Hybrid Biochemical and Thermochemical conversion of Slaughterhouse biowaste for Renewable Energy production


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Overall Objectives

The overall objective of the BIOTHEREP Circular project is to create a novel and economically viable integrated processes that will help convert slaughterhouse activities into environmentally friendly as well as sustainable practices and reduce the risk of soil, climate, and water pollution.

BIOTHEREP aims to develop an integrated strategy to produce bioenergy from slaughterhouses wastes, and to implement solutions responding concretely to the global and regional objectives of sustainable development in a circular economy aspect. The primary ambition of the project is to propose effective, optimized, and smart multidisciplinary technological solutions to the nowadays problems of SHW management affecting seriously climate-soil-water resources.

Context: why is this action necessary?

Population growth drives up local demand for food and energy resources and induce a negative impact on the ecosystems due to waste accumulation and greenhouse gas emissions. Slaughterhouses produce large amounts of solid and liquid waste, containing a high organic load, which constitutes a threat to ecosystems and a risk to human health. Their management is even more challenging as it is complicated by the overconsumption of water.

The blood, stomach contents, urine and feces of the animals and possibly other organic constituents are drained with the cleaning water to the sewage system. Because the slaughterhouse waste (SHW) contains large amounts of fats, proteins, lipids, and organic matter, it becomes a potential source for producing biogas (methane), biohydrogen and other value-added products. The bioenergy produced can support addressing rural population energy needs in rural areas, and energy self-sufficiency for slaughterhouses.

What are the concrete actions that will be implemented?

The project will executed by implementing a fully circular processing of waste streams, into energy and other valuable by-products.

The BIOTHEREP approach combines biochemical (BCC) and thermochemical conversion (TCC) (pyrolysis, gasification) processes to produce renewable energies. The obtained solid digestate from BCC will be processed by a TCC to produce biochar by pyrolysis, and syngas by gasification. The biochar will be used as a precursor for improving CH4 and H2 production, and for in-situ CO2 removal. Syngas (mainly H2 and CO) could be used as a fuel to produce thermal energy. This hybrid system outputs are contributing to the bioenergy production, and are good local and regional alternatives to imported activated carbons and conventional energy sources.

What is the expected impact of the project?

One of the main results of the project will be the development of an optimal integrated system of waste management and energy production adapted to slaughterhouses. This system could be implemented directly in slaughterhouses in Africa, but also could be transferred to any other slaughterhouses which face similar problems related to SHW disposal or inefficient energy supply, mainly those who are located in rural areas.

Overall, in BIOTHEREP, several sustainable development goals are targeted. The project has an environmental and social impact on the African continent and responds to population needs. By becoming more energy efficient through the implementation of this integrated approach, the regional slaughterhouse sector can strengthen its competitiveness and growth. Results obtained could be used beyond this project for investigation in further R&D or international development projects.