Our waste and wastewater still contain many valuable raw materials, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, fibres, cellulases, various chemicals, but also rare earths and much more. In the future, biowaste and wastewater are to be used as a source of raw materials. In Baden-Württemberg, as in the European Union, a raw material turnaround "closing the loop" is to be initiated. The idea is to recycle more and more raw materials with the highest possible value at a high cascade level (without downcycling), taking into account ecological and economic criteria.
In this context, the Ministry of the Environment, together with the European Union, is promoting the construction and implementation of modular "biorefineries" as pilot and demonstration plants for environmental technologies and bio-intelligent solutions under scientific supervision through the ERDF funding programme "Biorefineries for the recovery of raw materials from waste and wastewater – Bio-Ab-Cycling".
In this way, it can be tested how different processes can be combined, how many raw materials can be obtained and whether this is currently economically viable. Approximately 20 million Euros are available for this purpose. The selection of the projects will take place on 26 May 2021. After successful completion of the projects, these innovative processes can be used at municipal sewage treatment plants, in waste plants or in industry. In this way, they can contribute to a closed material cycle and the "raw material turnaround".