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Innovative plasma based transformation of food waste into high value graphitic carbon and renewable hydrogen


PlasCarb has been stimulated by a transnational consortium of R&D performing SMEs in partnership with specialist scientific resource, life cycle thinking experts, industrial customers, and access to risk finance to facilitate future market uptake. It will integrate commerce with research; transforming a widespread urban solid waste environmental problem (140 million tonnes of food and plant waste produced annually in Europe) into a sustainable source of significant economic added value, (high value graphitic carbon and renewable hydrogen). The vast majority of hydrogen and carbon used today in industry are derived from fossil petroleum sources, the majority of which are imported into the EU from regions which are often politically unstable or competitive. PlasCarb will integrate an established technology (anaerobic digestion) with innovative, low temperature microwave plasma processing and leading edge control of carbon morphology and purification. This project will extend beyond current Best Available Techniques (BAT) in the valorisation of food waste of anaerobic digestion (AD) to generate renewable energy; it will transform the biogas output from AD using an innovative low energy microwave plasma to split biogas methane into high value graphitic carbon and renewable hydrogen (RH2). The quality and economic value of the carbon and the hydrogen will then be maximised through the integration of high quality research and industrial process engineering expertise. The project will validate at a pilot scale continuous operation of the integrated process for a period of one month; 150 tonnes of mixed food waste will be digested to generate over 25000m3 of biogas. 2400m3 of this biogas will then be transformed into highly graphitic carbon with a market value of over €2500/tonne and RH2. A decentralised business model will be generated that can be implemented at local levels widely across Europe to facilitate future market uptake.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
€ 926 421,00
TS10 4RF Redcar Cleveland
United Kingdom

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North East (England) Tees Valley and Durham South Teesside
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Lois Hobson (Dr.)
Total cost
No data

Participants (7)