Anagrafe della ricerca

AGROMET - An integrated environmental sustainable approach for the valorization of wet agroindustrial wastes to biomethane

Durata:
24 mesi (2025)
Responsabile scientifico:
Tipo di progetto:
Ricerca Nazionale - PRIN
Ente finanziatore:
MINISTERO (Ministero dell’Università e della Ricerca)
Codice identificativo progetto:
2022EX89KF
Ruolo PoliTo:
Partner

Abstract

Agricultural production and agro-food industry generate large volume of liquid wastes and solid residues which cause severe pollution problems if not properly managed or treated. On the other hand, the large amount of organic matter produced can represent a new resource if adequately managed and upgraded to fuels and high value products, according to a bio-refinery approach. On this account, AGROMET focuses on the valorisation of wet agroindustrial wastes (WAW) to obtain methane-rich stream production. Particularly, since Sicily is the second largest region in Italy where waste management is a critical issue, wastes from citrus industries are selected as raw materials. Accordingly, AGROMET implies the integration of hydrothermal liquefaction, HTL process (endothermic) and catalytic gasification in supercritical water conditions, SCWG (exothermic), as a successful strategy to obtain CH4 from wet biomass. HTL process would allow the pre-processing of the wet biomass into aqueous and biocrude fractions, both feeding the SCWG reactor operated in presence of selective non noble-metal based catalysts. This approach will overcome the main restrictions linked to the need of expensive drying pre-treatments required by classical gasification and the presence of inorganic compounds in the mixture which limit the catalyst lifetime during the SCWG. In addition, based on chemical composition of feedstock, suitable technologies for the extraction of added value chemicals from raw WAW and oily/solid fractions produced will be evaluated while a crucial step would consist in the detoxification of the process water by the catalytic wet air oxidation (CWAO) for water recovery and/or reuse. The SCWG reactor will be loaded with structured catalysts prepared by a 3D robocasting machine, based on ink-paste micro-extrusion as a powerful tool to properly control the multifunctional features of the solid system. Catalyst development will be supported by i) in-depth chemico-physical characterization of fresh and used systems, ii) testing results in lab-scale reactors and iii) computational-modelling. Structure-activity relationships and key-factors affecting the catalytic performance will be defined to optimize materials development. The sustainability of the whole process ideally based on a zero-waste approach will be evaluated by LCA tools. Maximum CH4 productivity will be predicted by multi-scale simulation, from DFT to process simulation. Scientific challenges concerning process intensification, catalyst and reactor design, quantomechanical modelling and sustainability analysis will be addressed by a highly competent team with complementary skills following a multidisciplinary cooperative approach. By valorising waste-to-fuels, AGROMET will positively impact on the social context exporting a new agricultural development model, in which a diversified energy supply is able to influence not only local economies, but also environmental policies on a large scale

Dipartimenti coinvolti

Parole chiave

Settori ERC

PE8_9 - Production technology, process engineering

Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile (Sustainable Development Goals)

Obiettivo 7. Assicurare a tutti l’accesso a sistemi di energia economici, affidabili, sostenibili e moderni

Budget

Costo totale progetto: € 229.414,00
Contributo totale progetto: € 197.498,00
Costo totale PoliTo: € 59.131,00
Contributo PoliTo: € 52.559,00