The present report provides information on the most active participants of innovation processes in the field of biogas production that comprised the top 10 applicants list in the collection of documents from this industry. The reviewed collection consists of 269 patent applications published in 2016. In total, 188 applicants from 25 countries participated in the collection. The reviewed applications were filed in 26 different patent offices.
in 2016, approximately 70% of electrical energy from biogas was produced in European countries; about 17% - in North American countries; about 6% - in Asian countries. Among individual countries the leaders in terms of electric power production from biogas in 2016 were Germany, USA, Italy and Great Britain.IRENAIn 2016 biogas was produced and used as the energy source in many countries around the world. As can be seen from statistical data provided by the International Renewable Energy Agency.
The table below represents general information on the top 10 applicants:
|Status||Country||Name||Average, Rate||Total, 2016|
|Company||IL||Ecogas Israel Ltd||5.7||6|
|Company||CH||Hitachi Zosen Inova Ag||7.4||5|
|Company||DE||UTS Biogastechnik GmbH||6.2||5|
|Company||US||Calgon Carbon Corporation||5.5||4|
|Company||US||New Technology Ventures, Inc||9.8||4|
Comparison with a similar list for 2015 shows that the list of top 10 applicants has changed completely. However, two applicants from the 2016 top 10 list appeared in a similar list for 2014, these are Hitachi Zosen Inova Ag and Anaergia Inc.
The applicants from the table above demonstrate interest in the distribution of protection for their inventions outside the borders of their countries of registration. There is at least one such application among each applicant's documents in the present collection.
Air Liquide; Ecogas Israel Ltd; ThoeniIndustriebetriebe GmbH and UTS Biogastechnik GmbH filed the applications reviewed in the course of the present report in 5 different patent offices, including regional patent offices. The rest of the companies filed their applications in a smaller number of patent offices. The most popular patent offices among the top 10 applicants are: United States Patent and Trademark Office; the World Intellectual Property Organization; European, Canadian and Chinese patent offices.
The Average Rate column in the table above displays an aggregate bibliographical patent document rating, which evaluates documents by the sum of their bibliographical parameters, which include the number of registered claims, document type, problems declared in the description, technological belonging, and many others.
7 out of the 10 most productive patent applicants to some extent concern the problem of low efficiency in main biogas production processes. The next most popular problems are: administrative problems, such as compliance of the product with commercial standards and regulations; high capital expenditures related to the construction of manufacturing facilities; high cost of equipment and capital expenses related to it; high operational costs related to technical and performance parameters of equipment; low efficiency of final product treatment processes. At least 3 applicants from the top 10 list aim their inventions at resolving each of these problems.
The greatest variety of problems has been found in the documents of Iogen Corporation. The entire spectrum of problems is covered by this company, including problems of low efficiency; high expenses; environment protection and administrative aspects.
On average, approximately half of the documents published by the top 10 applicants disclose technical solutions in the form of method – description of the order of activities and parameters of the processes involved. In 40% of the documents technical solutions describe devices. On average, only 10% of the documents propose solutions in the form of biological or chemical compositions. However, Calgon Carbon Corporation, for instance, included all three forms of technical solutions.
The diagram below represents the structure of technological interests of the companies from the top 10 list, based on the documents reviewed.
AES - Additional equipment, substances; COS - Chemistry and other substances; CS - Capture and separation; FS - Feeding systems; FT - Finishing treatment; PP - Primary processing; PT - Pre-treatment of feedstock; SE - Secondary equipment; ST - Storage & transportation
6 applicants from the top 10 list published documents assigned to the following IPC classes: C12M (devices to be used with enzymes and microorganisms) and C12P, which represents fermentation processes for chemical compositions or their separation. 5 applicants published documents assigned to C10L class (types of natural gas and other types of fuel).
Based on these data it can be concluded that in the majority of cases the applicants prioritized the technologies and equipment intended for main biogas production processes, such as anaerobic digestion; as well as additional treatment of the produced biogas. Such technologies as collection and separation of the product during the main production processes, as well as feedstock supply to the reactor were considered by three applicants from the top 10 list. Other technological elements were represented to a lesser extent.
More detailed information on the methodology as well as on the results of patent researches in the most important fields of contemporary energy industry can be found at www.aenert.com