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Experimental mini biomeiler with Paolo

Paolo and his biomeiler
Arie and Paolo manually filling a biomeiler
Manually filling a biomeiler

Paolo Zampieri is an Italian graduate from the Energy engineering department, politecnico of Milan university. He did previous year a one year thesis, building a numerical model (finite element method) that describes the interdependent physical and bio-chemical phenomena occurring in the composting process. This model is meant as a tool for further investigation and the optimization of biomeiler technology.

Within the EU Erasmus exchange program, he is now supporting the Dutch Biomeiler Foundation, under supervision of Arie van Ziel, to do research on heat exchanger in biomeilers. Currently he is reusing the Fabcity wooden mini biomeiler located in Amsterdam. His goal is to monitor the temperature profile along radial direction, and the heat diffusivity through the biomass, to determine the best distance between the heat exchanger and the wall.


Paolo’s experimental biomeiler has the following specs:

  • Dimensions:
    • Wooden cylinder:
    • 2.5m high and a 1.9m diameter
    • empty gap on bottom 0.2m
  • Material:
    • 8-10 m3 woodchips and leaves (50-50 by volume)
    • Water: 6-7 m3
  • Heat exchanger:
    • PVC + 2 PE pipes, hydraulic system: PE pipes
    • Heat exchanger 1.7m high,  0.3m diameter
  • Bottom aeration: Metal grate + wood pallets + aeration tube pvc 0.4m high, 0.2m diameter
  • Monitoring: 24 Temperature probes + 1 flow meter (Supplied by Helmich de Lange)
  • Storage tank: 200 liter
  • Building time:
    • The biomeiler was filled, using spades, in one day with two people
    • The top structure, hydraulic system and monitoring took three days with two people