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Safe and INtegrated thermal TRANsformation of humid organic waste resulting in green energy and valuable remainders

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SINTRAN (Safe and INtegrated thermal TRANsformation of humid organic waste resulting in green energy and valuable remainders)

Reporting period: 2014-11-01 to 2015-04-30

The objective of the SINTRAN project was to prepare a feasibility study for the optimization, certification and EU-wide commercialization of BIOFIVE technology and device. With the BIOFIVE technology and device it is possible to safely transform humid organic waste (such as sewage sludge) into green energy (electricity) by combustion while extracting valuable materials from the remainder ash, like phosphate.

Sewage sludge and other residual waste materials need to be decontaminated and disposed of. Current methods include landfilling or collection in a storage facility. These methods have their drawbacks, which have only become apparent recently. Sewage sludge is an organic waste that poses certain risks and can be harmful to both humans and animals. It contains pathogens (bacteria, mold), poisonous inorganic materials, pharmaceutical waste, and other residual waste materials, as well as heavy metals such as: Hg, Pb, Cd, Co, etc. Through agricultural spreading of sewage sludge wide variety of problematic and hazardous materials can enter and accumulate within soil, enter into the natural lifecycle and harm the living environment.

The combustion tests for BIOFIVE proved the following:
Through mono-incineration of sewage sludge the equipment is able to decontaminate and dispose of harmful and dangerous organic waste (and its mixture) where:

- the dry matter content exceeds 51%;
- where the calorific value applied to the entire mass exceed 6M/kg; and where
- the ratio of ash is less than 30%.

Inspection of the remaining ash following decontamination proved that it contained many elements that are beneficial to plants, such as P,K,Ca, and the minerals Zn, Cu, Fe, Mn, while the amount of heavy metals (Cd, Hg, Pb, Co, Mo) was below the limits prescribed for dry matter compost fertilizer for agriculture spreading. This shows that the developed equipment is widely suitable for the disposal of hazardous organic waste while recovering energy in the process. On the other hand, the ash contains valuable materials, which can be utilized for agricultural or other uses. Particularly noteworthy is phosphorous. Tests show phosphorous content in the ash exceeds 15% during the mono-incineration of sewage sludge.
There were 8 tasks specified under this project. These were:
T1.1. Identification of markets of highest potential for an EU-wide market uptake.
T1.2. A comparative life-cycle and risk analysis to assess sustainability benefits, drawbacks and environmental footprint compared to existing technologies.
T1.3. Exploration of the certification requirements and bottlenecks for sewage sludge disposal in different European countries with a brief global outlook.
T1.4. Development of technology roadmaps for the acquisition of certification compliance in markets with highest commercial potentials.
T1.5. Cost-benefit analyses specific to the selected regions/countries in order to assess economic feasibility.
T1.6. Elaboration of a comprehensive business plan in accordance with the results of the above activities.
T1.7. Setting up an IPR management roadmap.
T1.8. Dissemination to potential stakeholders and partners.
The BIOFIVE technology and device can be used to reduce large amount of hazardous organic waste and it can be integrated into every waste disposal technology with economic and social impacts.

With BIOFIVE:
- organic waste with moisture content of up to 50% can be thermally treated without any preparation whatsoever.
- waste is not transported to a processing plant; rather, the equipment is installed at the waste source origin.
- the system generates energy without the need to consume fossil fuel; and the generated energy can be utilized or soled.
- possible phosphorus recovery could aid soil replenishment.

Hence, on the economic impact side, with BIOFIVE significant costs reduction and income generation can be achieved, while on the social impact side technology efficiency can be measured in terms of energy supply and reduced negative environmental impacts. These listed capabilities and possibilities of the equipment and the technology are all verifiable; but the economic and social impact can vary from country to country, depending on the composition of the waste, the existing technology, and the mode of utilizing the recoverable energy at a specific location.
Plant in Eger, Hungary