

Contact person(s):

Name: Eng. Marco palmitano (Ecocenter General Director)
Institution: Eco Center
Address: Via della Rena 22, 39011 Lana
Phone: +39 0473 292433
Fax: +39 0473 290468

Other contact persons:

Martino Sacchini (Plant responsible) 
+39 0471 542888

Online information:

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