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Sewage sludge reuse with Phosphate recovery and heavy metal absorption with an innovative HTC technology.


Efficient municipal waste-water treatment, such as the systems currently in place in most European municipalities, produces vast amounts of sewage sludge. The latest data collected show a yearly production of 9.637 thousands of tons in the EU28 countries. Sludge treatment issues are often neglected in comparison with water-related parameters which results in serious technical difficulties and highly expensive disposal methods. As a result, an energy efficient, environmentally sound and economically viable process for sludge disposal and reuse of valuable resources e.g. phosphorus hardly exists.
The most common disposal methods for sludge are spreading on agricultural soil, composting and incineration. Land-filling has been long banned, the use as fertilizer, although very moderate in costs, is being banned in many regions due to concerns about contamination of soils with heavy metals and endocrine disruptive compounds. Composting raises the same concerns, and it is a labour-intensive and unsafe process, which leaves incineration as the most used option, albeit an expensive and not effective one. Incineration entails the highest costs (80-110 € /ton), but is also considered the safest disposal method and is fast growing and widely adopted. It presents also technical difficulties, such as the low overall efficiency of the process, the huge logistic efforts required to transport the sludge to the incineration plants, or the disposal of the ashes after the sludge has been incinerated.
In this situation, our company, AVA has the objective to demonstrate and commercialize our proprietary technology for hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) of sewage sludge, showing clearly technical and economic ad-vantages against the current sludge incineration method. We aim to increase the amount of sludge converted into high value products such as fuel, activated carbons for water treatment, recovered phosphorus, soil remediation material, carbon sequestration schemes and other applications. The HTCycle process turns the present sewage sludge disposal (incineration) from a costly process into an income-generating activity.
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Libnower Landstr. 1-3
17390 Murchin Ot Relzow


Activity type

Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)

EU Contribution

€ 1 373 400

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 823124


Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 September 2018

  • End date

    31 August 2020

Funded under:




  • Overall budget:

    € 1 962 000

  • EU contribution

    € 1 373 400

Coordinated by: