Green energy from sewage sludge 

Fossil-free energy by using sewage sludge

In the city of Guiyang, in southwest China, the city government is looking for solutions to safely dispose of the city’s sewage sludge using thermal means and at the same time to make a contribution to sustainable energy supply.

In this context, a consortium of Chinese companies and the city government of Guiyang became aware of the “Dual-Fluidized Bed Steam Gasification (DFB-SG)” technology developed in Austria. This technology, which the Vienna University of Technology and BEST have significantly developed, leads to a safe disposal of the sewage sludge. Thermal treatment destroys harmful substances such as hormones or pathogens. But if that’s not enough, the use of “DFB-SG” can also provide a higher quality product, such as pure hydrogen. This pure hydrogen in turn can be used for a fossil-free energy supply.

In the consulting project that has been running since February 2019, BEST and Vienna University of Technology support the Chinese partner in Guiyang in close cooperation and develop a well-founded concept for establishing the “DFB-SG” technology, which aims to produce a high-quality gas.
Sewage sludge samples are analyzed on site and a process chain is developed based on the data collected. The efficiency of the concept is subsequently determined by calculating the mass and energy flows of this process chain in cooperation with the Vienna University of Technology. Experts from BEST provide advice based on the findings of optimization measures and develop an implementation concept together with the Chinese partners.

The cooperation between BEST, Vienna University of Technology and Guiyang helps to establish Austrian know-how in the Chinese market. On the one hand, this will make the expertise of BEST and the Vienna University of Technology more internationally visible, and on the other hand, it can make an important contribution to achieving the Paris climate targets.

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Claudia Peternell
BEST – Bioenergy and Sustainable Technologies GmbH