The EU produced 240.9 million tonnes of waste in 2014. The share of recycled municipal waste was still 28%, up from 11% in 1995. In some EU countries 80% of municipal waste continues to be disposed in landfill sites. There is clear need to minimise the generation of waste and to re-use and recycle it. Improved technologies for energy recovery from waste also have an important role. Turning waste into a resource directly reduces greenhouse gas emissions from landfills and prevents negative local impacts such as landscape deterioration, water and air pollution. Strategies are needed to integrate several technologies to improve the waste management model overall.
The LIFE WASTE2BIOFUEL pilot project aims to reduce the negative impact that suboptimal waste management has on air, water and soil ecosystems. It will develop a process for the thermal treatment of the biomass fraction of municipal solid waste. The process will include pre-treatment and a high-performance modular gasification system that will convert any properly pre-treated substrate into a high calorific value gas. The gas will be further processed into liquid fuel.
The processe will be tested at a pilot plant within the TETma facility in Valencia, Spain. The aim will be to demonstrate the transformation of biowaste into liquid fuels in an energy self-sufficient way. The process will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from waste treatment by an estimated 19%, and will produce biofuel that will be used to run equipment that often operates at landfill sites and in the waste collection lorry fleet. The project will therefore contribute to the implementation of EU waste policies by reducing the environmental impacts of biowaste and the implementation of renewable energy policies by increasing the production of biofuels to contribute to the EU target of biofuels in final energy consumption.