Funding authority - Christian Doppler Research Association

The Christian Doppler Research Association promotes the cooperation between science and business. Specifically, this takes place in specially established research units with fixed terms, in which application-orientated basic research is pursued: Christian Doppler Laboratories at universities and non-university research institutions, Josef Ressel Centers at universities of applied sciences.

Under the direction of highly qualified scientists, research groups work in close contact with the commercial partners on innovative responses to business-related research issues.


Project partners

Municipal service companies

Three innovative municipal service companies are cooperating in the “Josef Ressel Center for the production of powdered activated carbon from municipal residues”: Stadtwerke Schwaz, Innsbrucker Kommunalbetriebe and Gemeindewerke Telfs. Their core business areas include energy supply, water supply and disposal, the provision of information technology and numerous other services within its supply areas. As innovators in the municipalities, they show great interest in the ongoing development of a safe and sustainable municipal infrastructure.

Syncraft Engineering

SYNCRAFT Engineering plans and installs turnkey wood power plants in the range between 200 and 500 kW electrical power. But also the adaptation or reconstruction of existing systems for efficient heat and basic load supply is one of the core competences of the privately owned and Austrian company based in Tyrol.

Project goals

Coal from wood gas power plants can play an important role in wastewater treatment. How to equip the powdered coal with the desired properties in the gasification process is the subject of research at this JR Center.

Wood gas power plants are primarily used to provide renewable energy. When gasifying wood, including residual wood from the communal environment, powdered coal is also a by-product. This coal is currently used as an additive for liquid manure treatment (odor reduction), as a soil improver, but also for the stabilization of biological processes (biogas and digester gas processes) without the underlying mechanisms being known in detail.

In addition to these unspecific areas of application, it would be desirable to process the powder coal in such a way that it can also be used for previously unsolved problems in wastewater treatment. This so-called activated or even functionalized powdered activated carbon could be used, for example, for the pretreatment of highly polluted wastewater, to stabilize digester gas processes, to improve the properties of digested sludge (drainability) and as an adsorbent for drug residues and other micropollutants in wastewater.

Within the scope of this JR Center, the role of powder carbon in these processes is to be examined in more detail. Furthermore, it should be defined which additional properties it must have in order to fulfill the functions sought. A worthwhile approach in practice would be to change the properties of the powder carbon by adjusting the process parameters during the gasification in order to obtain activated carbon with a larger surface. For additional physical properties such as polarity or wetting properties, post-treatment can be carried out in an external reactor using various methods such as chemical impregnation and / or steam treatment. The JR Center is researching how the gasification process can be changed and which type of post-treatment of the powdered activated carbon has to take place in order to achieve this necessary functionalization.

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