Aragonese R + D + i to compete with the landfill


News from the Heraldo de Aragón of 04/08/2018 where they refer to our new PIROCRACK technology:

Sisener Ingenieros and the Instituto de Carboquímica launch with European support a new method to treat solid waste.

Ramón Murillo, scientist and researcher at the Institute of Carbochemistry


The firm Sisener Ingenieros in Zaragoza and the Carbochemical Institute have been supported by the European financing program Horizon 2020 (H2020) for the launch of its Pirocrack project, a new method for treating solid urban waste (MSW) and avoiding the shipment of waste to the landfill, an action for which the community institutions are committed. The ultimate goal is that with small plants designed for this purpose –to be built in the second phase of the project, starting next October– it will be possible to recover waste close to where it is produced, which will reduce costs in waste treatment compared to what is done today (via incinerators or landfills) and be more environmentally friendly.

Pirocrack technology, as indicated by Sisener, consists of the combination of a conventional pyrolysis process and a thermal cracking reaction. Consequently, as conversion products, a carbon with a homogeneous composition is obtained in the pyrolysis reactor and a synthesis gas of high calorific value in the cracking reactor. “The process is not only autothermal but clearly surplus energy that can be used in thermal applications or to generate electricity from an engine or turbine”, explains Javier Sanz Osorio, general manager of Sisener Ingenieros, a company with headquarters in Zaragoza.

The project, according to Sanz and Ramón Murillo, a researcher at the Carbochemical Institute, arises from a generic collaboration agreement that Sisener and the aforementioned center have had for years, which is located on the Río Ebro university campus in Zaragoza and develops its scientific activity in the area of ​​Chemical Sciences and Technologies of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC).

“We want to focus on small-sized facilities, for large facilities there is already incineration. Our goal is to compete with the landfill ”, says Murillo, an experienced CSIC researcher, who states that the plants that would be built for recovery would have a size of 300 square meters.

The advantages of the process

Among the great advantages of carrying out the Pirocrack process, Javier Sanz Osorio highlights its low levels of investment and the possibility of taking advantage of and processing sites where the amount of waste is not large, without forgetting the possibility of generating local employment. That is, medium and small cities or towns, for which there are no good solutions today, since – he emphasizes – incineration is for large plants and gasification is for medium and large plants, but gasification has the additional problem that due to the heterogeneity of the residuals, the results are not good. With the Pirocrack process, on the other hand, «the waste ends up becoming a gas with a high energy content and carbon, with which a homogenization of the waste is obtained (a great problem in the treatment of MSW) and shipments to landfills are avoided , in line with European directives ”, says the Sisener manager.

The emissions generated by the Pirocrack process, also indicate its drivers, are much lower with respect to processes such as gasification and incineration, «since in these, when combustion occurs, dioxins and furans are generated that are tried to alleviate to some extent in the gas cleaning system, but this is applied after combustion, where the degree of dispersion of the particles impairs its efficiency, while in the pyrolysis of our process the cleaning is carried out in the pyrolysis gas itself with minimal dispersion , achieving a much more efficient and very economical result ”.

Expert recycling partners

Sisener Ingenieros and the Instituto de Carboquímica de Aragón have been working together for years on initiatives related to recycling, which is part of their specialization. Together they promoted since 2013 a pioneering project in the recovery of rubber that was stopped by the differences between the Government of Aragon and Gesneuma, a company of the López Soriano group of the PTR that had a public contract for the recycling of end-of-life tires, since the The experimental plant they used was in those facilities. The DGA resolved the Gesneuma contract in 2017 and the promoters of the rubber project, in which Petroeuropa is also involved, are now trying to resume it with new permits.