Spanish business, Ingelia , that has created a biocarbon product called “biochar” out of sewage waste. In addition to the little pellets giving off zero CO2 emissions, they also give off surprisingly low rates of harmful substances such as sulphur, nitrogen, and chlorine.
“Under specific pressure and temperature conditions, 20 bars and 200ºC, we dehydrate the organic matter and siphon off the humid matter in liquid form,” said Ingelia CEO Marisa Hernández, according to Business Insider. “In other words, we concentrate 95% of the carbon in the waste.”
Not only does the biochar offer a perfect sustainable replacement for burning coal, it also offers a more sustainable solution for sewage treatment. The standard composting process that is currently utilized by most waste treatment facilities requires 30 long days of energy and maintenance.
Ingelia, on the other hand, uses a process called “hydrothermal carbonization” to burn off all of the harmful substances in the sewage until it becomes a hard, dry pellet of fuel. The process only takes about 6 to 8 hours to complete, and because it is kept within a sealed tank, there are little to no bad smells as a result of the procedure.
Furthermore, Ingelia can recycle other forms of biowaste into biochar as well.
“We use the organic collection of trash, the organic portion of municipal waste, sewage from treatment plants, and even waste from gardening,” says Hernández.
The CEO says that she and her business partners are already negotiating with the majority of Spanish waste facilities about implementing their process during the near future. Several sewage plants in Italy, Spain, and the UK have already started using the process to treat thousands of tons of waste.
With the way that the company is progressing, Hernández says that we could be diverting half a million tons of carbon from the atmosphere by 2022.