We were inspired by microorganisms to improve waste treatment

Valoriza Medioambiente, which forms part of the Sacyr Group, has embarked on the MICROUWAS-BIO project, through which it seeks to enhance the biomethanisation process implemented at some of the company’s municipal solid waste (MSW) treatment plants. Biomethanisation or anaerobic digestion is a biological process which, in the absence of oxygen and throughout a number of stages, enables the most degradable fraction of organic matter to be converted into two products: biogas and digestate.

The microbiota is the set of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, etc.) that live in a particular environment. Our digestive system benefits from its presence, as these microorganisms produce energy and vitamins and help absorb calcium and iron.

This set of microorganisms plays a fundamental role in the organic matter treatment processes that take place in waste treatment plants. They use organic matter to carry out their vital functions and, as a result of these processes, produce highvalue industry products such as biogas.

Biogas can be used for energy production, helping to utilize waste and thus promoting the circular economy. A greater understanding of the microorganisms present in the biomethanization process can certainly result in improvements to said process.

For this reason, Sacyr, through Valoriza Servicios Medioambientales (VSM) and together with the Center for Biotechnology and Plant Genomics (CBGP, UPM-INIA) of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) and the National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology (INIA), is launching the MICROUWAS-BIO project.

This R&D project has been financed by the Center for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) using public funds. With this project, Valoriza Servicios Medioambientales wants to make improvements to the biomethanization process used in some of the company’s municipal solid waste treatment plants (MSWTP).

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Ana Benavent Peiró, Optimization, Improvement and Innovation Director at VALORIZA MEDIOAMBIENTE ( SACYR, S.A.)

Published in: FuturENVIRO Nº 72 July-September 2020