anessa is a software company with specialized analytical products developed specifically for the biogas sector. It is helping a wide range of stakeholders who are passionate about developing and sustaining biogas projects reimagine how to tackle common problems being experienced in the sector. anessa has developed tools to support data-driven decision-making that were previously thought to be unattainable.
Historically, the sector was highly dependent upon a web of intricate spreadsheets held closely to the chest by biogas pioneers that were gradually modified over several years. And many of those who have developed their own spreadsheet models recognize the outer limits are constrained simply by the tools they used.
Co-founder and CEO Amir Akbari aptly describes anessa as “where advanced computer science meets multi-disciplinary biogas expertise.” Mr. Akbari then goes on to make a comparison to another sector “It is theoretically possible to build a business case for a multi-million dollar office building with basic tools although it is much easier and more reliable to use specialized software.”
The company was founded in 2015 by Amir Akbari, Dr. Farough Motasemi, Dr. Kenneth Kent and Kevin Shiell and has since been able to add industry experts and leaders to the team.
Originally, anessa’s co-founders were presented with an opportunity to develop projects to convert large amounts of municipal solid waste (MSW) into energy. They were surprised to learn there was a lack of reliable software in the market to help build the business case and manage important operational variables once the biogas plant was up and running. “We had an engineering background, mindset and were fixated on finding a way to make data-driven decisions,” continued Mr. Akbari. “Necessity is the mother of invention which lead to the creation of analytical software tools exclusively for biogas. We recognized the opportunity in developing markets like here in North America and mature markets in Europe. Versatility was carefully integrated into our tools so they could be easily utilized worldwide.”
The company has come a long way over the last 5 years. “My team continues to impress me at how well they enhance the products by developing features and functionality as intelligence is uncovered in the market. Our biogas engineering and software teams work like a Swiss watch and have done a remarkable job creating cutting-edge tools. Having those leading technologies as the foundation has made it easier for our marketing group to showcase the technologies.”
“We are proud to still be headquartered in New Brunswick, Canada and have been impressed with the available talent pool.” Mr. Akbari also noted that international partnerships are vital to the success of the business as is stellar customer support. “Passion about biogas seems to be the common denominator in this sector.”
When project developers, EPCs, or other stakeholders are faced with the challenge of building a business case from available organic waste, anessa’s AD•A platform brings clarity to the feasibility assessment process. It provides in-depth insights into financial, technical and environmental aspects of the projects while returning information in a way that is easily understood.
One of the largest challenges being experienced at existing biogas plants is making feedstock decisions. When made incorrectly, they can have an adverse effect on the production of biogas which is leaving money on the table. AD•O delivers a precise recipe based on the specific requirements of the biogas plant while providing insight on the future state of the plant before any changes are made to operating parameters, like potentially making changes to feedstock. Operators and consultants are frequently faced with these feedstock decisions yet it is difficult for them to know how they will impact whether the changes will be advantageous to the operation. Costly trial-and-error experimentation is now being replaced with powerful simulations and modelling.
Anaerobic Digestion provides a perfect mechanism to convert the harmful gas into a useful energy by using the source as a feedstock in biogas plants. For the outlook of the biogas industry, Akbari shares “AD has a big role to play reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. AD plants can be used for better waste management while producing green energy. If properly designed, developed and managed, AD facilities can be economically and environmentally sustainable.”
anessa joined the CBA as members in May. They joined because they want to be more involved in the Canadian sector, contribute to success stories and improve the industry in the Canadian market. “With reliable tools, new biogas projects can be developed confidently and be optimally maintained to ensure the sector thrives.”