Experts at Teesside University are to attempting to help local and regional governments across Europe turn sewage sludge into re-usable charcoal and gas as part of a two year international research project.
The Pyrochar project is supported by a consortium of SMEs and research centres dedicated to the design and development of a process to convert sewage sludge into useful biochar and synthetic gas. The project is aiming to provide small European areas with a solution to managing their sludge problems.
Teesside University’s Technology Futures Institute is one of three research centres selected to contribute to the project, alongside numerous organisations from countries across Europe including Spain, France and Turkey. The Teesside University team is being led by Professor Maria Olea and Dr Chris Ennis who will look specifically at biomass, biochar and gas clean-up techniques.
The project is due to run until October 2015 and will involve the treatment of sludge on site where its total dewatered volume will be reduced by more than 95 percent in order to decrease operating and maintenance costs. The Pyrochar system will also reuse the calorific power of the sludge to fuel its own system, increasing the energy efficiency of the overall system.
“The Technology Futures Institute here at Teesside University has a strong international reputation and we are looking forward to using our expertise to contribute to a project which could result in hugely beneficial outcomes” said Professor Olea.
The Technology Futures Institute is an international leader in key areas of research and innovation related to sustainable engineering, advanced processing, and measurement and control. The Pyrochar project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme managed by the Research Executive Agency.