The Western Development Commission is very pleased to participate in the recently approved RE-DIRECT project which is funded by the North West Europe programme. Project partners include three from Germany (including the lead partner University of Kassel), three from the UK, two from France, one from Belgium and the Irish Bioenergy Association. This project will promote the efficient use of natural resources and materials by converting residual biomass into carbon products and activated carbon at smart regional decentralised units.
Each year at least 34 million t of residual biomass from the management of rural landscapes and urban greens in NWE are wasted. On the other hand, there is a growing market for sustainable and decentralised products such as active coal, used in sewage water technologies to clean water polluted with complex chemical substances or antibiotics. RE-DIRECT will make use of the proven technology for Integrated Generation of Solid Fuel and Biogas from Biomass (IFBB) to convert 20 000 t of unused biomass in a circular economy approach into region specific carbon products, among them activated carbon.
This will be achieved in the project lifetime by regional and interregional stakeholder communities (biomass waste producers, industries, SMEs, NGOs, researchers and regional interest groups) who explore, develop and manage region-specific product portfolios and create economic value chains in the framework of transferrable “integrated biomass concepts”.
The project will develop one large scale investment for a biochar and activated carbon production at a urban biomass conversion centre in DE and one small conversion plant on farm scale in Wales; creating and securing 20 jobs in direct proximity to the plant and providing additional employment and income generating projects for disadvantaged society groups.
Capacity building activities will be planned and delivered to support the implementation of the participatory and sustainable development projects and the creation of innovative product an value chains in the project regions and beyond.