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Smallops – nanotechnology company from Spain – wins Research and Innovation Award at prestigious anaerobic digestion and biogas industry ceremony

Smallops S.L, a nanotechnology business from Bajadoz in Spain, won the Research and Innovation Award at the 2023 AD and Biogas Industry Awards, a competition organised annually by the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) and the World Biogas Association (WBA). They were presented with their trophy at a prestigious gala ceremony in Birmingham, UK on 29 March.

Smallops was recognised for developing, for the very first time, a technology which can produce biogas exclusively from alperujo and alpechín – a type of organic waste that creates a number of problems in Mediterranean countries.

Nicki Dalgaard (right), International Development Manager of Smallops, receives the Award from ADBA Chairman Chris Huhne. Photo: Pro Vision Photography

Receiving the Award from ADBA Chairman Chris Huhne, Nicki Dalgaard, International Development Manager of Smallops, said: “We are deeply honored to be recognized by WBA and ADBA. We are committed to furthering innovation and supporting the sector in the future. This recognition reinforces our dedication to our mission, and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue making a positive impact.

Our pioneering technology is capable of fully recovering various complex organic wastes,” he explains. “For example, the anaerobic digestion (AD) of residues from the olive oil sector is complicated by substances such as polyphenols, which inhibit the process.

“The technology we have developed also produces iron nanoparticles, which brings different benefits to the biogas-biomethane generation process. In short, our product improves AD performance by speeding up hydrolysis, increasing the methane (CH4) content of the biogas, increasing the amount of biogas produced and preventing the formation of hydrogen sulfide (H2S).

Smallops impressed the judges with an innovative nanotechnology that maximises the yield from the AD process and helps increase biogas production by 10-20%”, commented ADBA Chairman Chris Huhne. “It is important for the industry to maximise the profitability of AD processes with solutions like these. Research and Innovation is a critical factor in the growth of our sector. These ground-breaking technologies help consolidate the part that AD and biogas can play in addressing climate change and decarbonising the global economy at a time when it’s desperately needed. Many congratulations to them. We’re grateful to these pioneers for their excellent work!”


For further information, contact:

For Smallops:
Maria Jara Perea:

For the Awards:
Jocelyne Bia:

Notes to editors

  • Smallops is a startup founded in 2020 by three young entrepreneurs (Iñigo Monreal, Maria Jara and Ruben Escudero) , which is dedicated to the recovery of olive oil waste for its transformation into biogas (exclusively of vegetable water and olive pomace) and iron nanoparticles encapsulated in carbon with multiple environmental applications.
  • Launched in 2011, the annual AD and Biogas Industry Awards, often held alongside the World Biogas Summit and World Biogas Expo in Birmingham, UK, celebrate excellence and innovation around the globe across 12 categories. The competition is run jointly by the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association and the World Biogas Association.
  • The Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) is the trade association for the UK anaerobic digestion (AD) and biogas industry. ADBA’s vision is to see the full potential of the UK AD industry realised so it can help the UK achieve its emissions targets and other policy goals, creating a truly circular economy.
  • Launched at COP22 in Marrakesh in 2016, the World Biogas Association (WBA) is the global trade association for the biogas, landfill gas and anaerobic digestion (AD) sectors, and is dedicated to facilitating the recycling of all organic wastes and residues through biogas globally. It believes that the global adoption of biogas technologies is a multi-faceted opportunity to produce clean, renewable energy, bioCO2, natural fertilisers and other valuable bioresources while addressing energy and food security and resolving global issues related to development, public health, and economic growth.


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