Abengoa, the Seville-based sustainable technologies company, has started operations at the demonstration plant that uses waste-to-biofuels (W2B) technology.
The plant has a capacity to treat 25,000 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW), from which up to 1.5 million liters of bio-ethanol will be produced for use as fuel.
The demonstration plant in Babilafuente (Salamanca, Spain) uses W2B technology developed by Abengoa to produce second generation bio-fuels from MSW using a fermentation treatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. During the transformation process, the organic matter is subjected to various treatments to produce organic fiber that is rich in cellulose and hemicellulose, which can subsequently be converted into bio-ethanol.
Furthermore, Abengoa’s technology is not just limited to treating the organic fraction of MSW but also enables the remaining components to be used, whether recyclable, non-recyclable or other plastics, by means of different technologies to obtain biodiesel and to recover energy to generate steam and electricity.
The new plant incorporates the infrastructure of the biomass plant that has been run continuously for more than 6,000 hours in order to validate the technical and economic viability of the technology. This is an innovative treatment that represents a revolution in the management of MSW. The design allows the plant to be operated flexibly in order to assess the performance and costs of different configurations.
Abengoa has spent years working on a solution that will efficiently manage MSW while also producing energy in a sustainable way. As a result of its work in this field, Abengoa has proprietary technology for producing bio-ethanol using biomass as the raw material, from different sources. The technology has been successfully proven at its pilot plant in York in the US state of Nebraska, and at its demonstration plant in Salamanca (Spain).