Finnish fuel cell technology to generate power from wastewater in Italy

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Convion will be demonstrating, in Italy, fuel cell systems supporting cogeneration of heat and power, from biogas generated through waste water treatment.

The 175kW cells have been developed by the Finnish company Convion and will be presented as part of a pilot project for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) technology.

The partners will be installing fuel cell plant in the Collegno waste water treatment plant of the Italian Società Metropolitana Acque Torino (SMAT) in Turin.

This technology will enable power production from biogas that usually goes to waste or is burned for heat production only.

In terms of size and technology, the innovation is the first of its kind in Europe and is expected to offer energy self-sufficiency to waste water treatment plants.

It has been claimed to meet 30% of the power requirements for waste water treatment processes and 100% of its normal thermal needs.

As a part of the DEMOSOFC project, the technology will be delivering more than 53% electrical efficiency rate, which accounts for up to twice as much electric energy as compared to conventional technology implementations through power plants.

This fuel cell plant also offers fuel flexibility as it operates with both natural gas and biogas, is noise-free and does not lead to particulate matter, hydrocarbon or nitrous oxide emissions.

This DEMOSOFC project will extend over a five year period until 2020 and is backed with a €4.2m grant from the European Union under its Horizon 2020 programme. The estimated total cost is €5.9m.

It has been coordinated by the Italian Politechnico di Torino, and multinational European project consortium comprising Finnish entities Convion and VTT, POLITO and SMAT from Italy, and the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine from the UK.

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