The end of April 2018 saw a quite busy week in Barcelona, flawlessly organised by the Autonomous University of Barcelona supported by the Catalan Waste Agency, as they welcomed the 13 partners for the 4th DECISIVE General Assembly.
The Cotxeres room at Palau Robert, former private residence of the influential aristocrat, politician and businessman Robert Robert i Surís, now a government-run institution encompassing exhibition and concert halls, hosted around 35 representatives of the DECISIVE consortium during the 2-day General Assembly which marked the first 18 months of the project.
The General Assembly was opened by Antoni Sanhez, on behalf of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and Anne Tremier, as the project coordinator on behalf of Irstea before each work package leader started presenting the latest developments, achievements and upcoming activities. The project’s quartet of research institutes and universities composed of UAB, Aarhus University, Irstea, and the Technical University of Hamburg presented their latest findings when it comes to test runs and potentials of micro-anaerobic digestion and solid state fermentation, while ITS and Aeris, as two SMEs, presented the potential marketable solutions which merge the biological processes and commercially available equipment.
Two very anticipated updates were the ones on the demonstration sites in Lyon and Barcelona. Refarmers and the Catalan Waste Agency, as the coordinators of the two demonstration sites shared the latest developments and advancements in the light of preparations for welcoming the two installations. The French demonstration site will be located at an urban farm in the outskirts of Lyon, where constant tests and measurements are taking place at the moment in order to obtain certain permits and also ensure minimal impact on the neighbouring residential area. The Catalan site has been just recently confirmed to be located at the premises of the UAB campus, north of Barcelona.
As the destination for a study visit, which served as an opportunity to spend some time outside of a meeting room, the Catalan Waste Agency chose one of their biogas and composting plants in Granollers, 30 km from Barcelona. Covering the area of Valles Orinetal, this anaerobic digestion and composting plant treated just above 50,000 tons of biowaste in 2017, what was a 2.28% increase compared to 2016. This amount enabled the company, as energy producer, to produce 7,285,697 kWh and obtain €947,811 in revenues from the electricity sale. The total production of electricity was equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 6,500 inhabitants.
The last day of the General Assembly was reserved for an open event which gathered numerous guests from like-minded projects and academia. Hosted at the UAB premises on their campus and organised by the Catalan Waste Agency, the objective had the idea of summarising DECISIVE project’s current state of art and envisaged achievements and benefits to a wider audience. At the same time, UAB and the Catalan Waste Agency used the opportunity to present the audience what direction waste management in Catalonia is going and what the latest researches and studies were about. It was opened by Javier Lafuente, UAB’s vice rector and also included a session with external speakers coming from projects similar to DECISIVE in terms of objectives and field of research. The open day ended with a round table summarising what could has been echoed in Barcelona during the previous three days on the role of decentralised biowaste management in circular economy.
The next DECISIVE General Assembly will be held in Italy, in autumn, in Fogliano Redipuglia in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region.