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Spanish municipal waste to biofuel project chosen by the European Commission Innovation Fund


November 18, 2021
By Enerkem

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A material recovery project in El Morell, Spain, Ecoplanta Molecular Solutions, the result of a partnership between Enerkem, SUEZ Recycling & Recovery Spain and Repsol, is one of the seven projects pre-selected by the European Commission Innovation Fund for its contribution to the fight against climate change. It is the only project from Spain pre-selected for this European Commission Innovation Fund, which supports highly innovative technologies and large European projects resulting in significant reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With its commitment, the European Union supports the promoters of these highly innovative projects in their efforts to implement their technology, in this specific instance, gasification technology which has been specifically highlighted for its innovation, its reduction of carbon emissions and its scalability.

With its emphasis on maximizing the transformation of municipal solid waste and promotion of recycling and residual material recovery, the project is a groundbreaking illustration of the circular economy. The new plant will process some 400,000 tonnes of non-recyclable municipal solid waste from nearby municipalities and will produce around 220,000 tonnes of methanol annually. This methanol will be used as a feedstock to produce renewable chemicals or advanced biofuels, cutting GHG emission by some 200,000 tonnes each year and reducing waste that would otherwise end up in landfills. The plant, which is scheduled to be operational in 2025, will provide an industrial solution to the growing demand for renewable methanol, which is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.

By recovering waste in a real circular economy, Ecoplanta will contribute strongly to the improvement of residual materials recovery rates in Spain and to the achievement of the EU’s 2035 targets to reduce the volume of solid urban waste currently going to landfill, consolidating itself as a lower environmental impact alternative to incineration.

This project will accelerate the transition from a linear resource-based economic model to a circular economic model, which is one of the most pressing economic, political and social challenges of our time.

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