CT BETA presents the Catalan AccelWater pilot at Circular Week 2023

Circular Week 2023 brought together a wide range of experts to explore the potential of the bioeconomy

A new edition of the Circular Bioeconomy Day, an event aligned with the official Circular Week 2023 program, took place this week in Mazovia, Poland, bringing together a wide range of experts to explore the potential of the bioeconomy in the transition to the circular economy. The program has included both policy makers from the European Union (EU) and representatives from regional and local administrations, as well as companies and representatives from academia.

Lidia Paredes, researcher at the BETA Technology Center of UVic-UCC, has had the opportunity to present some results in the field of energy recovery of waste from the meat industry, which have been obtained thanks to the implementation of the pilot of the AccelWater project in the MAFRICA slaughterhouse, in Sant Joan de Vilatorrada. This pilot, which also focuses on water recovery technologies, is intended to be a reference example for zero waste strategies in the meat industry.

On the one hand, AccelWater‘s pilot biorefinery has been working to optimize and integrate anaerobic digestion processes fed from the slaughterhouse’s own waste and by-products, to obtain biogas that can later be used as fuel. Today, many of these products are already managed through anaerobic digestion, but these are outsourced services. One of the main challenges at the technical level is the remaining nitrogen concentrations of these by-products and wastes, which make optimal management difficult.

The second route contemplated in this pilot is the biodrying of sewage sludge from the same industry and its use as fuel. This way of sludge valorization can be a good strategy to face the regulatory limitations that apply to the use of sewage sludge as raw material for the manufacture of organic fertilizers.

Technical workshop on innovative solutions

The results of the AccelWater project also took center stage this week at an online technical conference organized by the Bioenergy Cluster of Catalonia and IREC. Óscar Osegueda, also a researcher at CT BETA, was part of a round table in which several innovative solutions for the bioenergy sector were presented. Among others, representatives of technological centers such as CTFC, EURECAT, IRTA and IREC and companies such as AERIS took part in the conference.

The main objective of the conference was to present the research being carried out in the field of bioenergy in the industry, based on examples that have been worked on in the research ecosystem of Catalonia.