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Netherlands: SPIE collaborates on a pioneering modular biofuel plant

Published on 25 April 2023

Rotterdam, 25 April 2023 SPIE Nederland, the Dutch subsidiary of SPIE, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, is collaborating on the first Dutch modular plant to convert sewage sludge into biofuel. During Maintenance NEXT, the technology and maintenance fair for the Benelux, SPIE and C-Green have just signed a cooperation agreement to realise such a plant.

C-Green's innovative plant converts wet biomass (sludge) into hydrochar, thus reducing waste while producing a valuable dry product. The process is energy-efficient and produces one kilo of hydrochar for every five kilos of sludge. This organic and environmentally friendly end product is suitable as biofuel and soil improver.

The breakdown process of the sludge by-product typically produces methane gas, which is 30 to 40 times more harmful to the climate than carbon dioxide. Additionally, the collection and transportation of wet sludge involve high costs. The C-Green plant offers a good solution to this environmentally damaging process. By converting sludge into dry matter, no methane gas is produced. Moreover, the volume of matter goes down significantly, making transports more efficient, cheaper, and environmentally friendly.

With its compact design, this plant is composed of ready-to-use modules that can be installed at various locations, such as wastewater treatment plants or pulp mills, and can process up to 25,000 tonnes of sludge per year. Both the storage of the product and the processing of the waste stream can be done on- site.

Installation, management, and maintenance of the pilot plant

SPIE will be able to provide its expertise and its capacity to design, install and maintain C-Green plants in the Netherlands - and possibly other countries in Europe. C-Green’s OxyPower HTC pilot plant is now up and running at REYM Rotterdam site and will process sludge samples from industrial and municipal wastewater treatment. The Netherlands is a high-potential market for C-Green considering its dense population and main industries, such as agriculture and food production. C-Green’s technology can provide a sustainable circular solution for handling the huge amounts of sludge produced there.