Turning wet biomass wastes into high-value products

The Ingelia HTC plant in Valencia

The project NEWAPP – “New technological applications for wet biomass waste stream products,” focuses on the application of hydrothermal carbonization processes (HTC) to convert wet biomass wastes into high- carbon concentration char. Started in November 2013, the €2.58 million is supported by the 7th EU Framework Programme. A total of eight partner organizations from four EU countries will be collaborating for 30 months to demonstrate the economic viability and the sustainable benefits of HTC as a biomass waste conversion process.

Spain-based Ingelia S.L. is one of the organizations participating in the initiative. The company has developed a technology based on an HTC process, that treats biomass at moderate temperatures and pressures in presence of water, creating two primary products: a coal-like product named HTC carbon and a water phase rich in plant nutrients.

At Ingelia’s HTC plant, in the municipality of Valencia, NEWAPP treats different wet biomass waste streams, such as the organic fraction of municipal waste, sewage sludge, digestate and other industrial biodegradable waste from the food industry, vegetable or agricultural waste. In addition to testing the substrates, the project focuses on developing a new technical utilization pathway for turning those bio-based waste streams into high-value products. The research group is also exploring the different products that can be obtained from selected waste streams following the HTC process and aims at developing quality and safety standards for the resulting products. Fuel, activated carbons for water treatment, soil remediation or carbon sequestration are some examples of marketable products and applications that can be obtained from this technology. Business plans for promising scenarios will also be developed as part of the project.

The plant owned by Ingelia in Spain is running in continuous mode, processing 3 dry tons per day of residues and demonstrating that HTC is ready for commercial uptake. The low emission levels, as well as the wide range of potential industrial application and the scalability of the process, have attracted the interest of many industries and new commercial initiatives have already started since the launch of the project. An increasing interest is also emerging in biochar and its future market perspectives. The char, an end product of HTC plants, presents several potential applications in different industrial sectors: from metallurgy to bio-fertilizers, energy and chemicals.

The latest results from the project, as well as the technology and the market perspectives for HTC and its products will be discussed in a half-day workshop on 4th June, during the 23rd European Biomass Conference and Exhibition in Vienna. This event will address stakeholders from a wide range of sectors, from research to industry representatives and municipalities. The objective of the workshop is to present HTC as an advanced technology for organic waste treatment. The project partners will present the results of the testing activities provided by the NEWAPP project consortium and the studies on biochar as green sustainable feedstock for several industrial applications.

 Register here and follow BE-Sustainable for the main highlights from the event.

More about NEWAPP

 Agenda: “Hydrothermal Carbonisation Technology for wet biomass wastes valorisation in Europe”

(4 June 2015 09:15 – 13:0 Room: Schubert 4, Messe Wien Congress Centre, Vienna)

9.15: Welcome to the participants


9.25: Event introduction and NEWAPP project presentation – Andrea Salimbeni, Newapp Project Coordinator

The NEWAPP Project

09.45: Wet biomass waste in Europe. Present initiatives  and future targets – Mr. Christoph Knauer, ttz-Bremehaven

10.05: Newapp Project results and expected future activities – Mr. Michael Renz, ITQ

10.25: Ingelia Plant: Solid fuel market in Europe for HTC  – Ms. Marisa Hernandez, Ingelia

10.50 – 11.10 Coffee Break

The Biochar Market

11. 10: Biochar market for sustainable soil conditioning – Ms. Barbara De Mena Pardo, ttz-Bremehaven

11.30: Life Cycle Assessment of NEWAPP hydrothermal carbonization system – Mr. Mikolaj Owsianiak and Mr. Morten Ryberg, DTU

11.50: Video of Ingelia Plant operating in Valencia

12.00: Poster Exhibition

12.20 Open debate with representatives of Ingelia Spain, Ingelia Italia and HTC experts

13.00 End

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