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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

Waste-to-fuels demo plant, research facility opens in Vienna

Image: Smart City Vien

A demonstration facility has opened in Vienna, Austria, at the site of a waste-incineration plant where syngas from wood waste, sewage sludge and paper-industry residues is cleaned and, using a gas-to-liquid process such as Fischer-Tropsch, converted into a crude oil. This can then be further refined into renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The research currently underway is part of the Waste2Value project.

“This plant is a milestone for the circular economy,” said Karl Gruber, the managing director of Wien Energie. “Here we turn waste and residues into green fuels and comparable industrial raw materials, thereby promoting climate protection in the city. The technology used here is promising. In the future, such a plant on an industrial scale could have up to 10 million liters (more than 2.64 million gallons) of green fuel per year and thus save up to 30,000 tons of fossil CO2.”

This would be enough climate-neutral fuel to run the entire public bus fleet in Vienna. A bus test operation with the green fuel is also planned as part of the research project.

In addition to the manufacturing of biobased diesel, the production of green gas or green hydrogen is also part of the Waste2Value research project’s medium-term goals.

“The DFB gas production pilot plant, which was successfully put into operation as part of the Waste2Value project, is the heart of the Syngas Platform Vienna,” said Walter Haslinger, managing director of BEST Bioenergy and Sustainable Technologies GmbH. “It enables us to carry out ambitious, applied research in core areas of the biobased economy and circular economy and provides a research infrastructure of international visibility. The Vienna Syngas Platform makes it possible—the demonstration of process chains for the processing of previously unused and inferior raw materials into high-quality products for the energy industry, the transport sector and the chemical industry.”

As part of the Waste2Value project, a team from different areas and disciplines is researching the manufacturing of these products. BEST is in charge of project management. In addition to Wien Energie and SMS group Process Technologies, Wiener Linien, Wiener Netze, the Austrian Federal Forests and Laakirchen Papier AG are also involved in the project. Scientific partners are the Vienna University of Technology and the Luleå University of Technology. The project is funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).



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