HBI

About Solution

HBI is an innovative startup that works within the field of Circular Economy by promoting and diffusing new Clean technologies. Through the multiple partnerships with both Academic and Technological partners, HBI enables the latest and most innovative solutions for a more sustainable use of resources. The first technology entirely developed and engineered by HBI is based on the Hydrothermal Carbonization process (HTC), through which is possible to directly transform wet organic biomass (e.g. sewage sludge, digestate, OFMSW) into a carbonaceous like material (called Greenpeat) with an higher energy content when compared to the initial substrate. This material can be used for the production of heat and electricity, using an innovative gasification system system that transforms Greenpeat into a combustible gas (mainly composed by H2, CH4, CO and CO2) that can be used as fuel in an internal combustion engine in a cogeneration system. The hydrothermal conversion process is carried out within a series of closed reactors where optimal reaction condition of temperature and pressure are selected and controlled (T = 180 - 250 °C; p = 10 - 40 bar). Reaction times are usually in the range of 3 to 5 hours. Unlike other organic wastes treatment processes such as pyrolysis, gasification or roasting, which give raise to high pre-treatment costs, or anaerobic digestion and composting, which require reaction times of 20 - 60 days, HBI's patented technology ensures the direct processing of waste in an extremely fast way, thus guaranteeing reduced plant dimensions. When comparing the emissions of the common treatment solutions, the process developed by HBI has the lowest gas emissions value (< 7% in mass, compared to 40 - 50% of the other processes). Summing up, the procedures that are commonly used for the treatment or disposal of wet organic substrates, like for example anaerobic digestion, composting, incineration or direct agricultural use, are linked with high operational costs as well as inefficient energy or material recovery rates. In addition, solutions like incineration or landfilling represent the worst case scenario in the waste management hierarchy by representing the lowest level thanks to their bad environmental impact. Thanks to the flexibility in input substrate typology, HBI's plants are mainly suited for wet biomass generated in Municipalities (like the sewage sludge produced in Waste Water Treatment Plants) or Biomass plants, which produce high amounts of digestate that is inefficiently used or disposed, thus representing unfeasible environmental and economic impacts.

HBI consultancy service also aims at encouraging the growth of Circular Economy through the experience and the high level know how of the team and its partners. The main fields of expertise include:

  • Hydrothermal processes for wet residues valorization
  • Dry thermochemical conversion processes (i.e. pyrolysis, gasification)
  • Physical and mechanical processes
  • Biochemical processes
  • Fischer-Tropsch processes
  • Hydrogen production
  • Combustible gas production from biomass
  • Bio-based industries concept design
  • Sustainability assessment
  • Green and Circular Economy

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