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Definition of variables and indicators in joint processes of solid waste treatment

Homogeneous economic-environmental monitoring methodlogy for the study of complementarities and similarities between alternative processes (bio-methanisation and composting) by means of physical-chemical and agronomic full-scale analyses.

Reducing the environmental impact of economic activities in Europe remains a major issue today. It is essential to reduce the pollution caused by discharges and emissions of hazardous substances and work towards the minimisation of point source pollution while leading to the application of Best Available Techniques (BAT). It is also the case in the field of waste management. Regarding the fields of biomethanisation and composting, the traditional facilities for the sorting and composting of urban solid waste have tended to disappear as its output decreased due to recovered materials and quality of compost produced. On the other hand, the methanisation technology has existed in Europe since several years, but a large number of plants are not profitable. Conscious of the worldwide scope of the topic, this proposal will offer an innovative solution, both from an economic point of view (viability of the alternatives or sustainability of the combined waste treatment installations), and from an environmental point of view (compliance with the IPPC directive 96/61/EC, Biological treatment and wastewater sludge, among others). 1.MAIN OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT: The development, based on defined environmental indicators (pressure, state and response), of a methodology to optimise the operation of bio-methanisation and composting plants. This tool (materialised in a database) will enable the assessment and anticipation of the behaviour (biochemical, mechanical, biogas production) of full-scale waste processing units for different categories of waste, in order to implement the complementary measures necessary to correct deviations and use relevant information in Public Administration decision-making. Relevant technological know-how will be obtained through the implementation of this project, which will be adapted to the processing of urban solid waste. 2.EXPECTED RESULTS: - An assessment of treatment behaviour for each type of raw waste tested (MUNICIPAL SOLIDS WASTES (from separate collection or not) and dehydrated digested sludge from the methanisation treatment); - An evaluation of by-product qualities (biogas, digested sludge from the biomethanisation and liquid effluent); - A definition of specific operating data (maintenance, biochemical following, potentially toxic effects, biogas production optimisation, etc.) of the biomethanisation and composting processes; - Software tools to benchmark the treatments and plants analysed in terms of defining their weaknesses in the processes. The results of the project will be condensed into an operating optimisation methodology book and decision making tool (database), which will provide the operating data to run and optimise both methanisation and composting units including reaction anticipation regarding a specific occurrence. The results will be of application to all the facilities of the VEOLIO ENVIRONMENT and FCC Groups. 3.CONSORTIUM: The most relevant bodies in the European environmental industry will be involved. The consortium is formed both by a public partner (leading European research centres focused on methanisation processes) and private partners (leaders in industrial processes), to ensure that all relevant partners are involved in this proposal. The consortium formed for this project includes companies and institutions from FRANCE and SPAIN, which supports the competitiveness of European companies through international collaboration, creating links and networks of innovation. The members of the consortium have previously had contact or collaborated with each other, at least bilaterally, thereby guaranteeing a proper management and understanding between them. - FCC: coordinator, developer and test manager in the full-scale plant, due to its knowledge in biomethanisation and digestion treatments. As consortium leader, FCC carries the main scientific weight of the project. Financially, its participation in this project is more important than it may seem from the budget, as it does not include the costs of depreciation of its full-scale plant in Valladolid (SPAIN). (FCC will participate with up to 911,427 euro). - CREED: partner, designer and test manager in the pilot unit in Graincout les Havincourt (FRANCE), due to its worldwide experience in environmental research and its scientific infrastructure. (CREED will participate with up to 557,460 euro). - LBE: partner, research group from the FRENCH NATIONAL AGRONOMIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE, due to its know-how in methanisation processes, and is a member of GIMPEP (Mediterranean Network on Process Engineering). LBE will participate with up to 47,992 euro. - European Research Centres such as Environmental Sciences Centre-SUPERIOR CENTRE FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH (SPAIN) and the Civil Engineering and Environmental Quality Research Group of the UNIVERSITY OF HUELVA (SPAIN) and the Department of Environment and Agronomy of the FRENCH INSTITUTE FOR AGRONOMIC RESEARCH (FRANCE). The consortium will be managed by a Scientific Coordination Committee, in which the Civil Engineering and Environmental Quality Research Group of the UNIVERSITY OF HUELVA, the Environmental Sciences Centre-CSIC, CREED and LBE will play a relevant role in the development of the different analyses and in the interpretation and diffusion of results. 4. DETAILED DESCRIPTION: 4.1. Research facilities This project will be implemented in two different locations: a full-scale plant located in Valladolid (SPAIN) and a pilot plant to be built in Yvelines (FRANCE). - The CENTRE FOR INTEGRAL WASTE PROCESSING in Valladolid is of an appropriate size to assess the technical and economic viability of the process and extrapolate the results to any other plant working with a similar concept. The plant has four conveyor belts used independently for different types of urban solid waste (both sorted and not sorted before collection). The total amount of waste, which can be processed in this plant yearly, varies between 130,000 and 210,000 tonnes. In addition, the plant has facilities for the co-generation of electricity, by means of processing part of the organic fraction of waste. - The biomethanisation pilot plant will be located in the Guitrancourt landfill, in Yvelines, FRANCE. Tests will be carried out in order to explore the potential of different types of waste materials assess the quality of the sub-products; monitor the digestion with simple agronomic parameters; learn about the reactions of digestion in the composting phase and study the mass balance in the processing chain. This pilot unit shall be equipped with material to guarantee the implementation of the following activities: preparation of the substrate, injection in the reactor, digested waste extraction, digested waste pressing; effluent storing and recirculation and biogas extraction/treatment. Installations will monitor temperature against time and recording devices will continuously record, where appropriate, the results of those measurements. 4.2. Test Programme BIODI EXPERTISE will develop a test programme to reach its scientific objectives, as described below. This programme details the analysis that will be conducted on the different processes. The tasks detailed in 4.2. refer to this programme. 1. Selection (this concerns only the full scale VALLADOLID plant) * The different fractions of the selective waste collection will be characterised; * Waste collection will be followed-up in order to optimise collection routes. 2. Composting process phase (this concerns only the full scale VALLADOLID plant) i) The analysis starts with a control of the particles size, in order to optimise the grinding and selection phases; ii) During fermentation and maturation, four monthly tests will be done in the in-vessel composting system in order to control the process (humidity, temperature, oxygen). iii) The following step is measuring humidity, temperature, the elimination of pathogens and seeds, the pH control and the level of digestion. In this phase, complete agronomic analysis will be done (MO, MS, C/N, pH, N, NNH4, N-NO3,P,K, Mg, Ca, Na) of the final compost, of the dry material, phytotoxicity (germination test and conductivity test) and hygienisation too. 3. Bio-methanisation phase (This will be realised both in the pilot plant and in the full scale VALLADOLID plant. This phase will also receive funds from the LIFE Programme.) The bio-methanisation phase has the following scientific objectives: control and quantification of volatile biodegradable solid waste; concentration of that solid waste; control of the resulting water; analysis of the production of digest; estimation of permanence periods, optimisation of the production of methane and biogas. - In the initial stage, analysis will be carried out every month (CH4, CO2,Co) to each different organic wastes used, in order to control the amount of biogas in continuous (using a debimetre) - In the second stage, the quality of the sub-products will be evaluated by means of * H2S analysis, the presence of unwanted elements (halogens, siloxan) in biogas, * DBO, DCO, N, P, heavy metals in leachates, * agronomic parameters and pathogenic parameters in the digestate. - Finally, the digestion will be monitored in order to assess the influence of each flux and test the measured variations in the composition. The analysis carried out deal with simple agronomic parameters (pH, C/N, MO, DCO, AGV, NH4, etc.) The effects of overcharging the digestor and of reducing the charge will be evaluated. This test programme is focused on optimising the working methodology for the pilot plant, correcting or complementing the operations when necessary, in order to develop more efficient processing systems. In short, it will lead to the control of the transformation process of urban solid waste, treated with the technologies used (bio-methanisation and composting), as well as guarantee the energy production levels through cogeneration, optimise the re-use and recycling of the recovered fractions of waste and analyse the agronomic quality of compost in order to identify its commercial potential. 4.3. Tasks The Project will be developed as follows: Task 1: Preliminary stage The Scientific Committee will elaborate the protocols and definitions for the follow-up of the full scale VALLADOLID plant in order to homogenise the different concepts and the essays to be done. Critical values of the major variables involved in the processes will be identified to anticipate their potential impact (anticipation of the operating breakdown/ problems met on processing plants). (Month 1 - 3; this task has already started). Task 2: Implementation stage The Scientific Committee will implement and monitor (following the guidelines established) the test programme mentioned above. A close biochemical follow-up is performed to measure the biochemical conditions inside the reactor, and the agronomic value of end products (Month 4-27). Task 2.1. (Month 4 - 12) Construction and start-up Firstly, the partners are involved in the start-up stage of both the full-scale VALLADOLID plant and the pilot scale unit (including the construction of the pilot plant) and the start of activities. Task 2.2. (Month 4-24) Optimisation of the Full scale VALLADOLID plant * 2.2.1. Selection / sorting The test programme mentioned in 4.1 will be followed up here. * 2.2.2. Methanisation The pilot plant is designed to help optimise the methanisation phase of the VALLADOLID plant. Indeed, the operating parameters of the small-scale unit can be modified as necessary until the conditions are optimised. The partners will determinate the homothetic ratio between the full-scale plant and the pilot unit by means of close biochemical follow-up. It will help to assess and anticipate the behaviour of the full-scale waste-processing unit. Both the pilot unit and the full-scale plant are followed-up as mentioned in the test programme. * 2.2.3. Composting The test programme mentioned in 4.1 will be followed up here. Task 2.3. Conclusions from this phase will be reached, and feed back information will adjust the implementation of the phase dedicated to the improvement of the process. (Month 16-27) The scientific co-ordination committee will publish preliminary verified conclusion. Task 3: Validation stage The results obtained in task 2 will be validated, as complementary analysis will be carried out in order to confirm or adjust the previously obtained results. All the optimisation data will be listed in a database in order to improve the know-how of the processes. (Month 16-27). Task 4: Interpretation and Dissemination of results Results will be interpreted, conclusions reached, proposal of possible improvements in the plant made and results communicated to all public and private interested agents. Saving the confidentiality protocols between the partners and the scientific committee. (Month 22 - 27) Keywords: biomethanisation, composting, process optimisation.
Acronym: 
BIODI-EXPERTISE
Project ID: 
3 080
Start date: 
01-01-2003
Project Duration: 
27months
Project costs: 
1 510 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Biotreatment / Compost / Bioconversion
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.