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ENERCOVERY Report Summary

Project ID: 712022

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ENERCOVERY (Modular green-energy recovery and business model)

Reporting period: 2015-12-01 to 2016-04-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The main limitation of current gasification plants are the great amount of wastes needed to work properly, a typical gasification plant of 2 MW for MSW needs a feedstock of around 2.4 ton/h. This flow of raw material makes this technology very difficult to be implemented in other sectors with less quantity of wastes production, such as industrial wastes. This market demands a more flexible, modular and portable technology. Waste energy recovery in industrial sectors is an issue of great interest nowadays , due to the increase in energy costs and to the need of searching for alternative energy sources. Particularly, the pellet production is a process with a very high energy consumption, mainly due to the need of raw material drying, and with a waste product suitable for energy recovery. In total 1073 kW/ton are needed, being the chop mill and biomass drying the stages with greater consumption (around 650 kW/ton). This consumption presents a serious economic problem in the industry, since the energy costs are increasing over time but keeping constant the pellet price in the last 4 years. Nowadays, the electric energy consumption in a medium pellet plant, such as Nicepellets, means around €23/ton pellets produced with a production capacity of 15,000 - 20,000 ton/year, which represents an electric spending 345,000 – 460,000 €/ year. Besides, pellet plants typically burn a portion of 15-20% of their feedstock to provide heat for drying, which means less pellet and lower profitability. So, new electric profitable technologies customised to the manufacturing process and company facilities are needed to improve the competitiveness of these industries and ENERCOVERY will provide the key to solve this industrial need.
The general objective of this innovation project is to place in market a breakthrough energy technology for pellet manufacturing industries with high energy consumption that will allow valorising their wastes, currently with none or less economic value, by means of a portable gasification-CHP plant installed in their facilities. Additionally, the project development will help to solve a serious environmental problem caused by the excessive accumulation of wastes in landfills.
In order to reach this objective, the consortium will validate the study of this energy technology carried out in pellets manufacturing industries by scaling-down the gasification plant currently used for tens of tonnes per day of waste and optimise the functional parameters to the type of waste treated to ensure, at least the same, process yield. The new gasification plant will be modular and portable (20 ft standard container; 50% smaller than competitors) and represents a business opportunity to broaden the target market of Greene, currently focused on Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW) and forestry biomass, and the sales market of Nicepellets by producing ENplus pellets at a lower price than competitors. Besides, both companies will export together the validated energy model to other wood manufacturing industries, which will enable us to expand our current activities in the field of renewable energies. Additionally, the project development will help to solve a serious environmental problem caused by the excessive accumulation of wastes in landfills.
Our goal is to confirm the economic advantages of the electrical and thermal energy produced by the implementation of a gasification-cogeneration heat and power (CHP) plant in the pellet manufacturing process. These advantages will result in the decrease of the energy costs during the process, from the current 23 €/ton to 15€/ton. This decrease in energy cost production will allow Nicepellets to lead the market of ENplus pellets producers and to differentiate from competitors in technologies and eco-efficiency. The overall system advantages and the actual fuel price situation, and environmental pressure on the transport sector to reduce emissions of combustion gases, presents a great business opportunity to introduce this technology in the market.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

ENERCOVERY activities during Phase I.
This report is a summary of the main activities planned for SME instrument Phase I that have been performed from December 2015 to End April 2016.
1. Technical plan to scale up of the ENERCOVERY solution for validating with extremely high energy consumption in a pellet manufacturer. These activities to be performed in a subsequent Phase II have been organized in Work Packages as follows:
- WP1. ENERCOVERY Technical Design: To obtain a detailed specification and configuration model that we will validate, using design software tools, in all its features.
- WP2. Industrial process optimisation. We will optimize the manufacturing process adopting a Lean Manufacturing Strategy (to optimize the installation cost and increase the competitiveness of GRENNE-NICEPELLETS) and performing a cost and Life Cycle Analysis of the process to reduce environmental impact. This WP will also be extended to the installing activities.
- WP3. ENERCOVERY Components Integration in the final solution: we will integrate all the components selected and tested in WP1 to produce a first approach to configurations and tests. They will depend on the results obtained in WP2.
- WP4. Exploitation and Commercialization plans. We plan to engage key-players of the pellets manufacturing sector and high-energy industrial consumer to establish first agreements, taking into consideration the results obtained in WP3.
- WP5. Project Management. WP5 is a transversal work package that groups all the activities related to the project coordination and management
2. Freedom to Operate (FTO) analysis.
There are currently no patents that cover specifically the ENERCOVERY concept so there is space for Intellectual Property protection.
3. Financial Review and Business Plan.
We have implemented an updated business plan for ERCOVERY that includes a complete overview of the companies background, market analysis, competitors analysis, strategies for operations, go to market strategy and management as well as market projection and a financial and viability plan.
4. Consortium set up.
We have closed a partnership with DESIBOPE, S.L.U. Engineering Company, a company based in Alicante, specialised in design and operating energy installations, and also with private capital consortium (AETAS) to support the finantial growth of ENERCOVERY.
5. Risk assessment.
We have reviewed the risks related to both commercial and technical progress of ENRCOVERY for the subsequent implementation of the Phase 2.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Electricity consumption needs is growing worldwide at a grate rate. The ENERCOVERY is the most suitable technology for any industrial sector that generates organic waste in low quantities and presents a great energy demand in its manufacturing process. The unique selling points are its portability, adapted to specific on-site requirements, its smaller size (32.6 m3 - 50% reduced) and feedstock flexibility, suitable for any industrial facilities and waste.
The expected impact in users is the economic benefit in pellet production, which has been quantified taking into account Nicepellets process as a case study of the model. The use of gasification technology for energy valorisation of wastes derived from the biomass pellets production is expected to reduce the electricity costs from 23 €/ton to 15 €/ton during the implementation of the project, which means an economic benefit of around 160,000 €/year for an annual production of 20,000 tonnes. Additionally, minimal environmental impact, since the atmospheric emissions are reduced by more than 40% , compared to similar thermal technologies with low or zero waste after the gasification process. ENERCOVERY technology produces around 5% of inert ash as by-product of the process which are an excellent fertilizer for the agricultural sector, which means an additional source of income for the customer, to be evaluated in the financial feasibility study.
For the consortium, the main expected impact is the business opportunity of expanding its market to biomass industrial wastes treatment. In Spain 34 pellet plants currently exist with capacity of more than 10,000 ton/year . In addition there are other smaller pellet plants distributed throughout Spain, with a capacity of about 4,000 ton/year. In Europe, wood products manufacturing sector comprised 184,000 enterprises in the EU-27 in 20102. All these companies are potential customers of the ENERCOVERY plants. Figure 4 shows the map of pellets manufacturers in Spain, Portugal and South France , which is the target market niche considered for initial introduction. According to the European Biomass Association, it is expected that Europe will reach a pellet consumption of 50 million ton/year by 2020 compared with 8 million ton/year in 2009, a growth rate of 6 times higher in 10 years.
Project outputs: New gasification demostrador and enrgy; Industrial application: valorisation wastes and heat/electricity; Potential sectors: wood manufacturing produsts, other with high enrgy consume, self-consumptium in pellets manufacturing and energey sector in general; Market size: Wood product manufacturing comtrised 184,000 enterprises in the EU-27 in 2010, other indistrial sectors as footware and textile with reduction of wastes of 320.000tn/y in landfields, wasre represent an unlimited market for electricity and heat production and in EU-27 countries is possible to sell electricity; Market strategy: direct sales through own trade network, international prescibers and sectorial strategy partner.

Related information

Record Number: 186679 / Last updated on: 2016-07-14