Live Projects

Development of novel fibrous carbon adsorbent FilaChar® for wastewater treatment

In this project, we will test the performance of our innovative FilaChar® carbon adsorbent for the enhancement of wastewater treatment (WWT) in an industrially relevant environment to give prospective customers and investors confidence in the technology. FilaChar® is a patent-pending carbon material that is produced from fibre-rich WWT screening waste, which would otherwise go to landfills or for incineration. FilaChar® is expected to reduce odour emissions, bind pollutants, and improve the biological treatment of wastewater. We anticipate that the beneficial effects of FilaChar® will allow our clients to reduce their operating costs by 3-4%. The project will be co-led by our wastewater engineer Nick and our CIO Jan, and is funded through a SMART:Scotland grant from Scottish Enterprise.

  • Demonstrate the feasibility of converting screening waste into FilaChar®
  • Show the beneficial effects of FilaChar® on WWT in small-scale and extended lab setups
  • Validate FilaChar® market potential, and refine marketing and sales strategy
  • Collect and characterise screening waste from different WWT plants
  • Produce and characterise FilaChar® from screening waste
  • Test FilaChar®’s effect on WWT in small-scale lab setup
  • Test FilaChar®’s effect on WWT in industrially relevant extended lab setup
  • Conduct research on addressable UK and international wastewater markets for FilaChar®
The project will generate data on optimal FilaChar® production and deployment, which will be summarised in a technical report. It will also allow us to prepare documentation on our FilaChar® marketing and sales strategy. Overall, we expect that the project will substantially advance the market readiness of our FilaChar® product and associated services by moving FilaChar® from Technology Readiness Level 3 to 5.
Scottish Water

Diversification of CreChar® feedstock basis

Lucy Chappel our Circular Economy Researcher will be looking to widen our feedstock basis around our carbon-based waste-derived product CreChar®, an additive that enhances the performance and stability of anaerobic digestion (AD). In this project, she will look at the suitability and availability of paper mill fibre sludge along with the technical requirements for sourcing and pre-treatment. Paper mill sludge (also termed paper crumble) is an abundant waste material in the UK that is currently landfilled, incinerated, or used for low-value agricultural applications (soil spreading and animal bedding).

At the moment we are producing CreChar® from low quality cardboard materials. The objectives of this project are:
  • To gather an overview of the current technologies and processes used by paper mills and packaging companies in Scotland and the whole UK.
  • Define the properties of their paper fibre waste streams.
  • Decide whether these are useable as a feedstock for industrial production.
  • To contact paper mills and packaging companies to develop an understanding of variations in the composition and volume of their fibre wastes and to what extent a bespoke waste material could be produced for us.
  • To compile a list of potential paper sludge suppliers showing volumes and properties and any additional technical requirement to source the feedstock at the paper mill site.
  • To arrange samples from different paper mills and packaging companies so we can analyse the materials via chemical quality characterisation of the samples.

Lucy will produce a report on the availability of technically suitable paper sludge as a CreChar® feedstock and a roadmap on how to secure it for our production.

Carbon Dioxide Removal Accelerator 2021

Carbon Dioxide Removal Accelerator 2021

Carbogenics is proud to participate in the Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) Accelerator 2021, a one-year programme dedicated to lifting CDR solutions off the ground. It will allow us to validate our technology and climate impact, participate in workshops with experts on CDR market and regulatory developments, and gain access to a network of prospective CDR customers and investors. The programme is funded through EIT Climate-KIC, Europe’s leading climate innovation initiative.

  • Validate and optimise the climate impact of our biochar-based CDR technology
  • Set up a credible European instrument for biochar-type CDR certification
  • Establish partnerships with key industry and public stakeholders active in the European biogas, wastewater treatment, and CDR markets
  • Carry out climate impact forecast (CIF) analysis of our CreChar® product
  • Initialise a European biochar-type CDR certification task group
  • Participate in mentoring and networking events with relevant stakeholders

We expect that the project will generate a range of outputs, including but not limited to a fully validated CIF report for CreChar®, and an updated and refined business plan for targeting Europe as our second beachhead market.

Identification of novel functional microbes from anaerobic digestion plants

Functional microbes are at the core of the biological processes that convert waste into biogas in anaerobic digestion (AD) plants. Despite their importance, these microbes are not very well characterised. In this project, we will harness the power of cutting-edge metagenomic research to identify and isolate the microbes that are most important for efficient biogas production. This project is part of our core R&D work, which focuses on developing solutions for delivering these microbes to AD plants for maximum efficiency.

  • Identify functional microbes residing in full-scale AD plants
  • Isolate and culture relevant microbial strains
  • Develop technologies for transfer of functional microbes
  • Run metagenomic sequencing of microbial samples from full-scale AD reactors
  • Use our novel bioinformatics pipeline to identify functionally relevant microbes
  • Culture 3-5 novel functional microbial strains
  • Optimise microbial transfer methods in lab-scale trials

This project will generate important research resources, in particular a database of microbial profiles from different full-scale AD reactors, samples of isolated functionally relevant microbial strains, and technological know-how on microbial transfer technologies. These resources will be critical to our future R&D work on microbial optimisation of AD.