Carbon-Neutral Fuel Developed From Sewage Makes Debut

Once humans discovered they could utilize fossil fuels for power and heat, innovation with sources of energy have been pretty limited to accepted forms. Carbon emissions are linked to pollution and advancing climate change, driving companies to develop eco-friendly solutions and broaden the concept of viable fuels.

Thanks to companies like Ingelia, technological advancements can transform sewage into carbon-neutral biochar. Considering the UN’s emphasis on the need for rapid solutions to halt harmful carbon emissions, the development of waste into fuel is a welcome solution.

Energy Post Haste From Waste

Typically sewage and waste materials created by humans have been left to linger in landfills, or are subject to acceptable but limited disposal methods. Ingelia is an innovative tech company in Spain that has managed to harness the power of hydrothermal carbonization to develop biomass from sewage.

The process is extremely complicated but provides a few different variations of cleaner fuel from recycled material. Biomass refers to the biological material derived from living, or recently living organisms. Biochar is the high carbon content which remains after organic biomass is heated in the absence of oxygen, a process known as the hydrothermal carbonization process. This same process can be used at a lower temperature to create biocoal. Biocoal has similar properties to fossil coal, producing about the same energy as a low-grade fossil fuel.

Biochar, though, has the most promising potential. Once it is created, biochar can be utilized in two ways. It can be used as a valuable soil amendment, because of its high carbon composition. Composts generally lose carbon rapidly after soil addition, but biochar uses carbon sequestration, meaning it traps the carbon in to be used more efficiently and effectively for a longer period of time. The second potential for biochar is the conversion to biofuel through a gasification process. Biochar can be converted in an entrained-flow gasifier into a carbon monoxide and hydrogen-containing fuel gas that is suitable for powering cogeneration units. The conversion of biomass to biofuel creates an opportunity for a cleaner and more sustainable future given the energy demands of today.

For too long, humans have relied heavily on the burning of fossil fuels for energy needs. Ingelia is a leading developer of biofuel, which is a cleaner fuel solution made from recycled waste products

A Smelly Solution

The increasing demand for energy solutions that are sustainable and zero-emission have propelled companies like Ingelia forward. Organic waste and sewage that is transformed into clean-burning biocarbon releases less nitrogen, chlorine, and sulfur into the environment.

Under the right temperature and pressure, compost and sewage are dehydrated into viable fuel, and harmful components are liquefied over a process of eight hours. Since the slurry of waste is processed in closed tanks to reduce noxious odors, biochar can be manufactured closer to populated areas.

Foundations Of Fuel

Creating eco-friendly fuel biochar utilizes collected organic trash and waste, garden waste, and sewage from treatment plants. Before being considered as an untapped sustainable form of energy, sludge would usually get incinerated, buried in a landfill, spread on land, or dumped into waterways.

Due to the processes of sewage and organic matter by Ingelia and other companies, low-cost liquid biofuel, and solid biocoal is available for agricultural and industrial use at a fraction of traditional coal or fertilizers.

Green Energy Powerhouse

Fuel created from sludge, biological waste, and organic waste is beneficial because of the amount of microbial activity it incites, carbon, nitrogen, and fats. Mimicking the natural process of the Earth to create waste into fossil fuels, similar techniques used with petroleum refinement can be applied to waste to produce biofuel in solid and liquid form.

Biochar can be used to power batteries, enrich the soil, or be used to produce biopolymers to develop plastics.

A Carbon Neutral Future Today

Ingelia projects that they will be able to replace up to 220,000 tons of coal with biocoal on an annual basis by 2022. The process of using sewage to develop sustainable, carbon-neutral fuel has been applied to waste plants in Italy, The UK, and other countries.

Biological waste and organic matter are becoming a more widely accepted significant source of energy, as it can be manufactured into liquid and solid fuel in less than a day, compared to a 30-day timeframe. As Ingenia continues to push it’s innovations for fuel forward, other companies around the world are following suit.