Swedish Energy Agency awards grant to HTC industrial demo project in Finland
The Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten) has granted C-Green Technology AB, a Sweden-based process engineering innovation company that has developed a proprietary hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) technology, nearly SEK 22.7 million (≈ EUR 2.2 million) to build a full-scale industrial demonstration plant to convert industrial biosludge into a biocoal fuel. The project will be carried out in cooperation with forest industry major Stora Enso Oyj in Finland.
Using heat and pressure, C-Green Technology has developed a continuous hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC) based process with low external heat demand to transform large amounts of wastewater sludge into a dry clean biocoal that, the company says, performs well as a biomass fuel.
The grant is being awarded under the Agency’s programme for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for industrial verification and commercialization of new energy innovations including pilot and demonstration projects.
After several years of work in the lab and with smaller prototypes, it’s exciting to now build the first industrial full-scale plant. With our innovative solution, we are convinced that, in principle, we can solve the problems surrounding sludge management today, while at the same time making a significant contribution to protecting the climate and the environment, said Erik Odén, CEO of C-Green Technology.
Sludge is a by-product from industry, agriculture and municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). Handling the sludge presents a difficult problem because it is very wet, it can consist of as much as 85 percent water, and may also contain environmentally harmful substances such as heavy metals or pharmaceutical residues. In addition, large amounts of the greenhouse gases (GHG) such as methane (CH4) and nitrous oxides (NOx) are emitted from the sludge when it biodegrades.
C-Green’s solution can make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gases because it has a commercial potential globally. In this project, the technology will be verified in full scale, and it will then be ready for large-scale distribution on the market, said Leif Lyckebäck, Business Developer at the Swedish Energy Agency.
To be built in Finland
C-Green Technology’s industrial-scale demonstration plant will be built at the Stora Enso Heinola Fluting Mill in Heinola, Finland and is expected to become operational during the first half of 2019. Stora Enso Heinola Fluting Mill is an integrated pulp and board mill produces around 300 000 tonnes per annum of semi-chemical (SC) fluting which is used as a raw material in the corrugated board industry.
According to Stora Enso, the SC fluting produced at Heinola has been developed especially for demanding circumstances and tough requirements such as packing and transporting fruit and vegetables, other food products, electronics and products that need heavy duty packaging.
On an annual basis, the HTC plant will convert about 25 000 tonnes of the mill’s biosludge into biocoal. The biocoal will be used in the mill’s boiler which supplies district heat to the city of Heinola. Approximately 13 GWh renewable biofuel will be produced annually while at the same time, the mill’s GHG emissions will be reduced by approximately 7 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2eq).