Process

How the B-PLAS technology works

B-PLAS – FROM WASTE TO VALUE

Wastewater sludge is a particular type of waste that has issues regarding both the economy and the environmental field.

The CO2 emission and the economic expenses for waste handling have an enormous impact on the economy and the environment.

B-PLAS process turns slurry waste into a biodegradable and bio-based polymer maintaining a circular economy approach. The innovation of B-PLAS technology consists of several steps.

1.Hydro-Thermal Carbonization (HTC)

The sludge is heated in the reactor at high temperature and pressure to solubilize important substances otherwise impossible to retrieve.

2. Anaerobic Digestion

The treated sludge is converted into volatile fatty acids (VFAs) by anaerobic bacteria in thermophilic conditions.

3. Filter press

Anaerobic digested sludge is treated by filter press technology for solid-liquid separation. The solid residue (cake) is suitable for agricultural spreading while the liquid, enriched of VFAs, is sent to the aerobic fermentation.

4. Aerobic fermentation

In this stage, Mixed Microbial Culture (MMC) digests the VFAs through a process that selects only bacteria capable of accumulating Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs).

5. Green Extraction

Under pressure, a hot pressurized green solvent solubilizes and extracts PHAs from aerobic bacteria.

In simple vacuum evaporation, PHA is separated from the solvent that is collected and recycled, leaving the purified polymer.

6. A sustainable product

Benefits:

  • Valuable product (PHA) from feedstock with negative value (sewage sludge)
  • Biodegradable and biocompatible polymer capable of reducing fossil-based plastic presence
  • Competitive price with other type of bioplastics
  • Wide variety of application fields such as 3D printing, agriculture foils and films, packaging (secondary and tertiary), disposable items and more over.

Download the Interactive Virtual Tour.
Then, unzip the .zip file (240MB), navigate in the virtual-tour-bplas folder, and double-click on the file browser06.exe to start interaction with the 3D model of the plant.