The solution: neutralize CO2, Prevent methane and generate energy.
In the ongoing discussion about global warming one remarkable aspect has until now largely escaped consideration: The huge CO2 and methane emissions produced by unused biomass. Every day, year in year out. Which means that the everyday decomposition of dead plant material results in the production of innumerable tons of CO2 which is continuously making its way into the atmosphere. All over the world.
AVA-CO2 has developed an industrially applicable process, which exploits exactly this process to produce energy. Now, in cooperation with international research institutes, it is presenting the impressive result. CO2 neutral, CO2 negative, decentralized and profitable: industrial hydrothermal carbonization.
Hydrothermal carbonization can, in a simplified approach, be described as being a conversion process for biomass. Organic (plant) matter in an aqueous suspension is transformed into a lignite-like product at temperatures of 180 – 220o C and under increased pressure. The resulting CO2-neutral biocoal can be burnt or be employed in the standard industrial applications for lignite. The process transforms all carbon from the vegetable waste to coal (100% carbon efficiency). No CO2 or methane are released in the process. In addition to biocoal, the process can also produce biochar. As a component in soil improvement products, biochar contributes to the sustainable improvement of arid and depleted soils. In addition, AVA biochar binds CO2 in the soil, ensuring long term removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Hydrothermal carbonization transforms biomass into CO2-neutral coal in an anaerobic chemical process that splits hydroxide anions (HO-) and hydrogen cations (H+) off the organic molecules, releasing them as water (H2O). The dehydrated organic molecules combine to a multitude of different carbon compounds. This process is very similar to that of natural carbonization. As water is a highly stable molecule, the removal of each water molecule from the organic molecules releases energy. This means that HTC is a highly efficient exothermic process.
An overview of the advantages:
- CO2-neutral process
- Highest CE value of all technology options (HTC = 100% / Biogas = 50%)
- Wet process – Biomass can be used without expensive pre-drying
- Accepts numerous biomass types
- HTC can also process problem wastes that currently require expensive disposal
- Not in competition with foodstuff production, as only biogenic waste is used
- Proven, robust, tried-and-tested technology
- Intensive exothermic process
- Self-contained process without odor or noise emissions
- Low investment costs due to proven, tried-and-tested technology and moderate pressure and temperature conditions
- Low maintenance costs due to the proven, robust technical implementation
- Straightforward technical operation of the components. No special knowledge required
- 100% environmentally friendly; residual water is ecologically harmless
- Resulting carbon is easily filtered
- In addition to biocoal for combustion purposes, HTC can also produce biochar for soil improvement