RESET, in line with its mission of technological development in the valorization of biomass, is one of the partners of the project called “Soluzioni Verdi”, whose aim is the implementation of phyto-assisted bioremedy strategies for soil decontamination. Using biomass, in fact, it is possible to remove certain pollutants, fixing them in the root system and then using the same biomass for the production of energy and heat, storing and concentrating pollutants in the char resulting from the gasification process.
“Soluzioni Verdi” was started in 2017 through the INNONETWORK tender notice, in response to one of the 5 challenges posed by the Apulia Region: human health and the environment.
Different institutions are working together on this project: from universities and research institutes, to small and large companies.
RESET is one of the partners along with:
- CISA S.p.A.
in collaboration with La Sapienza University of Rome and UNIBA (Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science), IBAF-CNR and the ISPRA endorsement.
The chosen experimental area is Taranto, in Apulia.
WHAT IS PHYTO-ASSISTED BIOREMEDY?
To explain what phyto-assisted bioremedy is, let’s break it down and see what the two words mean separately.
Bioremedy is the intervention of recovery that promotes natural biological processes of degradation of contaminants in the soil.
The word phyto-assisted is closely related to phytotechnologies: these are strategies based on the use of plants for the remedy and safety of contaminated sites.
The phyto-assisted bioremedy is, therefore, a bioremedy technology that exploits the synergic action between the plants’ roots and micro-organisms to remove, transform or contain toxic substances present in soils.
This strategy also provides biomass that can be used for renewable energy production.
There are 5 research goals:
- Development of innovative protocols for the remediation of multi-contaminated soils by phyto-assisted bioremedy techniques;
- Development of innovative technological treatments for the valorization of woody biomass into renewable energy;
- Development of technological treatments of woody biomass to produce innovative fertilizers;
- Validation of the results of innovative strategies developed through project testing;
- Promotion, communication and publication of the obtained results.
RESET CONTRIBUTION TO THE PROJECT
RESET’s activities are mainly focused on the second phase, the one related to innovative treatments for the exploitation of woody biomass produced by phyto-assisted bioremedy interventions, developing an experimental plant for the energy valorization of the woody biomass used in the project.
In a nutshell, we have focused on our core skills: the use of biomass for energy production. In a first phase, RESET’s R&D team worked on the design of a specific gasification unit and on the implementation of pollutant-trapping devices. In the second phase, a pilot gasification and micro-cogeneration plant was set up for processing the biomass resulting from bioremedy activities into bio-syngas and residual char, with the additional advantage of renewable energy generation.
After the in-house test, the plant was shipped to Massafra (TA) in order to be integrated in the project.