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A project involving several entities will allow biodegradable plastic waste to be converted into green energy

The objective is to valorize biodegradable plastic waste through anaerobic co-digestion treatments with sludge from the WWTP.

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A project involving several entities will allow biodegradable plastic waste to be converted into green energy

The objective is to valorize biodegradable plastic waste through anaerobic co-digestion treatments with sludge from the WWTP.

VALENCIA, 20 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) -

The Valplast project, in which the Plastics Technological Institute (Aimplas), the Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Iiama-UPV), the Calagua Group UPV-UV Mixed Unit and the Global companies participate Omnium Medioambiente and Fych Technologies will allow biodegradable plastic waste to be converted into green energy.

This work seeks to implement an alternative in the management of biodegradable plastic packaging waste that is different from the current one and aligned with the principles of the circular economy, as reported by the technological institute in a statement. The main objective of the project is to valorize biodegradable plastic waste through anaerobic co-digestion treatments with sludge from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and, in this way, obtain a biogas stream that can be used as an energy vector and a digestate to be used in agriculture.

Valplast (Valorization of bioplastics through anaerobic co-digestion in wastewater treatment plants) is a strategic project that is financed by the Valencian Institute of Competitiveness and Innovation Ivace i, under the framework of the strategic projects in cooperation 2023 of the European Union.

"The main innovation of the project is to conceive bioplastics as a resource that can be valorized and transformed into green energy," highlight the researchers participating in the project. To do this, the degradation of various plastics will be studied through biological treatment with sludge from an urban wastewater treatment plant under anaerobic conditions, both on a laboratory and pilot scale.

At the same time, the possible effect of the additives used in the synthesis of plastics (conventional and bioplastics) will be evaluated, both in the anaerobic treatment process and in the subsequent quality of the digested sludge, as its main application is the use agricultural.

Also, work will be done on the development and optimization of instrumentation and control systems of the pilot plant, as well as on the analysis of costs and life cycle, "essential to be able to evaluate the environmental and economic sustainability of the proposed treatment", they highlight from the consortium.

After the recovery process, it is also intended to analyze the presence of microplastics in the sludge, for which the analysis methodology developed by Aimplas in the previous Microplast and Prevenplast projects will be used, thanks to which the measurement of these is possible. emerging contaminants in both wastewater and sludge generated in treatment plants.

All of this will develop a methodology for the energy recovery of bioplastics in WWTP digesters that will allow "better management of this waste, since it will enable its energy use."

Valplast lasts 28 months and has the participation of researchers from the Calagua group of Iiama-UPV Joaquín Serralta (principal investigator), José Ferrer, Ramón Barat and Daniel Aguado. Aimplas participates in the work through its Microplastics Laboratory led by researcher Juan Francisco Ferrer Crespo.

Similarly, the emerging company Fych Technologies S.L. It also participates within the consortium of companies through its laboratories and the pilot plant located in the Alicante Science Park (PCA) under the supervision of doctors and co-founders Andrea Cabanes and Oksana Horodytska, with specialization mainly in the delamination of multilayer containers, in the deodorization and decontamination of plastics.

Thus, the consortium constitutes a multidisciplinary team that covers the plastic recycling sector, wastewater treatment and the development and application of new knowledge such as universities and technological centers.