Biochar Project: production of sythethic gases from textile waste and biomass

The BIOCHAR project, funded with POR FESR 2014/2020 “Poli di Innovazione Agenda Strategica di Ricerca 2016 – Linea A” – Azione – I.1.B.1.2. “Sostegno alle attività collaborative di R&S per lo sviluppo di nuove tecnologie sostenibili, di nuovi prodotti e servizi” let us study and develop a prototype reactor, able to produce syngas and biochar, starting from textile scrap and biomass. It was produced in scale, but with a capacity sufficient for a demo and an applicative use, and it showed it is not only a feasible project, but it reponds to the needs of a circular economy too.

How it started

The Biochar project starts as a prosecution of the previous projects VALENTEX and VALENTEX2, in which it was evaluated and demonstrated that it is possible to re-purpose textile waste, instead of sending them directly to landfills. Despite the huge amount of waste avalable in the areas near Biella (about 4000kg/day), it is necessary to add another raw material, which was found to be agricultural waste, to make the process economically self-sustainable.

The aim of the project

The aim of the BIOCHAR project was to make a prototype reactor, scaled on an adequate capacity to be applied in a real use-case scenario (10 times bigger than the one made for VALENTEX2 project), which, after being properly set and fitted, was able to produce syngas and biochar from textile and agricultural waste. With circular economy in mind, we wanted to create a virtuous cycle between agricultural and textile industry: what is a waste for the first one, can be a resource for the other one, and viceversa, without forgetting about the positive effect this will have on the environment. There is also a strong accent on how this problem of the disposal of textile waste can be extended to a lot of different industry sectors.