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Thanks to small-scale anaerobic digestion they can recover urban waste, generating biogas and value-added bioproducts.

The Decisive project studies the feasibility of installation in an urban environment small anaerobic digesters associated with Stirling engines. Circular neighborhood economy: how to produce energy at km 0.

Add value to organic waste by transforming it into energy in the same place where it is produced. This is the objective set by the partners of DECISIVE, a European project to create mini-plants for the production of biogas from organic waste. The idea is to verify the economic viability and functionality of small anaerobic digesters coupled with Stirling engines: the first allow waste to be transformed into biogas, the second are external combustion engines which transform thermal energy into electricity.

The current social, economic and environmental context – explain the project partners – requires the development of systems based on the circular economy that integrate the management of organic waste, such as biorefineries and local compost producers. These systems, which produce energy from small-scale municipal bio-waste, still have little space in Europe. Several eco-district projects are currently proposed, such as KREIS in Hamburg, Germany, but they are largely based on decentralized treatment of wastewater (Cleaning of wastewater by production of electricity). However, there is no parallel approach to changing food consumption patterns. “

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DECISIVE proposes to develop a decentralized management system for the recovery of waste by anaerobic digestion on a small scale. In operation, this type of system should have an annual capacity of between 50 and 200 tonnes, which would allow it to work with waste from groups of dwellings and small commercial catering establishments.

Among the expected results, that of verifying the benefits of two pilot mini-factories, in Lyon and Barcelona. The first was built on a farm and will be used to test the compatibility of organic waste management with urban agriculture; the second, installed on a university campus, will assess its functionality in a purely urban context.

More information: decisive2020.eu