Renewable Materials Processing projects

ReNOx 2.0

Project outline

Projectname:

ReNOx 2.0 - Simultaneous Recovery of nutrients (NH4+ & PO43-) from biogenic waste water

Duration :

June 2018 - May 2021

Role:

project coordinator

Project partner:

Chair of Resource Mineralogy (Montanuniverität Leoben), Christof Industries, Lafarge, Zeocem (SK), Enages, ferroDECONT, AWV Knittelfeld, Biogas Niederl, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Energieinstitut an der JKU Linz

 

 

Although the primary production of ammonia (NH3) is very energy-intensive and the raw material supply regarding phosphorus is to be considered as critical, large amounts of these nutrients  presently are wasted via the wastewater system as ammonium (NH4+) and phosphate (PO43-). In the project “ReNOx 2.0” an innovative process for simultaneous energy- and cost saving recovery of nitrogen and phosphorus from biogenic raw- and open wastewaters is developed, by means of which the production of  industrially exploitable bio-based products (fertilizer raw materials, denitrification means) becomes possible.

For that purpose we use a novel process called "ion exchanger-loop-stripping" developed in the project “ReNOx” and tested successfully for the recovery of ammonium in wastewater treatment plants. In “ReNOx 2.0” this process is developed further using modified zeolites for the simultaneous recovery of phosphorus and is additionally extended to new fields of application (fermentation residues, leachate, industrial wastewaters). Regarding zeolites we intensively cooperate with the Chair of Resource Mineralogy of the MUL. Once the project is finalized the marketing of compact subsequent installations for the efficient recovery of excess nitrogen and phosphorus from renewable sources, which had not been used so far, shall be possible.

Contact Person:
Markus Ellersdorfer

Bio-HTL

Project outline

Projectname:

Bio-HTL - Hydrothermal Co-liquefaction of microalgae and biogenic residues

Duration :

May 2018 - April 2021

Project type:

funded project (FFG), programm "Bridge"; 26th call

Role:

project coordinator

Project partner:

 

 

In the bridge project “Bio-HTL” we examine the production of biocrude from microalgae and biogenic raw materials, such as bio waste, food waste or flotation fat by means of hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL). Through the use of microalgae/waste material mixtures the advantages of algae (homogeneity, high conversion rates to biocrude) can be combined with those of biogenic residues (high volume potential, profits for disposal). The objective is to find optimal combinations of microalgae and processed raw materials, allowing a stable and economic production of larger amounts of biocrude.

In the project the complex chemical processes of HTL are explored in detail at up to 350° C and a pressure of 150 bar and possible paths for exploitation for the HTL- side products are identified respectively tested. If the quality of the produced biocrude is sufficient it can be mixed and processed with the fossil oil in refineries. Thus the bio-share in all refinery products, such as fuel, heating oil, but also synthetic materials can  be increased and CO2-emissions can be saved along the entire usage chain of these products.

Nitrogen recovery from manure

Project outline

Projectname:

Recovery and industrial utilisation of nitrogen from pig manur

Duration :

September 2017 - May 2018

Project type:

funded project

Role:

project coordinator

Project partner:

province of Styria, Department 15 & Department 10

 

 

Presently we together with the province of Styria explore whether the ion-exchanger-loop-stripping process developed in our project “ReNOx” is also suitable for the recovery of nitrogen from pig manure. In pig farming large amounts of manure arise every year, which are mostly spread on agricultural areas as fertilizer. This however is allowed only during a few months of the year, so that large amounts of manure have to be stored temporarily. Due to the high nitrogen concentration the accrued manure often cannot be brought out within the allowed periods so that pig breeding enterprises have to rent additional agricultural areas. Therefore both storage and spreading cause high costs.

By applying the ion exchanger-loop-stripping for manure processing and using the recovered nitrogen as an industrial denitrification agent the material flows in agriculture and industry can be combined in a sustainable manner to the advantage of both sides (circular-economy). As on one hand the agricultural nitrogen cycle is relieved, CO2 emissions and energy for the production of conventional denitrification agents (urea) can be saved.

Contact Person:
Sandro Pesendorfer

Greening the Gas

Project outline

Projectname:

Greening the Gas - Standardized processing of CH4-containing gases

Duration :

February 2019 - December 2019

Project type:

research initiative of OVGW

Role:

contractant

Project partner:

Vienna University of Technology, Chair of Thermal Process Engineering and Simulation

 

 

The initiative "Greening the gas" aims for an expanded integration of "green gas" such as hydrogen and biomethane into existing gas networks as a contribution to the climate and energy strategy of the Austrian Federal Government (# mission2030). On behalf of the Austrian Association for Gas and Water (OVGW) and together with the Vienna University of Technology, we search for the most practicable technologies that are capable to effectively, economically and reliably enrich the methane content in biogas, especially on smaller biogas plants .

Contact Person:
Markus Ellersdorfer

 

Regional aspects of innovative sewage sludge utilisation

Project outline

Projectname:

Regional aspects of innovative sewage sludge utilisation

Duration :

March 2019 - December 2019

Project type:

funded project

Role:

contractor

Project partner:

ROW Regionalmanagement Obersteiermark West (coordinator), Energieagentur Obersteiermark

 

 

The utilisation of sewage sludge from waste water treatement plants is a problem for regions and municipalities because of the increasing costs and environmental impact. On the other hand sewage sludge has a high energy content and comprises valuable fertilizer components, which may be recovered on a regional basis. The Regionalmanagement Obersteiermark West (ROW) aims for the implementation of an innovative, ecological and energy policy pilot project in the Murtal region, with the goal of utilizing sewage sludge (regional / national) in a sustainable way and in the sense of a closed cycle. The project examines different technologies for the energetic and material utilization of sewage sludge in a regional network in order to provide recommendations for future approaches to sewage sludge utilization. Our research group is in charge of an (experimental) study on nutrient recovery from sewage sludge by-products, e.g. from condensates of sludge drying.

Contact Person:
Markus Ellersdorfer

SUSKULT

Project outline

Projectname:

SUSKULT - Development of a sustainable cultivation system for food production in resilient metropolitan regions

Duration :

April 2019 - March 2022

Role:

Partner

Project partner:

Fraunhofer UMSICHT (coordinator), A3 water solutions GmbH, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence GmbH – DFKI, Emschergenossenschaft K.ö.R, Helmholtz-Centre for Environemental Reserach GmbH – UFZ, Osnabrück University of Applied Science, ILS-Research Institute for Urban and Regional Development, Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, Metro AG, PACELUM GmbH, Rewe Markt GmbH, Ruhrverband, Technical University Kaiserslautern, Yara GmbH & Co. KG

 

 

Nutrition and nutrient supply is increasingly focused on quality and sustainability: whereas these demands can be esaily addressed in agricultural regions, their implementation is much more difficult in cities. Future challenges are for example to increase yields in agriculture in view of finite phosphate resources, to minimise the high energy use in fertilizer production and to prevent pollution of water and soil by agricultural run-off.

A team of 15 partners from industry and research under the coordination of Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT develops a novel agricultural system as part of project SUSKULT, which is directly located on municipal wastewater treatment plants. In addition to the relevant nutrients (N, P, K), waste water treatement plants can provide CO2, heat and water for the closed cultivation of horticultural products. Together with the Chair of Resource Mineralogy, our research group is responsible for the recovery of nutrients from effluents of waste water treatemtn plants.

Bio-ABC

Project outline

Projectname:

Bio-ABC - development of a two-step biological CO2-fixing process for the production of fuel chemicals

Duration :

April 2017 - March 2020

Project type:

funded prject (FFG), program "Production of the future"

Role:

project partner

Project partner:

TU Wien (coordinator) - Chair of process technology / E166

 

 

The objective of the project “Bio-ABC” is to establish a two-stage bio-technological procedure with E.coli and A.woodi suitable for quick fixing of large amounts of CO2 and the production of isobuthanol and n-buthanol. Here preferably unprocessed CO2 from flue gas such as e.g. from steel production respectively from oil refining should be used.

As a partner in this project we deal with the characterization and possibly required processing of industrial gas flows and the procedural scalability and integration of the bio-technological procedure developed by the Technical University Vienna in an overall industrial process.

Contact Person:
Markus Ellersdorfer

ClinOPT

Project outline

Projectname:

ClinOPT - optimisation of natural zeolites for environmental applications

Duration :

2015 -

Project type:

div. funded projects

Project partner:

Chair of Resource Mineralogy (Montanuniversität Leoben)

 

 

Zeolites are a naturally occurring or artificially produced mineral group (alumosilicates), which due to their structure are able to exchange cations. For the use as functional mineral in environmental applications in particular natural zeolites (e.g. clinoptilolite) are outstandingly suitable as they are readily available and compared to their artificial counterparts cost far less. Therefore natural zeolites are used e.g. in wastewater treatment, soil decontamination, removal of heavy metals or for the recovery of nutrients.

Under the title “ClinOPT” we together with the Chair of Resource Mineralogy of the Montanuniversität Leoben deal with the targeted optimization of the characteristics of such natural zeolites. In this connection we among others explore methods of pre-treatment in order to increase the cation-exchange-capacity, as well as different regeneration methods for loaded zeolites or examine their stability in wastewater treatment and for the recovery of nutrients.

Stocker, K., Ellersdorfer, M., Lehner, M., Raith, J. (2017): Characterization and Utilization of Natural Zeolites in Technical Applications, Berg Huettenmaenn Monatsh (2017) 162: 142, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00501-017-0596-5.

Contact Person:
Markus Ellersdorfer

Biofuels from sewage sludge

Project outline

Projectname:

Biofuels from sewage suldge

Duration :

September 2016 - April 2017

Project type:

funded project (LEADER Styria; LE 14-20)

Role:

project partner

Project partner:

municipality of Knittelfeld, Styria

 

 

On behalf of the municipality Knittelfeld we deal with the possibilities to produce renewable fuel from sludge in our project “Biodiesel from sludge”. Apart from assessing the state of the art and an evaluation of current technologies for biodiesel-production an output assessment was made on the basis of literature data and own experiments.

Contact Person:
Markus Ellersdorfer

ReNOx

Project outline

Duration :

June 2014 - October 2017

Project type:

funded project (FFG), program "Production of the future, Biobased Industry"; 11th call

Role:

project coordinator

Project partner:

 

 

In the project ReNOx our team developed a new process to recover excess nitrogen in sewage treatment plants (ion exchanger-loop-stripping). With this process a product for industrial flue gas cleaning is made from ammonium-nitrogen.

Together with our partners a mobile pilot-plant was built which was tested in the spring of 2017 at the sewage treatment plant Knittelfeld under real conditions. The denitrification agent produced was successfully used for flue gas cleaning in the cement plant Retznei in fall 2017.

Contact Person:
Markus Ellersdorfer

Next Generation Crude Production

Project outline

Projectname:

Next Generation Crude Production (NeCruPro)

Duration :

April 2014 - June 2015

Project type:

funded project (FFG), program "Production of the future, Biobased Industry"; 2nd call

Role:

project coordinator

Project partner:

OMV, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Energieinstitut an der JKU Linz, ecoduna

 

 

Presently we together with the province of Styria explore whether the ion-exchanger-loop-stripping process developed in our project “ReNOx” is also suitable for the recovery of nitrogen from pig manure. In pig farming large amounts of manure arise every year, which are mostly spread on agricultural areas as fertilizer. This however is allowed only during a few months of the year, so that large amounts of manure have to be stored temporarily. Due to the high nitrogen concentration the accrued manure often cannot be brought out within the allowed periods so that pig breeding enterprises have to rent additional agricultural areas. Therefore both storage and spreading cause high costs.

By applying the ion exchanger-loop-stripping for manure processing and using the recovered nitrogen as an industrial denitrification agent the material flows in agriculture and industry can be combined in a sustainable manner to the advantage of both sides (circular-economy). As on one hand the agricultural nitrogen cycle is relieved, CO2 emissions and energy for the production of conventional denitrification agents (urea) can be saved.

FFG / BMVIT brochure "Production of the future" - project description

Contact Person:
Markus Ellersdorfer