Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

PBTech Report Summary

Project ID: 719443

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PBTech (Combined Plasma Biotrickling system for treating industrial VOC emissions)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-05-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Air Clean is a well-established company, with 30 years’ experience, specialized in the design and manufacturing of Air Pollutant Treatment Plants. With PBTech, we want to give solution to current limitations of conventional air control technologies when treating difficult waste gas mixtures with variable composition and concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). PBTech, combines the use of two different techniques used to treat pollutant emissions, non-thermal plasma (NTP) and biotrickling, and optimizes their performance through an automated control system, designed to guarantee the best operational conditions according to gas fluctuations.
This end-of-pipe technology is able to treat industrial waste gases with low and variable concentrations of VOC mixtures (0.1-3 mg C/m3), and with a flexible treatment capacity (1,000-106 m3/h). The high removal efficiency, over 99%, and its competitive price and operational costs (3,800 €/year per 1000 m3/h) will allow European industry facing the problem of VOC emissions to comply with applicable legislation and limit values (20 mg/m3 total VOC).
During a Phase2 project, PBTech will be scaled-up, first to a complete prototype of 500 m3/h with validated performances, and second to a semi continuous pilot line of 2000 m3/h, that will be tested and qualified, first with 3 different industrial waste gases on laboratory, and second on-site in a waste water treatment plant (WWTP). PBTech will comply with EU regulation, SED directive emissions, Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive (2014/30/EU) and Machinery directive. We have developed a commercial strategy to increase our presence in two sectors :1) current WWTP market through retrofitting existing biotrickling filters, installed by Air Clean, in composting and dewatering sludge installations with NTP, and 2) Solvents markets, selling PBTech as a “green technology” in substitution of traditional thermal oxidizers. PBTech prepares its market launch in EU by 2019 within Air Clean current markets (Italy, Spain, and Greece) and in other countries where we count on established representatives (France, Ireland and UK). From 2020, we also plan to penetrate in Latvia and Slovenia, and Germany.
PBTech will increase its personnel in 15 employees, and total sales projection (including after sales service) will be worth 11.4M€. PBTech profitability has been quantified in this feasibility Study, with a payback period from 5.4 months to 1 year.

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

The main objective of this Feasibly study (FS) was to ensure that PBTech meets the technical, commercial and financial requirements for its successful implementation and commercialisation.
Main results have been:
1) Production and operation cost analysis: a detailed cost breakdown of NTP and Biotrickling filter (BTF) was calculated for a standard commercial PBTech unit of 20,000 m3/h capacity (1-2 g/m3), including: materials required: NTP (69,200€) and BTF (121,310€), labour cost, installation cost, transportation, royalties (7% of biofilters) and 10% of margin after general expenses, the final selling price will be 353,000 €. With a total competitive operating cost/year of 75,565€.
2) Technical partners: a)-Anua Clean Air, is a strategic technical and commercial partner: Anua´s owner and inventor of the patented biotrickling filter (Monashell®) of PBTech, will provide technical advisory during the design and analysis of results of PBTech prototype and pilot plant, and also will offer its consolidated clients network in France, UK and Ireland. b)- Trento University and Insurbia University of Varese, during 3 years have collaborated with Air Clean in a previous PBTech R&D projects. Both universities will give scientific supervision during NTP optimization, control system design and prototype and pilot plant development. c) Tecneco Srl, affiliated company of Air Clean, will contribute with specialised personnel during prototype and pilot plant design (CAD technicians), and giving support during commercialisation & dissemination and administration activities.
3) Commercial partners: Air Clean had prior collaborative agreements with its current representative’s network in Europe. During FS we received support letter for PBTech commercial agreements with Harsis, Ecoproget and Verstep. Preselected supplier for NTP are i.e.: Electrodes of The Mesh Company Ltd; Catalysts of Sigma Aldrich Co.; testing equipment: Cear, Lab Analysis, Progress. And for BTF: Saivent, VebAir, Ebara or Lowara. And switch board of the control system: Eurolectronics, or De Dionigi.
4)Market analysis: we will focus on a) solvent sector (new market), affected by European VOC directives and responsible of 42%VOC emission, and b) waste water sector, where Air Clean has already set business.
5) Patentability study: we will quantify PBTech innovativeness and patent process after month15th, to reduce the scope of the patentability to a specific combination of NTP + BTF that shows an unexpected result.

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)

The key value of our commercial strategy is to customize of each solution offered to our customers. PBTech product launch will be in 2019, where we are currently marketing Air Clean products, Italy, Spain and Greece. Product commercialization in Ireland and UK will be supported through Anua C.A. network. We will also establish contacts with clients and resellers in target markets in East Europe, Latvia, Slovenia and Germany. By 2020 we will move to France, and the Baltic States (Latvia and Slovenia), supported by our partner’s network. Finally, once we have good references of PBTech applications, we plan to penetrate in Germany by 2021.
We expect to increase our personnel in 15 people: 7 persons in 2019, and 4 in 2020 and 2021 respectively. PBTech commercialisation strategy for the first 3 years’ will increase our sales in two target market segments:
- Waste water treatment plants (WWTP). We already have business set in this market, where we foresee to double our current sales by 2021 with annual incomes close to 2.3 M€. We estimate selling 12 NTP units to be installed in retrofit biofilters. Starting from our Italian local market (3 units in 2019), and thanks to our established customers’ network, we foresee selling 9 NTP units more within Europe, plus 13 PBTech complete units (50% of total).
-Solvents sector: we have few applications on VOCs removal with biological systems in printing, painting and petrochemical sector. PBTech will boost this sector penetration, with sales forecasted in 50% of PBTech total sales (13 units), that will be worth €4.6M of turnover.
Air Clean will deal directly with end-users, i.e. operators of industrial processes with VOC emissions associated, and with engineering companies and laboratories that assist end-users to control and validate emissions levels according with the limits set in the environmental permits.
Air Clean will get economic incomes from PBTech sales, as well as from NTP sales and after sales services, expecting a total turnover of €11,4M by 2021 (we expect to double our current turnover by then). PBTech profitability has been measured by ROE index, which will growth exponentially, up to 94%, in comparison with its foreseen ROE in 2018 without PBTech (12%). The expected return of investment (ROI) for the first 3 years of commercialization has been calculated at 64%, and our short payback period, from 5.4 moths to 1 year, let us foresee a positive cash flow on the second year of commercialization.

Related information

Record Number: 190112 / Last updated on: 2016-11-07
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