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Chementator Briefs

By Gerald Ondrey |

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Sludge to fuel

Bio-sludge is a byproduct of the wastewater treatment process at Stora Enso Oy’s (Helsinki, Finland; www.storaenso.com) Heinola fluting mill in Finland. In the past, the mill had been burning the bio-sludge at the power station for generating thermal power, but this required additional fossil-based fuels to support the combustion due to the large water content of the sludge. In an effort to meet the mill’s long-term goal to achieve carbon neutrality in production, the company started up (in 2019) an industrial-scale pilot plant that dries the wet bio-sludge in an energy-efficient way, using pressure and heat, into a solid fuel. The plant uses a process developed and patented by C-Green Technology AB (Solna, Sweden; www.c-green.se). “Our process, OxyPower HTC, uses an innovative application of hydrothermal carbonization, which converts complex organic compounds into sterile odorless biofuel,” says Erik Odén, CEO of C-Green.

The pilot plant processes 16,000 metric tons of biowaste per year. The resulting biofuel is used in the mill’s power boiler and to heat the nearby town of Heinola, with about 20,000 inhabitants. Heinola Mill has been providing district heat to the city and its residents since the 1980s.

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