Europe’s first industrial-scale project which is aimed at generating electricity from wastewater produced biogas via solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) is now underway.
The €5.9m project, which has received €4.2m from the European Union’s Horizon 2020’s Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, is focused on the installation of three fuel cell modules. The modules can co-produce 175kW of electricity and 90kW of heat with an electrical efficiency of 53%.
Setting a target of 53% electrical efficiency from the SOFC system would make it about twice as efficient as traditional combustion engines and turbines, which average between 25 and 38%.
The system is currently being installed in the SMAT Collegno wastewater treatment plant in Turin, Italy, where biogas is produced from anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge.
The equipment, which can use natural gas as well as biogas, will cover about 30% of the sewage plant’s electricity needs and 100% of its heating requirements.