Authors: Vittoria Benedetti, Lorenzo Menin, Francesco Patuzzi, Marco Baratieri
CSS1, implemented in WP3, aims at developing a circular economy concept based on the valorisation of wood packaging waste (e.g., pallets) through refurbishing, reusing, recycling, energy recovery, and material valorisation. All CSSs are strongly interconnected and therefore creating a well-developed network of data and material exchange which depends on each other to close the loop foreseen by the application of a circular approach.
The technological core of CSS1 is represented by the gasification process that converts the wooden residues into gas, that is further combusted to obtain renewable thermal energy, and char, a black powdery material. The gasifier can be considered as a carbon-negative system if the flue gases from the gas combustion are treated through a PCC unit for CO2 capture, and both the char produced as by-product and the CO2 captured are further valorised.
In order to close the loop within the boundaries of the FRONTSH1P project, the valorisation of char and CO2 should occur in the same fields of application of the other CSSs. For this purpose, char utilisation will be investigated in connection with CSS2 – a circular approach to food and feed and CSS4 – a circular approach to industrial and urban plastic/rubber waste, while CO2 valorisation will be analysed in the context of CSS4. In CSS2, char will be tested as an additive for compost to enhance the fertility of marginal lands ensuring further reduction of synthetic fertiliser input and providing organic carbon to soil, while in CSS4, it will be tested as possible low-cost substitute of more traditional carbonaceous fillers/black pigments usually employed in the plastics industry. Also, CO2, in its supercritical state, will be valorised in CSS4 serving as expanding agent for the production of plastic foams.
Not only valuable products, but also data will be exchanged among the different WPs. The data collection methodology is being defined in close cooperation with WP2 – regional systemic circular economic approach and other CSSs to analyse the policy framework and the market analysis considering the Łódzkie region as benchmark. The common approach adopted by all CSSs will not only ensure coordination among partners, but also ease the replication phase of all CSSs in other territories. Instead, the data collected during the implementation of WP3 will be transferred to WP7 – impact generation and assessment to help populating the digital platform that will be developed during the project and to WP8 – replication strategies to foster the replication of CSS1 in the region of Central Greece.
The interrelated structure of the FRONTSH1P project mirrors the natural need for the multidisciplinary exchange that nurtures a long-term sustainable industrial symbiosis network. In fact, in FRONTSH1P, we are going to see a reflection of the same expert knowledge transfer, information exchange, stakeholder engagement and material flows that will form the backbone of value creation in a full-scale circular system.
CCS1 represents the springboard for the valorisation of wood residues, underpinned by gasification technology that unlocks the potential of the reintroduction of these materials into active economic cycles. Such enablement is based on the transfer of technical expertise from technology providers to operators, the application of scientific methodologies for the evaluation of the quality of the products obtained, as well as the delivery of performance data required to define and meet technical specifications in downstream operations. From soil fertility enhancement to the manufacturing of plastics composites, the testing of concrete options for circularity will require a close collaboration between diverse actors, where the active contribution of each will be crucial for the systemic success.