Spain, Asturias (COGERSA)

Tweaking hydrothermal liquefaction to improve energy efficiency


Asturias & Cogersa for HTL processes, that will be developed at UvA (Netherlands).


Plastic fraction of MSW, particularly mixes of PP, PE and PS

PLASTICE will test hydrothermal liquefaction, a similar process to pyrolysis that can directly convert high-moisture plastics waste to oil in water medium, avoiding the pre-drying step. This novel technology produces oil in a single step, thus lowering energy consumption (consumes <20% of the feedstock energy content) and enabling better economics than other thermochemical methods.

The project will contribute to both creating a more sustainable plastic industry and increasing the digitalisation of the valorisation processes, by developing a set of innovative valorisation routes together with cross-cutting digital tools and technologies to increase the efficiency, impact and replication of the valorisation processes. Activities linked to digitalisation will count with ICCS (artificial vision) and CTIC (traceability tool), while CIRCE will lead the application of Machine Learning and AI techniques as well as the circular value chain activities including the KPIs calculation platform and lifecycle analyses.

This demo will use the Cyber-Physical-Sorting System (CPSS): specifically, a robotic-based plastic sorting mechanism based on intelligent hyper-spectral & industrial vision-based sensors, deep learning models and robotics, to improve the quality of required feedstocks in the COGERSA plant. To guarantee the quality of the CPSS, an initial lab-scale CPSS will be developed in ICCS facilities before being installed in the COGERSA plant as a previous step of the HTL process for its validation.


Expected outcomes

  • 1

    To enable the recycling of plastic waste, which is currently landfilled due to technical and economic barriers.

  • 2

    To electrify and optimize the energy consumption of the process to achieve a full renewable approach.

  • 3

    To validate new approaches for plastics recycling able to reduce energy needs, increase the overall performance of the process and make it fully circular.

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