Vision & problem statement
Waste-squared will turn digestate from the anaerobic digestion process into 2 energy streams in order to maximize the energy potential of the original biomass input. Current management strategies such as drying, chemical treatment, or physical separation are used but are often very energy intensive, expensive, and may generate additional waste products. There is therefore a growing need for optimized management strategies to ensure a safe, efficient, and cost-effective way to process digestate.
Using hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) as a post-treatment for digestate. With a relatively simple and standalone HTC unit, we aim to turn an underutilized waste stream into several value added products with only one additional processing step. While digestate is often dewatered and applied to soil as a fertilizer, nutrient loading regulations, contamination issues with pathogens and heavy metals, and excess remaining organic compounds often limit the direct applicability of digestate in the agricultural setting. Because of this, digestate production is outpacing application capabilities, forcing countries like the Netherlands to export digestate to neighboring countries. Our solution would prevent large transport with a growing biogas market and create additional energy in the process.
About the team
We are a team comprised of students with different backgrounds but a similar drive for creating tangible positive impacts. This includes experts in the fields of Biorefinery, Biochar, Aquaculture, Carbon cycling, GIS, Circular Economics and Landscape Architecture. We want to turn ideas born out of tinkering into viable climate solutions.
One-liner that describes your team
We optimise the treatment of digestate for maximum energy recovery in a single additional processing step