The Baden-Württemberg Ministry for the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector, together with the EU Commission, is funding the construction and implementation of five modular biorefineries as part of the ERDF funding programme "Bio-Economy Bio-Ab-Cycling".
In a sustainable bioeconomy, wastewater and waste treatment plants become important suppliers of raw materials. The aim is to obtain raw materials for products from waste and wastewater, which are then returned to the economic cycle and put to economic use.
In sewage treatment plants, for example, platform chemicals such as amino acid, ammonium or hydrogen can be extracted from wastewater. Products can also be obtained from biowaste, such as fibres for use in flower pots or polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), a biodegradable substance used to produce biobased plastics, or fertiliser and biogas.
Through the funded projects, processes that already work on a small scale are combined and tested in demonstration and pilot plants in the sense of a refinery. This is an important intermediate stage before the processes are used in municipalities or industry.
A total of about 19 million euros in funding will be used, of which about 7,7 million euros will come from the European Union and about 11,2 million euros from the State of Baden-Württemberg. In addition, the state is funding the Expert initiative for the recovery of raw materials from waste and waste water as an innovation ecosystem, i.e. as a spatially limited cluster in which various players network with each other to jointly drive innovation.