Researchers of Technology Centre Eurecat-CTM employ cork waste for electricity generation and winery wastewater treatment
The main goal of European project LIFE ECORKWASTE is to demonstrate the feasibility of an innovative strategy ofcork waste valorisation.
Technology Centre Eurecat-CTM (member of TECNIO) participates in the project LIFE ECORKWASTE, whose aim is to valorizethe waste generated by cork industry for winery wastewater treatment and for electricity generation.
Leaded by Universidad Politècnica de Catalunya – BarcelonaTech (UPC), the project counts with the participation of different partners. Along with Technology Centre Eurecat-CTM, the company Typsa, the Catalan Cork Institute and Innovi Catalan Wine Cluster collaborate in this European co-financed initiative, within LIFE framework, with a budget of around two millions euros.
Firstly, the aim of LIFE ECORKWASTE is to demonstrate the effectiveness of an artificial wetland, filled with cork waste particles, as winery wastewater treatment system. The cork will be employed as absorbing material of organic contaminants, which are difficult to be eliminated with conventional treatment systems. This, in turn, will improve the quality of waste effluent from cellars.
Secondly, cork waste particles will be used as fuel in a thermal gasification process aimed at generating electricity. In this case, a part from cork waste reduction, clean thermal energy produced in this process can be employed within cork industry.
Two experimental pilot plants will be designed and constructed during the three years duration of the project. Specifically, an artificial wetland will be deployed on the grounds of ‘cava’ producer Codorniu, and a gasification pilot plant will be implemented in the headquarters of Technology CentreEurecat-CTM, in the city of Manresa. Eventually, environmental and social improvement of the developed solutions will be assessed.
LIFE ECORKWASTE also aims at promoting social awareness of the impact on the environment of waste generation and the benefits of its recovery, through social participation and stakeholders’ involvement. This encourages the acceptance of recovery strategy developed and its implementation in wineries as well as other industrial sectors.