The experimental sludge treatment plant at the San Javier wastewater treatment plant receives an award for its contribution to the circular economy.

The experimental sludge treatment plant at the San Javier
It has been chosen by the European network INtercamBIOM as the best innovative practice with biomass in 2022.

The LIFE DRY4GAS project proposes a sustainable solution to waste management by converting 60 percent into synthesis gas and using the remaining 40 percent to improve the soil quality of crops.

The experimental plant in San Javier for the treatment of sludge and its use for the production of energy for self-consumption, as well as to improve the soil quality of crops, has been recognised as the best innovative practice with biomass in 2022 by the INtercamBIOM network.

This first prize, shared with another waste management project, has been awarded by the European network belonging to the Branches project, implemented in parallel in Spain, Italy, Germany, Poland and Finland. Its objective is to increase the adoption of new technologies and innovative practices in the collection, handling, transformation and use of biomass for energy and other value-added uses.

Ignacio Díaz, managing director of the Wastewater Treatment and Purification Body of the Region (Esamur), said that “the San Javier plant, which has been developed within the framework of the European research project LIFE DRY4GAS, provides a technological and environmentally sustainable solution to the sludge extracted in the wastewater treatment process”.

This waste, separated in the treatment process, is used to generate a synthesis gas (SINGAS), around 60 percent, and the remaining 40 percent is used to improve the quality of the soil for crops or for the production of compost, among other uses.

Díaz stressed that “this initiative promotes the green and circular economy by reusing the waste in the same treatment plant, giving it an energy use and other value-added uses”.

Circular economy

This system contributes to environmental sustainability and the circular economy, as electrical and thermal energy is produced from the gas generated, which is used in the self-supply of the treatment plants themselves, reducing the consumption of traditional energy sources and the carbon footprint.

In addition, the ashes resulting from the sludge heating process will be used to enrich the soil for crops, adding these additional nutrients, thus reducing the use of chemical fertilisers for agriculture.

The LIFE DRY4GAS project, in which Esamur collaborates with other partners from different fields (Ciemat, Aitesa, Rank, EHS and Cebas), has a budget of 3,085,646 euros, of which the Region, through Esamur, contributes 170,308 euros.


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