GRÜNWERT-Truck – Subproject in the Innovation Forum BioH2BK Central Germany

On 25.09.2020, managing directors of municipal waste management companies in Thuringia in the BioEnergie Verbund e.V. met – in a much smaller circle due to the pandemic – to discuss future energy and material recovery of biogenic waste materials.

A study on the potential of green waste in Germany showed an annual volume of 20.86 million Mg/a, of which only about 45% is collected and disposed of via existing collection systems at high financial, energy and time costs without further material recycling. Further processing only takes place in the form of cost-intensive composting. The CO2 bound in it is thus released again. (Source: Richter, F, Kern, M., Ruassen, Th., Wagner, J.: 2019. Optimierung der Erfassung, Aufbereitung und stofflich-energetischen Verwertung von Grüngut in Deutschland (Grün-OPTI) – Witzenhausen-Institut für Abfall, Umwelt und Energie GmbH).

By using the support program “Klimainvest” of the Thuringian Ministry for Environment, Energy and Nature Conservation, a member company of the BioEnergie Verbund e.V. recorded the potential of a Thuringian upper center with the result that both additional energy input with a total of 6.1 GWh/year, savings of fossil CO2 of 1,800 t/year and disposal costs of 410,000 €/year would be possible.

This potential, both at the federal and state level, was the content of the keynote speeches, which provided information on “New value chains through bio-circular economy: Biohydrogen + bioconversion”, on the “Jena BioHydrogen Factory”, on the “GRÜNWERT-truck as a material biomass preprocessor” and on “Bioplastic types and application cases from practice”. As a technical possibility for the processing of dry and fine-grained biomass to pellets the pellet press LP 22 of the manufacturer Ecokraft AG, 94447 Plattling was demonstrated in the on-site operation.

The following unique selling points were developed for the project idea of a GRÜNWERT-truck, such as

  • Use of a mobile, multifunctional processing technology for biogenic residues, based on an organizational model of cooperation between regionally operating companies or their local authorities as their owners as a Germany-wide reference model;
  • Saving of respective disposal costs as a contribution to the financial strengthening of local self-government accompanied by a significant CO2 emission reduction and decarbonization within the respective region;
  • Material and energetic recycling with new, regional value chains, such as a regional energy production and recycling or through bio-conversion of a bioplastics production.

The GRÜNWERT-truck as a Germany-wide reference model, for example operated along the Thuringian city chain, would be an important environmental policy signal for Thuringia and its regional authorities as well as their supply and disposal companies. However, since the processing of biogenic waste materials is subject to waste legislation, the GRÜNWERT-truck concept should be further adapted and optimized depending on the organizational structure to be chosen. Once again, the goal is to develop a sustainable circular economy structure.