Greene Waste to Energy is now working as the scientific and technological coordinator of a project for the production and storage of renewable energy from waste. The Almagreen project will study the recovery of different types of waste to convert them into green hydrogen, biomethane and renewable liquid fuels. Above all it will focus on the study of storing these products for subsequent use in the transport and chemical sectors.
The Almagreen project consortium is made up of six complementary partners and three research centres. Greene will apply the company’s pyrolysis—gasification technology to waste recovery and is studying the implementation of different storage processes for the energy vectors obtained. Meanwhile, waste management company ACTECO is optimising waste collection and sorting in order to recover waste and prevent it from being landfilled.
Project partners Energy GGT, ICUBE, Kerionics, and BCS are responsible for providing technical support in different processes, such as membrane gas separation technology and the development of high-temperature electrolysers.
Almagreen is amongst 22 projects selected in 2020 to receive financial support from the Spanish Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI – Missions Programme) and the ERDF. The project seeks to establish the technological basis of a flexible system for the production and storage of renewable energy, in accordance with the demand and availability of input material (waste). For this purpose, waste of different nature and origin (mainly industrial waste and the MSW reject fraction) will be transformed using thermochemical and biological technologies.
Process technologies will include a combination of pyrolysis, gasification and high-performance electrolysis, along with Greene’s microorganism-based syngas fermentation technology. The end products will include renewable methane (also called biogas or biomethane), obtained through syngas fermentation; green hydrogen; and renewable liquid fuels, achieved through hydrotreatment of pyrolysis oils.
The project is highly innovative and will develop “Power to X”, a new solution that will enable one of the greatest obstacles in the production of renewable energies to be overcome, i.e., the storage of energy that cannot be used at the time of production. In this type of technology, “Power” refers to energy and “X” refers to the by-product into which it is converted. Therefore, “power to hydrogen” and “power to liquid” are technologies that enable the green energy obtained to be converted into hydrogen or liquid fuel, which can be stored for later use.
Director of Business Development at Greene, Juan Manuel Martínez, explains that “this project addresses the challenge of promoting safe, efficient, clean energy sources to achieve decarbonisation of the economy (Sustainable Development Goals 7, 9, 12 and 13), but, above all, it is based on a search for the flexibility that allows this energy to be stored for later use”. Martínez adds that “the results of the Almagreen project are intended to serve as a scientific-technological basis for subsequent stages in which the technology can be implemented on a larger scale. These further stages can be undertaken through other national R&D programmes or through the EU framework programme, in which waste management companies, and companies from the energy and chemical sectors, collaborate as potential end users of the renewable products generated”.
The ultimate goal is to enable gases produced from waste to be availed of. This is a key element of the circular economy model that will reduce CO2 emissions and enable 2030 Agenda targets to be met.