Redefining the concept of ‘waste’ – ABOWE biomass pilot plant

A pilot project carried out in six EU countries is breaking new grounds in the field of energy efficiency, renewables and waste recycling. Using two different integrated bioprocesses, ABOWE has shown great success in transforming waste and other biomasses into chemical and energy products.

Additional tools

The ABOWE partnership in front of the Pilot A Novel Biorefinery pilot plant Hagby farm in Enköping, Sweden. © Savonia The ABOWE partnership in front of the Pilot A Novel Biorefinery pilot plant Hagby farm in Enköping, Sweden. © Savonia

" ABOWE has been a great opportunity to pilot new and emerging technologies in a multinational joint development project. The world needs new technologies for the sustainable future, and as demonstrated in ABOWE there is a vast potential in utilising biological conversion and recycling for energy and chemical production, just like is happening all the time in Nature. "

Ari Jääskeläinen, Project Manager, ABOWE

ABOWE was realised through two separate platforms, utilising microbes and their enzymes to produce valuable chemical and energy products from waste and leftovers. Pilot A (developed in Finland) was a novel biorefinery concept, whereas Pilot B (developed in Germany) built upon dry digestion biogas technology.

Both platforms went through design, manufacturing and training of testing partners, before being transported to the testing regions. The purpose of the testing period was to investigate the technologies’ adaptability to different regional conditions, and to inform and attract potential implementers through investor events.

Regional testing of the two plants

The plants were tested at farms, factories and waste management companies in five countries in the Baltic region: Finland, Poland, Sweden, Lithuania and Estonia. All stops included an investor exhibition and seminar, targeting potential implementers/investors such as waste and energy companies, food and forest industry factories, farms, environmental technology firms, cities and municipalities. These events attracted hundreds of people.

Both pilots had a positive outcome, providing solid technical proof of the viability and reliability of the respective technologies.

Environmental and economic advantages

Offering an energy efficient way of producing high value products from waste, the ABOWE pilot contributes to the Climate Change, Renewable Energy and Waste Management objectives of the EU. Moreover, by integrating residue in a circular, zero-waste process, the technologies facilitate the implementation of the EU directive banning landfilling of organic waste.

The project also has big economic potential, boosting growth and job creation. Companies in the participating regions benefited from additional purchases. With a decreasing supply of cheap fossil fuels worldwide, biofuels provide for an adequate, low-cost substitute (the price of the utilised waste can even be negative).

Providing training for operators, engineers and researchers involved in the project, ABOWE has generated a great knowledge base for future development and exploitation of the two tested technologies. Steps in that direction has already been taken, with plans for a start-up technology company for full scale biorefinery marketing and deliveries.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “ABOWE” is EUR 2 044 610, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 1 574 350 from the Operational Programme “The Baltic Sea Region Programme” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date