About the JRC
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.