Meet our member AquaGreen

25. February 2020

The new member AquaGreen has developed a steam drying and pyrolysis (DTP) technology that addresses the challenges of biomass disposal in a sustainable and cost-effective way.

Agriculture alone accounts for 22-24% of greenhouse gas emissions in Denmark, but by implementing AquaGreen’s technology for treating manure, more than half of this greenhouse gas emissions can be eliminated. In addition to eliminating greenhouse gas emissions, AquaGreen’s solution eliminates the pollutants and removes some of the heavy metals.

Therefore, this technology can be used for the treatment of all types of biomass, including municipal sewage sludge, biogas residual fibers, sludge from the aquaculture industry, industrial sludge from dairies, breweries, slaughterhouses, the biochemical industry and all other places where sludge with organic content is found. In addition, the technology can also be used to pyrolyze garden / park waste.

About AquaGreen

AquaGreen was founded in 2014 and today has 9 employees. Their technology has been developed in collaboration with DTU Kemiteknik and in the development phase emphasis has been placed on the efficiency of the steam dryer itself and on the integration between steam dryer and pyrolysis. AquaGreen’s technology reduces the weight of the sludge to approx. 10% of the original quantity. The sludge is dried with 200 ° C superheated steam and the dry biomass is subsequently pyrolyzed at approx. 650 ° C, whereby combustible gases are formed, which are burned and thereby energy is generated for both the pyrolysis and drying process. The residual products from the process are surplus heat (hot water), which can be used locally or connected to the district heating system, as well as a biochar, which is a pure fertilizer product.

AquaGreen is now facing having to scale up the technology to a size that suits most Danish wastewater companies’ sludge production and the large biogas plants. Therefore, there is a desire to develop a burner system that ensures even lower emissions and is inexpensive in construction and operation, especially since the profitability of this type of sludge treatment does not allow large plant sums and high operating costs.

“A project like the CTI project is of great importance to a company like AquaGreen. The market potential for our technology is incomprehensibly large and there are therefore many players who want to move into this market. It is therefore very important that we ensure that our technology is constantly more efficient and developed than the alternatives, and this is what the CTI project helps to ensure ”. Henning Schmidt-Petersen, COO, AquaGreen ApS
Project goals:

AquaGreen is a Lead Partner in one of the innovation projects that in 2019 have been granted support through the CTI project. The project has received a total of DKK 1,080,000 in support from CLEAN’s support program CTI.

Their motivation for participating in the support program is to get help to dimension a combustion chamber that can provide optimal combustion. The burner must be flexible in relation to a varying input of pyrolysis gas as well as comply with legal requirements for residence times at certain temperatures. The burner must be flexible in relation to a varying input of pyrolysis gas as well as comply with legal requirements for residence times at certain temperatures.

Specifically, AquaGreen, in collaboration with DTU’s leading researchers in the field of combustion, and a manufacturer of ceramic burners, wants to develop an even better combustion system for pyrolysis gas, which:

  • has optimal mixing of pyrolysis gas and air
  • is flexible in relation to varying gas volumes
  • is flexible in relation to varying gas quality
  • complies with requirements for residence times and temperatures
  • reduces NOx emissions and ensures compliance with regulatory requirements
  • is integrable with the current design of the combined steam dryer and pyrolysis plant

“We have over a long period of time worked closely with DTU and other knowledge institutions such as RUC, KU, AU and others. and it is very inspiring to be involved in a research environment where you research the latest developments in the technologies we deal with. At the same time, we find it very exciting and developing to collaborate with other companies that have specialized and possess a specialist knowledge within parts of our subject area ”Henning Schmidt-Petersen, COO, AquaGreen ApS.

About CTI

The energy and environmental technology sector faces a number of development needs in relation to developing new innovative products, solutions or concepts. The CTI (Clean Tech Innovation) project offers a 3-year support program where small and medium-sized companies together with DTU can develop environmental and energy technology solutions and products. CLEAN also has four programs that cover other regions in Denmark.