LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTISE - Innovative Solutions for Future Energy and Raw Material Supply
The talks ranged from the coupling of power and heat networks to phosphorous recovery from treated sludge in the rotary kiln process, through to local hydrogen production from renewable energy.
In his talk, bifa project manager Dr. Wolfram Dietz emphasised that enormous efforts are still necessary, if we are to achieve the Paris climate goals and the targeted 95 % CO2 reduction by 2050. Storage technologies and concepts must be urgently developed further in order to balance fluctuations in the supply and demand for wind and solar power. One approach to solving this problem is sector coupling, as explained using the example of the Fuchstal municipality.
Here, the efficiency of the existing energy systems is being increased. The central element is a heat store, which stores surplus electricity in the form of heat. This is fed into a district heating network to supplement the input from an existing biogas plant.
The project was funded by the BMU as part of the "National Climate Protection Initiative".
Under the new sewage sludge ordinance, large wastewater treatment plants are required to recover phosphorous from their treated sludge so that it can be used as fertiliser.
Dr. Wolfgang Spiegel (Managing Director of CheMin GmbH) presented an innovative process to achieve this. The mono-incineration ash produced by the rotary kiln process, can be used directly as a secondary raw material for fertiliser. The recovery of phosphorous can therefore be coupled with the disposal security for treated sludge. As excellent research into the technology of the rotary kiln processes has been undertaken for a long time, this type of sewage sludge treatment is a relatively easy way to recover important raw materials.
Dr. Markus Forstmeier (Head of Business Development and Sales H-TEC SYSTEMS) presented the development of the hydrogen technology. H-TEC SYSTEMS has set itself the goal of converting electricity from renewable energy into hydrogen, in the most cost-effective way possible. To this end, the company is developing electrolysers which use the PEM electrolysis technique with optimum output to break down water into its basic constituents, hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2). The hydrogen acquired in this way can be used for diverse purposes and is an effective method of storage.
The participants were able to view the installation of a 1 MW PEM electrolyser during the subsequent tour of bifa Umweltinstitut’s technical centre.