Anwendungen

TerraNova Energy

Applications

We are pioneers in the thermal treatment of organic waste and sludge. For this purpose, we use the platform technology of thermal hydrolysis process (THP) and hydrothermal carbonization (HTC). The typical applications are:
TerraNova Energy - Abwasser

Wastewater

“As a pioneer in thermal treatment of sewage sludge, we optimize sewage sludge treatment by reducing residual waste, lowering transportation costs, generating more digester gas, improving energy efficiency and recovering phosphorus”

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Solutions

TerraNova®ultra, TerraNova®lysis

TerraNova Energy - Bioabfall

Biowaste

“As a pioneer in biowaste upgrading, we improve the environmental footprint of projects and produce a climate-friendly, storable energy source”

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Solutions

TerraNova®ultra

TerraNova Energy - Biogas

Biogas plants

“As a pioneer in the thermal treatment of biomass, we increase the yield and efficiency of biogas plants and lead the residual materials to further, sustainable use.“

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Solutions

TerraNova®ultra, TerraNova®lysis

TerraNova Energy - Düngemittel

Fertilizer

“As a pioneer in the thermal digestion of biomass, we recover high-quality fertilizer substances from bio waste”

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Solutions

TerraNova® Phosphorous recovery

Wastewater

Sewage sludge is a by-product of wastewater treatment. This consists of approximately equal parts of fecal matter and activated sludge, which forms during the biological treatment process. During the treatment process, the nutrients (phosphorus, nitrogen and carbon) and pollutants contained in the wastewater are separated and discharged via the sewage sludge. Traditionally, sewage sludge has been disposed of in landfills or used in agriculture as fertilizer. With higher environmental standards, this disposal is becoming restricted and must be replaced by safe disposal paths, which on the one hand are associated with higher costs, but on the other hand allow a beneficial utilization of the resource sewage sludge.
TerraNova Energy - Abwasser

Wastewater

Sewage sludge is a by-product of wastewater treatment. This consists of approximately equal parts of fecal matter and activated sludge, which forms during the biological treatment process. During the treatment process, the nutrients (phosphorus, nitrogen and carbon) and pollutants contained in the wastewater are separated and discharged via the sewage sludge. Traditionally, sewage sludge has been disposed of in landfills or used in agriculture as fertilizer. With higher environmental standards, this disposal is becoming restricted and must be replaced by safe disposal paths, which on the one hand are associated with higher costs, but on the other hand allow a beneficial utilization of the resource sewage sludge.
TerraNova Energy - Abwasser

The use of the TerraNova® process offers the following advantages for the recycling of sewage sludge:

Reduction of the disposal quantity

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Advantage:

Cost savings

After mechanical dewatering, which is the final treatment step at most wastewater treatment plants, a high water content of about 80% remains in the sewage sludge. This water is bound intercellularly and can no longer be removed by conventional mechanical processes. This results in a large disposal volume, high transport costs and, in the case of incineration for safe disposal, a high energy demand.

TerraNova®ultra reduces this volume to only a quarter. On the one hand, the process enables energy-saving separation of the previously bound sewage sludge water; on the other hand, carbon and nitrogen in the sewage sludge are also broken down and separated in an exothermic reaction during the process, so that the residual volume and thus the disposal costs for the sewage treatment plants are significantly reduced.

The remaining TerraNova® coal is self-combustible and ideally suited as a regenerative fuel for the substitution of fossil fuels in cement plants, coal-fired power plants or waste incineration plants.

Innovative sludge stabilization

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Advantage:

Energy savings, avoidance of new digester construction

These processes include anaerobic or aerobic treatment stages, the aim of which is to reduce the biological activity of the sewage sludge and to reduce organic matter. Since these are biological processes, long treatment times in correspondingly large digestion plants or a high energy input for aerating the sewage sludge in the aerobic stage are required. In addition, the desired degradation of organics is not effective there – less than half of the organics are degraded, since the bacteria convert only the easily metabolizable fraction within the treatment time. As a result, there is still a residual material that must be disposed of.

The TerraNova® systems, on the other hand, convert almost all of the organic matter and stabilize it in the form of TerraNova® coal. This results in a much higher conversion efficiency and no residual material remains. In addition, the plants are smaller in size, require less energy and take up less space. The cost analysis shows that the TerraNova® process has lower total costs than plants for anaerobic sludge digestion, even for smaller wastewater treatment plants.

Full costs

Increase biogas yield

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Advantage:

More renewable energy, better digestion of organics

Biogas plants for digestion of sewage sludge achieve significant yield increases by integrating a TerraNova® system. Treatment takes place both before and after digestion:

TerraNova®lysis performs a novel, intensive thermal hydrolysis process (THP) of the input material. In this process, the material is pre-treated at temperatures of 160-170°C for a particularly long period of several hours to enable more effective anaerobic conversion to biogas by the bacteria in the subsequent digestion process. This results in an increase in biomethane potential (BMP) of about 35% for sewage sludge, for example – one of the highest values compared to other processes.

In addition to the long treatment time, the special feature of TerraNova®lysis is its ability to process even material with a very high dry matter content of up to 30%. This enables small, compact plants. The energy consumption of the process is very low due to the integrated heat recovery, the high concentration of the material to be treated and the absence of steam as a heat transfer medium, amounting to only 110 kWh of heat and 16 kWh of electrical energy per ton of input.

If, in addition, the remaining digested sludge is further processed in a downstream TerraNova®ultra plant and the carbon rich water separated in the process is returned to the digester, the bio-methane yield increases by a further 15% as the water contains large amounts of easily degradable carbon.

This patented process combination increases the overall bio-methane yield by up to 50% compared to the current state of the art and significantly improves the economic viability and conversion efficiency.

Phosphorus recovery

The TerraNova® process for phosphorus recovery enables direct recovery from sewage sludge without the need for prior drying and incineration. It thus significantly simplifies the process chain and saves investments and operating costs. In addition, due to the mild process conditions, the TerraNova® phosphorus fertilizer is easily available to plants and achieves the highest fertilizing effect compared to other processes.

Experiment results

With a recovery rate of 60 – 70%, the patented TerraNova® process is the most effective process available on the market for direct recovery from sewage sludge. This is made possible by the uniquely high dewatering performance for the separation of phosphorus. In addition, the specific costs of the process are low.

The TerraNova® process already meets the legal requirements of countries where phosphorus recovery will be mandatory, such as Germany and Switzerland.

The TerraNova® phosphorus fertilizer is approved as calcium phosphate according to the German Fertilizer Ordinance 1.2.9 Table 6.2.4 and complies with the requirements of the European Fertilizer Regulation 2019/1009 for the product group CMC12.

Video TerraNova®ultra for sewage sludge
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Video TerraNova®lysis for sewage sludge
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Video TerraNova®ultra for sewage sludge
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Video TerraNova®lysis for sewage sludge
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TerraNova Energy - Bioabfall

Organic waste

When organic waste materials are disposed of in landfills, the carbon compounds decompose over time into CO2, which escapes into the atmosphere. Thus, their chemical energy is lost unused. Furthermore, insufficient oxygen supply during the decomposition process can also produce methane (CH4) and, in the case of excess nitrogen, nitrous oxide (N2O). Methane is more harmful Greenhouse gas than CO2 by a factor of 25 and nitrous oxide even by a factor of 300.

These emissions are completely avoided when organic waste materials are recovered in the TerraNova®ultra process – in the process itself, only about 2% of the carbon contained in the input material is released into the atmosphere in the form of CO2 through the exothermic reaction; the rest is converted into biocoal and a carbon-rich process water.

Organic waste

TerraNova Energy - Bioabfall

When organic waste materials are disposed of in landfills, the carbon compounds decompose over time into CO2, which escapes into the atmosphere. Thus, their chemical energy is lost unused. Furthermore, insufficient oxygen supply during the decomposition process can also produce methane (CH4) and, in the case of excess nitrogen, nitrous oxide (N2O). Methane is more harmful Greenhouse gas than CO2 by a factor of 25 and nitrous oxide even by a factor of 300.

These emissions are completely avoided when organic waste materials are recovered in the TerraNova®ultra process – in the process itself, only about 2% of the carbon contained in the input material is released into the atmosphere in the form of CO2 through the exothermic reaction; the rest is converted into biocoal and a carbon-rich process water.

The biocoal is used for climate-friendly substitution of fossil fuels in incineration processes. Depending on the ash content of the biowaste, a calorific value in the range of 15 to 24 MJ/kg is achieved, which means that the biochar can be used, for example, as a direct substitute for lignite coal. This avoids emissions of about 2 tons of CO2 per ton of lignite coal (water free).

In Mexico City, municipal biowaste is recycled in the TerraNova®ultra process including downstream low-temperature drying into a biocoal that is used for climate-friendly energy generation in a coal-fired power plant. The necessary process heat is provided by a pyrolysis plant in which woody waste as well as plastics are recycled.

Upgrading by TerraNova®ultra drastically reduces the land consumption of biowaste disposal and avoids odor nuisance. In contrast to the composting of biowaste, a homogenized and sterilized product with positive market value is produced.

The biocoal is used for climate-friendly substitution of fossil fuels in incineration processes. Depending on the ash content of the biowaste, a calorific value in the range of 15 to 24 MJ/kg is achieved, which means that the biochar can be used, for example, as a direct substitute for lignite coal. This avoids emissions of about 2 tons of CO2 per ton of lignite coal (water free).

In Mexico City, municipal biowaste is recycled in the TerraNova®ultra process including downstream low-temperature drying into a biocoal that is used for climate-friendly energy generation in a coal-fired power plant. The necessary process heat is provided by a pyrolysis plant in which woody waste as well as plastics are recycled.

Upgrading by TerraNova®ultra drastically reduces the land consumption of biowaste disposal and avoids odor nuisance. In contrast to the composting of biowaste, a homogenized and sterilized product with positive market value is produced.

TerraNova®ultra for biowaste in Mexico City
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TerraNova®ultra for biowaste in Mexico City
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Biogas

Biogas plants achieve significant yield increases by integrating a TerraNova® system. In an upstream arrangement TerraNova®lysis is used to thermally break down the input materials, making the organic material more easily degradable for the biogas bacteria in the subsequent process. In simple terms, it is “cooked” for better digestion.
In the downstream TerraNova®ultra process, the digestate is processed into a biocoal, making it suitable for climate-friendly energy production.

TerraNova®lysis performs a novel, intensive thermal hydrolysis process (THP) of the input material. In this process, the material is pre-treated at temperatures of 160-170°C over a particularly long period of several hours to enable more effective anaerobic conversion into biogas by the bacteria in the downstream digestion process. This results in an increase in biomethane potential (BMP) of about 35% for sewage sludge, for example – one of the highest values compared to other processes.

TerraNova Energy - Biogas

TerraNova Energy – Biogas
The special feature of upstream TerraNova®lysis, besides the long treatment time, is the ability to process even material with a very high dry matter content of up to 30%. This enables small, compact plants. The energy consumption of the process is very low due to the integrated heat recovery, the high concentration of the material to be treated, and the absence of steam as a heat carrier, and is only 110 kWh of heat and 16 kWh of electrical energy per ton of input.
The downstream TerraNova®ultra process is used to upgrade the digestate into a biocoal, which is then put to further use as a climate-friendly energy source. The process water separated in the TerraNova®ultra process contains a high amount of easily degradable carbon, which is returned to the biogas process and additionally increases the biogas yield.

The patented combination of TerraNova®lysis and TerraNova®ultra thus allows an increase in biogas yield of about 50% and the production of a further usable product in the form of biocoal. The closed system also reliably avoids methane and nitrous oxide emissions that might otherwise be generated by storage or agricultural spreading of the digestate.

In total, the integration of a TerraNova® system nearly doubles the net energy production of a biogas plant and reduces climate gas emissions by 30%.1

Fertilizer

Global sources of raw phosphate are running out – availability is estimated to last for only a few more decades and is also limited to some regions. The European Union, for example, is completely dependent on the import of phosphorus as fertilizer for agriculture. With the constantly growing world population, this represents an existential problem, since phosphorus is indispensable as an element for life of all kinds and cannot be replaced by any alternative, e.g. to produce fertilizer. To date, however, large quantities of phosphorus have been irrevocably lost through washouts of fertilizer into rivers and oceans or through the incineration of waste containing phosphorus. In addition, the remaining reserves are increasingly contaminated with cadmium and uranium – in some cases, limits for fertilizers are already being exceeded today.

TerraNova Energy - Düngemittel

TerraNova Energy – Fertilizers
Sewage sludge offers great potential for the future recovery of phosphorus. In recent years, numerous recovery processes have been developed, most of which require the sewage sludge to be incinerated in dedicated mono-incineration plants. Nevertheless, phosphorus recovery is not economically feasible with any of the processes available today. Depending on the process, costs range from EUR 2.50 to EUR 15 per kg of phosphorus (P), excluding the additional cost for mono-incineration.

The TerraNova® process can be carried out without pre-treatment of the sewage sludge in a mono-incineration plant, directly at the site of the sewage treatment plant. The costs are comparatively low at 3.00 EUR to 4.00 EUR per kg phosphorus (P).

In the TerraNova® process, the phosphorus is extracted directly from the dewatered sewage sludge, without transport and pre-treatment in central mono-incineration plants. It thus significantly simplifies the process chain and saves investments and operating costs. In addition, due to the mild process conditions, the TerraNova® phosphorus fertilizer is very easily available to plants, is low in pollutants and achieves the highest fertilizing effect compared to other processes.

Experiment results

With a recovery rate of 60-70%, the patented TerraNova® process is the most effective process for direct recovery from sewage sludge. This is made possible by the uniquely high dewatering performance during the separation of phosphorus.

  • Recovery rate 70% 70%

TerraNova® phosphorus fertilizer is approved as calcium phosphate according to the German Fertilizer Regulation 1.2.9 Table 6.2.4 and complies with the requirements of the European Fertilizer Regulation 2019/1009 for the product group CMC12.

In addition to phosphorus, nitrogen can also be recovered in the form of ammonium sulfate. About a quarter of the nitrogen contained in the sewage sludge is transferred to the separated process water in the TerraNova®ultra process, where it is extracted into a commercial fertilizer by nitrogen stripping.

It thus replaces the classic production of nitrogen fertilizer via ammonia synthesis in the Haber-Bosch process, to which up to 3% of the world’s energy demand is attributed and for which natural gas or coal is still required as a hydrocarbon source today.

TerraNova® Phosphorous recovery

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Fertilizer

TerraNova Energy - Düngemittel

Global sources of raw phosphate are running out – availability is estimated to last for only a few more decades and is also limited to some regions. The European Union, for example, is completely dependent on the import of phosphorus as fertilizer for agriculture. With the constantly growing world population, this represents an existential problem, since phosphorus is indispensable as an element for life of all kinds and cannot be replaced by any alternative, e.g. to produce fertilizer. To date, however, large quantities of phosphorus have been irrevocably lost through washouts of fertilizer into rivers and oceans or through the incineration of waste containing phosphorus. In addition, the remaining reserves are increasingly contaminated with cadmium and uranium – in some cases, limits for fertilizers are already being exceeded today.

TerraNova Energy – Fertilizers
Sewage sludge offers great potential for the future recovery of phosphorus. In recent years, numerous recovery processes have been developed, most of which require the sewage sludge to be incinerated in dedicated mono-incineration plants. Nevertheless, phosphorus recovery is not economically feasible with any of the processes available today. Depending on the process, costs range from EUR 2.50 to EUR 15 per kg of phosphorus (P), excluding the additional cost for mono-incineration.

The TerraNova® process can be carried out without pre-treatment of the sewage sludge in a mono-incineration plant, directly at the site of the sewage treatment plant. The costs are comparatively low at 3.00 EUR to 4.00 EUR per kg phosphorus (P).

In the TerraNova® process, the phosphorus is extracted directly from the dewatered sewage sludge, without transport and pre-treatment in central mono-incineration plants. It thus significantly simplifies the process chain and saves investments and operating costs. In addition, due to the mild process conditions, the TerraNova® phosphorus fertilizer is very easily available to plants, is low in pollutants and achieves the highest fertilizing effect compared to other processes.

Experiment results

With a recovery rate of 60-70%, the patented TerraNova® process is the most effective process for direct recovery from sewage sludge. This is made possible by the uniquely high dewatering performance during the separation of phosphorus.

  • Recovery rate 70% 70%

TerraNova® phosphorus fertilizer is approved as calcium phosphate according to the German Fertilizer Regulation 1.2.9 Table 6.2.4 and complies with the requirements of the European Fertilizer Regulation 2019/1009 for the product group CMC12.

In addition to phosphorus, nitrogen can also be recovered in the form of ammonium sulfate. About a quarter of the nitrogen contained in the sewage sludge is transferred to the separated process water in the TerraNova®ultra process, where it is extracted into a commercial fertilizer by nitrogen stripping.

It thus replaces the classic production of nitrogen fertilizer via ammonia synthesis in the Haber-Bosch process, to which up to 3% of the world’s energy demand is attributed and for which natural gas or coal is still required as a hydrocarbon source today.

TerraNova® Phosphorous recovery
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