Dry2Value aims to develop an innovative sludge drying system for urban and industrial wastewater treatment plants, which is economic and economically competitive, efficient and versatile, with a clear contribution to the low carbon and circular economy.

The project

Dry2Value focuses on the development and construction of a prototype sludge drying system capable of drastically reduce moisture content by up to 20% if the application is for agricultural purposes or up to 10% if the option is the recovery of energy. In the case of sewage sludge, it should be noted that simultaneously with the reduction of humidity will be ensured sanitation, preservation of organic substance and decrease the problems related with bad smells. In this way, transport costs will be drastically reduced, allowing for increased storage capacity and greater flexibility in the overall management of sludge in terms of final destination.

The drying system to be developed will be about 30% cheaper in terms of investment cost and will also have the advantage of using flexibly renewable energies (biomass, sludge, biogas and other hot gases possibly available in the industrial process). The drying system must be versatile to allow the use of drying adjuvants which minimize odors, with other industrial wastes currently destined for the landfill (e.g., green liquor dregs from the pulp industry) being favoured.

Briefly, this project is fully aligned with the sustainable development currently advocated by national and European strategies, in the sense that it reduces negative environmental impacts (lower emissions, no waste generation, etc.), contributing unequivocally to the low and circular economy carbon (use of other wastes and use of renewable energy), as well as for society challenges (climate action, environment, energy efficiency and raw materials).

The project is carried out by a consortium composed by HRV - Equipamentos de Processo, S.A. (leading developer), Lena Ambiente, S.A. and the University of Coimbra. Dry2Value converts into an integrated and coordinated instrument between companies and relevant knowledge centres, such as the Department of Chemical Engineering (DEQ) and the Department of Mechanical Engineering (DEM) of the University of Coimbra. The project proposes to create an optimized process of sludge drying that is the symbiosis of the strengths of the technology already in use, but which associates the advantages of a more economical technology with the current market, resulting in two main contributions: selection of the materials than the conventional ones and versatility of the energy sources used. In addition, the modular nature and the control systems to be implemented in the dryer allow two different products to be obtained (dehydrated sludge with about 20% moisture, for agricultural application, sludge with about 10% moisture for energy recovery).

About 60% of HRV's activity is focused to the segment of industries producing biomass pellets (energy source). It will be within this scope of the current opportunities in the context of the green industry and the circular economy that HRV intends to focus its growth bet on new markets and whose project constitutes and materializes this intention. In fact, the Dry2Value project is born out of a rigorous identification of potential clients, who increasingly seek technological solutions capable of reducing the environmental, economic and legal impact caused by the growth of the quantity of waste produced, namely, residual waters.

Dry2Value is a project with R&D characteristics in terms of process technologies, concentrating all its efforts to obtain an innovate technology with specific objectives and determined in the development of a unique technology focused to the sludge drying.

With the support of COMPETE 2020

The project has the support of the COMPETE 2020 in the scope of the System of Incentives to Research and Technological Development, involving an eligible investment of 1.5 million euros which resulted in an FEDER incentive of around 850 thousand euros.



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