LIFE REVA-WASTE - Demonstration of an integral and sustainable system for multi-waste recycling and valorisation

LIFE12 ENV/ES/000727

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Contact details:

Contact person: Dolores Hidalgo
Tel: 34983546504
Fax: 34983546521
Email: external@cartif.es

Project description:


Spain accounts for 14% of the EU’s livestock, producing around 76 million tonnes of manure every year. About 70% of this manure is used as fertiliser, giving a new use. However, mismanagement of manure can lead to soil, air (greenhouse gas emissions) and water pollution (eutrophication).

The plastic industry is another important source of waste and pollution. Between 2009 and 2010, world production of plastic increased by 6%, to 265 million tonnes. Europe alone consumed 57 million tonnes (21.5%) of plastic, of which some 10.4 tonnes were unrecoverable waste.

Independent processes of separation, pre-treatment and valorisation have already been developed on an industrial scale for specific wastes. However, an evaluation of the environmental, energy and economic advantages of the integration of these processes has yet to be performed.


The aim of the LIFE REVA-WASTE project is to demonstrate the sustainable management of a broad spectrum of waste (industrial waste, waste treatment plant waste and agrofood waste) in an integrated plant. This objective will be achieved through the development and practical application of a ‘mixed plant’ concept, which will support a new waste management strategy, based on separation, pre-treatment, recycling and valorisation.

In order to maximise the benefits of an integrated plant for all the abovementioned categories of waste, two different processes will be integrated. The first is an anaerobic digestion system, for the transformation of easily biodegradable organic waste into biogas, and the second is a low-temperature pyrolysis (chemical) treatment, for the valorisation of the non-recyclable plastic waste fraction. Biogas, together with pyrolysis gases, will be used as fuel in an adapted cogeneration engine. As an added value, and in order to close the cycle with a minimum environmental impact, the digestate generated in the anaerobic reactor will be used as a slow-release fertiliser, while the solid fraction obtained in the pyrolysis process will be transformed into carbon pellets, and the liquid fraction will be used in second generation biofuels.

Expected results:

  • 80% savings in thermal and electric energy generation costs in comparison with a bio-digestion plant operating independently;
  • 15% savings in thermal and electric energy generation costs in comparison with a non-recyclable plastic waste pyrolysis plant operating independently;
  • Enhanced value of all the digestate generated in the anaerobic process as a slow-release fertiliser, with reduced toxicity to plants and less nitrogen loss in the soil;
  • 65-80% reduction in the environmental impact associated with landfill disposal of the non-recyclable fraction from waste treatment plants;
  • Volatile solids removal yields of at least 90%: if the co-digestion plant treats about 6 500 m3 of slurry and co-substrates per year, then the minimum generation of methane gas would be 300 m3 a day (3 000 kWh);
  • Nitrogen recovery yields in the digestate as struvite of 95-100%: assuming the digestate has a nitrogen content of 3.5 kg/t and 2.6 kg/t of phosphorus, a struvite production of about 1 tonne a day can be reached;
  • Liquid, solid and gas phase yields in the pyrolysis process of around 7%, 3% and 90% respectively;
  • Enhanced value of sub-products generated during pyrolysis of non-recyclable wastes as carbon pellets, syn-gas and second generation biofuels: treating 1 t/day plastic wastes in the prototype would produce 250 m3/year of bio-oil, 17 t/year of biochar and 14 m3/h of gas.



Environmental issues addressed:


Waste - Waste recycling


energy saving‚  waste recycling

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Fundación CARTIF
Type of organisation Research institution
Description The Cartif foundation is active in a number of scientific disciplines, including automation and process control, mechanical engineering, robotics and computer vision, energy, the environment, food and chemicals, ICTs and biomedical engineering. The centre is supported by laboratories that have emerged in different research areas. Cartif’s primary focus is to contribute to social and economic development by promoting technological innovation via the development and publication of research.
Partners FOSIMPE SL, Spain InfinitValuEngineering S.L., Spain Nutrición Ganados del Sur S.L, Spain


Project reference LIFE12 ENV/ES/000727
Duration 01-OCT-2013 to 30-SEP -2016
Total budget 1,705,452.00 €
EU contribution 770,724.00 €
Project location Castilla-León(España) Cataluña(España) Andalucía(España)


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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version