LIFE Methamorphosis, from agro-industrial wastes to biofuels

The LIFE program is an instrument funded by the European Commission dedicated to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policies towards European co-funded projects. In this sense, IDOM, as part of an European consortium of companies, is contracted to develop the technical and financial monitoring of almost 300 LIFE projects in Spain and Portugal.

Within these projects, is remarkable the LIFE Methamorphosis project that consist on the recovery of energy from the organic waste generated from municipal and agro-industrial and farming, to obtain alternative and sustainable fuels.

The main objective of this project consists on the production of biomethane from waste treatment plants to obtain a cleaner fuel with a lower greenhouse gas emission rate (comparing to other fuels) to mitigate climate change using renewable energies. The project is being developed on an industrial scale through 2 prototypes: METHAGRO prototype and UMBRELLA prototype.

The UMBRELLA prototype is in the Metropolitan area of Barcelona, in the MSW treatment plant in the Ecoparc Montcada i Reixac. The objective of this prototype consists on the production of biogas from the wastewater produced in the treatment of the source-segregated organic fraction. The biogas generated in the process is treated by membrane system, cleaned and refined using absortion-adsortion technology. After the treatment process of the biogas biomethane is obtained, which can be use as vehicle fuel.

This biofuel its being tested in SEAT vehicles (partner of the project) and FCC group’s municipal waste collection trucks.

The UMBRELLA objectives are:

  • Mitigation of 1,2 t CO2eq/day in the process of wastewater treatment.
  • Reduction in the content of H2S in biogas > 80%.
  • Incrementation of the nitrogen treatment capacity in 70 kg/day.
  • Reduction of suspended solids in the effluent in a 95%.
  • Reduction of the presented BOD in a 50%.
  • Reduction of more than 70% of the energy consumption (comparing to conventional treatments).

The METHAGRO prototype has been installed at the Porgaporcs agro-industrial plant next to Lleida. The main objective of this prototype is the generation of biogas from the anaerobic digestion of the slurry and the organic matter produced in the area at the plant, followed by the treatment of the biogas generated. For the treatment, it is necessary a previous cleaning of the biogas to remove the moisture and pollutants such as H2S, siloxanes and VOCs. Then, using membrane systems, the CO2 is separated from the methane to obtain an enriched gas that can be use in motor vehicles.

The METHAGRO objectives are:

  • Increase of the CH4 concentration in the biomethane > 95% (50% of CH4 in biogas).
  • Avoidance of 2.064 kg/year of SO2 emissions and 9.500 t/year of CO2 emissions.
  • Reduction of 3.105 kg/year of particles emissions per vehicle.
  • Reduction in the risk of aquifer pollution, due to the use of slurry.
  • Utilization of 7.350 t/year of organic waste.



More information about each prototype:


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