. In 2018 Greene Waste to Energy (Greene) will start work to install and commission a gasification plant to process wastewater treatment sludge in Crete (Greece). The Elche-based company partners in this project with the University of Crete (TUC), the Technology Centre for Energy and Environment (Cetenma) in Murcia, the municipal water and sewerage company in Rethymno, Crete, and British company Enginnov Construction.
The primary goal of the €2 million project is to integrate advanced sludge separation and drying technologies with a gasification plant to produce syngas (gas fuel) using sludge from the wastewater treatment plant based in the city of Rethymno, on the northern coast of Crete. A cogeneration process will transform this gas into electricity and heat with significant energy savings for the facility as it will produce sufficient power to operate and maintain the plant, whilst giving a new use to a waste product (sludge) which currently has no immediate purpose other than being dumped in landfills. Moreover, this sludge gasification process has a neutral carbon fingerprint.
The project was chosen by the European Union for partial funding under the LIFE Programme. This environmental initiative aims to contribute to sustainable development and meeting the objectives and goals of the 2020 Europe Strategy, and is known by the acronym LIFE B2E4 sustainable-WWTP.
As explained by Greene’s Project Manager Enrique Aráez Briegas, “our technology can eliminate the sludge generated by the wastewater treatment process and use it to produce energy using a gasification process. In other words, we turn a problem into an opportunity: we eliminate up to 80% of a waste product such as sludge to produce energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce wastewater treatment costs as the plants are self-sufficient”.
The consortium members and partner entities met on 19 September in Crete to discuss the different phases of the project, which is scheduled to end in 2020. The meeting addressed the most significant technical aspects and set a work plan to complete the construction, installation and commissioning of Greene’s gasification technology during the third quarter of 2018. The day ended with the consortium members visiting the wastewater treatment plant at Rethymno.
The work conducted under this initiative will serve as a basis to replicate this advanced technology solution at other locations where wastewater treatment sludge causes expenses and problems associated with its toxicity and storage in landfills; this procedure will be restricted by European regulations as of 2020. Greene’s gasification technology is an affordable, environmentally feasible and advanced alternative, as endorsed by the use of thermochemical technologies in Northern European countries, considered by many as an example to follow in respecting the environment and managing waste.