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Waste to Fuel

Eni technology for sustainable waste management.

Giving new life to organic waste to create energy

Circular waste management is at the heart of our commitment to create resource-efficient growth. The Waste to Fuel (W2F) technology, developed at the Eni Research Centre for Renewable Energy and the Environment in Novara and tested in a pilot plant in Gela, allows us to exploit the energy potential of organic waste. This is done through a process that transforms the biomass feedstock into bio-oil and biomethane, recovering its natural water content. A phenomenon that nature performs over millions of years is repeated in a few hours: creating energy from biomass with fossil origins. The raw material for the process is the Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste (OFMSW) and waste from the food industry. The bio-oil obtained varies from 3% to 16% depending on the composition of the feedstock, it can be used in blending as a low-sulphur fuel for maritime transport or refined to produce biofuels. The water recovered from the organic waste, up to 60% of its weight, is reused for industrial purposes.

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How does the process work?

Thermoliquefaction is at the centre of this technology, a thermochemical process in an aqueous solution that transforms the initial biomass into a sort of “biological oil”, or bio-oil. The process also produces gas (mainly biomethane and CO₂) and water, which can be reused in the plant itself or for other industrial uses once purified. Each step is designed to minimise the amount of waste to be sent for disposal: the solid residue, which is the waste that cannot be processed, can also be used to generate heat for the plant's energy needs. In the following video, Aldo Bosetti from the Eni Research Centre for Renewable Energy and the Environment in Novara describes the processing stages, live from the pilot plant.

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Eni's proprietary Waste to Fuel technology turns organic waste into bio-oil (Only Italian version)

Development on an industrial scale

The commitment to develop Waste-to-Fuel technology continues in the scope of the activities that Eni Rewind intends carrying out in coming years, in line with the conversion of Eni's industrial sites. In particular, the circular transformation underway offers opportunities for waste management with new treatment and recovery facilities that will be built in areas that were previously urbanised, abandoned or reclaimed. A strategic vision, based on the principles of material and energy recovery and zero consumption of new land, providing a sustainable response to the needs of the waste sector in Italy, which is characterised by structural shortfalls.  The trial currently continues at the Gela pilot plant with municipal waste treatment campaigns (up to 100 kg/day) from the consortium Company to regulate the Ragusa waste management service, with the aim of obtaining information that would be used to improve and develop the project on an industrial scale. An objective that Eni's environmental company will also be pursuing through public-private partnerships

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Municipal waste becomes a resource

Our responsible approach to biomass

Eni's strategy from now until 2050 is to transform itself into a company that will only market decarbonized products, so as to limit their environmental impact. This responsible approach goes beyond mere legal compliance and will lead to the integration of biomass-based production into traditional activities. With this research and development aim, Eni Rewind is partnering with Eni, the University of Naples Federico II and others in the "Biofeedstock - Development of integrated technological platforms for the exploitation of waste biomass" project.

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