Greener, a solution for land and water chemical contamination to protect population and ecosystems

We are happy to announce the launch of the Horizon2020 project, Greener. A consortium of 17 European organisations have signed an agreement to work in close cooperation on the soil remediation project.

Greener objective

The main scope of Greener is to solve the problem of the increasing chemical pollution which threats the health of ecosystems and human population, not only in Europe but also worldwide.

Dr Mark Walker, Senior Process Engineer at Exergy, gave us an idea about the magnitude of this problem:

“Land and water contamination is a huge and growing issue. In Europe alone, there are estimated to be around 2.5 million sites that are contaminated and contaminants such as fertilisers, pesticides, heavy metals and metalloids, synthetic dyes hydrocarbons (from oil) can damage ecosystems and public health and result in land that is useless for habitation or farming.”

Exergy's contribution to Greener

Exergy will coordinate the project, as well as facilitate scale up and undertaking research to better understand how Bioelectrical Systems can be used for soil decontamination.

Furthermore, Exergy will assist in the development of a decision-making tool which will allow the appropriate remediation technology to be selected depending on the particular contaminants on the site, their concentrations and other relevant local conditions. In addition, Exergy will help perform energy and exergy analysis in order to optimise the scaled-up technologies.

Dr Walker explained why Greener is a great oportunity to protect human life and ecosystems:

“In GREENER we will focus on sites where several contaminants are present at the same time and develop technologies that can simultaneously remove all of them whilst in some cases generating renewable energy too. With the global cost of remediation predicted to rise to over $80 billion in 2019, and with the number of sites requiring clean-up expected to rise by 50% by 2025, the GREENER project is a great opportunity for Exergy and our partners to protect both human life and natural ecosystems from the harmful effects of contamination all over the globe.”

Project funding

GREENER has secured funding approaching 5 million Euros through the Horizon 2020 program for a duration of 48 months with the aim of producing advanced manufacturing systems and biotechnologies.

Meet the Consortium

EXERGY LTD, a sustainable engineering consultant based in Coventry, the UK, coordinating the GREENER project

AXIA INNOVATION UG, an innovation consultancy firm based in Munchen, Germany

MICROGEN BIOTECH LIMITED, a biotech expert company from Carlow, Ireland

SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS EUROPE SL, a business development and communication company based in Madrid, Spain

TAUW GMBH, аn environmental consultancy based in Moers, German

VERTECH GROUP, an environmental engineering company based in Nice, France

INSTITUT JOZEF STEFAN, a research institute based in Ljubljana, Slovenia

INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY CARLOW, a technology college based in Carlow, Ireland

MATERIA NOVA ASBL, a research centre and laboratory-based in Mons, Belgium

MENDELOVA UNIVERZITA V BRNE, a university in Brno, the Czech Republic

ACONDICIONAMIENTO TARRASENSE ASSOCIACION, a private non-profit association based in Terrassa, Spain

UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE MADRID, a public university in Madrid, Spain

UNIVERSITY OF BATH, a university based in Bath, the UK

UNIVERSIDAD DE BURGOS, a university based in Burgos, Spain

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI CAGLIARI, a university based in Cagliari, Italy

UNIVERSITY OF SURREY, a university based in Surrey, the UK

ACCIONA CONSTRUCCION SA, a renewable energy company based in Madrid, Spain

Exergy Analysis applied to a Power to Gas Plant

Exergy Analysis applied to a Power to Gas Plant

The share of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) for the European power-generation sector has almost reached 30%. Despite that, in the heating and cooling sectors only 20% comes from RES and in the transport sector, 7% was just exceeded in 2016.

In order to enable higher RES penetration, future energy systems would require further development of relevant infrastructures. Many strategies and technologies are being applied and developed and as a new integral and promising approach, power-to-x (PtX) technologies have attracted more supporters since they not only serve for demand-side management and energy storage but also facilitate the substitution of fossil fuels in the sectors of building, industry and transport.

Nevertheless, these systems are known for high capital costs and low roundtrip efficiencies. The system performance depends on the operating point of the electrolyser and system design, particularly the heat exchanger network.

To understand how the system performance is improved from one design to another, component-based exergy analysis can be employed. This will identify the sources and magnitude of the thermodynamic inefficiencies occurring with each component, highlights the components with the highest inefficiencies, and pinpoints the directions for system improvement.

In this paper, we investigate a Solid-Oxide Electrolyzer (SOE) based PtM plant with a fixed-bed catalytic methanator and a membrane module for methane upgrading. We employed a top-down approach to providing optimal system designs step by step from the system concept to optimal conceptual designs. Furthermore, we carried out an exergy evaluation to the system designs in order to understand how exergy dissipation and performance of the overall system and each component vary from one to another.

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