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  • Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DIMINU (Decentralised diminished mineralization incineration unit for dewatered sewage sludge lends resource efficient low-carbon electricity generation)

DIMINU Report Summary

Project ID: 672617

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DIMINU (Decentralised diminished mineralization incineration unit for dewatered sewage sludge lends resource efficient low-carbon electricity generation)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2015-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"The feasibility study for the innovative system ""Decentralised diminished mineralization incineration unit for dewatered sewage sludge"" addresses the technical optimisation of the existing technology concept (1), economic and organisational issues of the new Technology Venture (2) and legal questions (3).
(1) fuel (sewage sludge); upstream (e.g. sludge drying) and downstream (e.g. power production with ORC, possible exploitation of the ash) components and modularisation; automation of processes; risk assessment (timing, fuel).
(2) detailed economic feasibility assessment; detailed layout of manufacturing / distribution/service centres including partner search; market analysis; user involvement; risk assessment (detection and analysis of resource bottlenecks of the new technology venture, sales structure).
(3) legal Issues: Intellectual Property management; assessment of plant certification requirements for planned small units (< 1 MW) with own use of produced electricity; risk assessment (IPR, legislation concerning sewage treatment).
The results of the feasibility study were used to draw a comprehensive Business Plan for the new Technology Venture."

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

All relevant issues of the Feasibility Study were examined and the deliverable produced.
An inventory of the existing test installation (straw bales) in Leiben (A) and the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) of Ybbs / Donau (A), was taken, available documents and information were analysed and selected, and additional investigations were carried out to develop solving strategies and the technology concept.
Several pre-tests were carried out with the existing test installation (straw bales), with a fuel mix (straw & sewage sludge) in order to collect further knowledge, experience and reliable data as a basis to work on solutions and measures, in particular modifications to the combustion chamber. The technical concept for electricity production was elaborated.
In order to ascertain the potential of recycling raw materials from sewage sludge, the state of the art was described and the latest technological development was taken into account as a basis for technical and economic assessment of the appropriate measures for recovery, supplemented by several discussions with the developers of the technology of the processes MEPHREC and ASHDEC.
Technical risks and their mitigation have been assessed jointly by the technical experts, assisted by the financial experts who identified related economic risks.
The engineering team consulted technology experts, component manufacturers / suppliers, and WWTP operators to work out the timeline on the individual measures. The findings were assessed and summarised in a detailed table.
Brainstorming over the skid construction of other manufacturers was performed for standardisation purposes to developed a suitable concept coordinated with potential suppliers from the Czech Republic, Poland, and Eastern Slovakia.
Basic data, cost estimates and production times were provided as input by the engineering team for the detailed calculation of economic profitability of single installations as well as for the Technology Venture. The statements for financial planning and liquidity have been prepared.
The market analysis was compiled with the support of the chambers of commerce in the relevant EU Member States to obtain substantiated and current market data. Based on these market data and tuned with the production and sales resources, the sales pipeline and the distribution concept have been developed.
Featuring among the key issues, the authorisation processes of the targeted Member States were assessed in close cooperation with the respective chambers of commerce and emission limits with the respective ministries of the environment in order to initially provide broad answers.

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 technical and economical viability of the innovation have been described in the feasibility study.
Following the very promising results of this assessment, the Technology Venture will prepare an application for stage 2. A pilot plant (reference plant) is necessary, because of the new solution for the target municipalities of small to medium size. These are not familiar with the product, because they traditionally chose other methods of sewage sludge disposal. Therefore intensive information is necessary to sell the product – a common characteristic of technical installations. The adaption of the existing installation for the new fuel sewage sludge comprises technical risks described in the feasibility study that also present a related economic risk regarding time to market. These risks cannot entirely be covered neither by the partners of the Technology Venture, nor by financing institutes.

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