BIOECONOMY WITH BIOMETHANE, BIOREFINERIES, SUSTAINABLE FOOD INDUSTRY AT ECOMONDO 2015
Ecomondo 2015 will dedicate ample space to the Italian bioeconomy, which currently has a value of over 240 billion euros and provides 22 million jobs.
On Friday 6th November, a large event will be held on biogas obtained from agricultural residue biomass and organic waste, during which the main Italian technology and production of biogas from residue biomass and organic waste will be presented with the coordination of the National Biogas Consortium and the Italian Consortium of Composters. Italy is the world’s third largest producer of biogas after Germany and China. Recent developments in regulations supporting the development of anaerobic digestion exploit the flexibility of an infrastructure able to produce biogas from various organic substances, such as animal farm sewage, agroindustrial by-products, integration crops and FORSU, products for various markets: electricity, thermal energy, biofuels and biomaterials. The day intends examining in depth, in the context of the current regulation framework, the unique characteristics of the Italian anaerobic digestion model, highlighting their potential, critical aspects to be solved and research to be carried out.
There will also be conferences on national biorefineries and green chemistry in Italy, the so-called multi-product biorefineries integrated in the country for the generation of chemical compost and biobased materials and biofuels obtained from vegetable biomass: mainly lignocellulosic, but also by-products, agrifood scrap and other types.
In this context, there will be a very high profile event organized by the Green Chemistry national technological Cluster and the OCSE, also on Friday 6th November, on the opportunities and necessities of biorefineries operating with biowaste as a raw material.
Another event, on Thursday 5th November along with the Public Private Partnership Biobased industry, dedicated to a European initiative that supports research and innovation in the sector with 3.7 billion euros in the 2014-2020 period, and the Italian Regions, aimed at promoting standardization of financing for regional, national and European research and innovation, reducing fragmentation and duplication.
Ecomondo will also host the customary annual meeting of the national technological cluster on green chemistry, dedicated to identifying new initiatives and project orientation (Wednesday 4th November). The event, open to all members of the Cluster, aims at finalizing the strategic research agenda with relative financial requirements, thanks to the contributions of the members, in order to submit the document at regional, Italian and European level.
Another topic of interest is the sustainable food industry. On Wednesday 5th November, there will be a conference entitled “Aiming for a zero-waste food chain”. Technologies for the collection and stabilization of raw material, like those for its transformation and that of any food residue and by-products, combine science and technology to strengthen European competitiveness and leadership in food sustainability.
WASTE AS A RESOURCE TO EXPLOIT AND CIRCULAR ECONOMY
The WASTE issue, as well as being in part developed in the event on biogas, will be covered from various points of view, ranging from new strategies and European regulations to the more technical aspects, and best management practices.
Among others, there is an outstanding seminar on Friday 6th November on waste classification, bearing in mind recent European provisions (regarding classification of waste and hazard characteristics).
Also on the regulation front, the seminar on Thursday 5th November will give in-depth coverage of the end of waste qualification, which requires interdisciplinary discussions, in order to solve some interpretative and applicative difficulties.
Ministerial strategies on waste prevention will also be illustrated, as this is the priority action according to the European directive on waste, at an event that will be held on Wednesday 4th November, whose participants will include representatives of the Scientific Board recently formed with the aim of implementing the national Program.
Lastly, the seminar on research in the field of waste exploitation, on Thursday 5th November, will present the results of many studies applied to various categories of waste, including those relative to the recovery of metals contained in end-of-life hi-tech products and in WEEE.
Two sessions under the AIR banner (on Wednesday 4th November) will be dedicated to the management and abatement of odour emissions connected with waste treatment plants and those for wastewater treatment, recently the subject of specific new regulations in terms of atmospheric emission.
The situation is completed with the CONAI event on Thursday 5th November dedicated to the circular economy, its critical aspects and the opportunities and strategies for its implementation in Italy.
REMEDIATION OF CONTAMINATED SITES AND MANAGEMENT OF PORT AREAS AND MARINE POLLUTANTS.
The appointment on Thursday 5th November - Reclaim Expo 2015 - is dedicated to contaminated or abandoned industrial areas and will give an update on the state of polluted areas to be remediated in Italy and Europe. The overall reference framework will once again be the sustainable management of ”remediation”, which combines the requirements of environmental reclamation and hygiene/health safety with acceptable remediation costs and the economic recovery of the reclaimed areas.
The first day of Reclaim Expo 2015 will feature a series of presentations on behalf of trade members, with case studies, normative, procedural, technological and economic aspects, in particular on behalf of enterprises and their associations. Some introductory speeches are also foreseen on the key innovations and deadlines of the current year on behalf of the Administration and Public Institutions. On the second day, Reclaim Expo will be more specifically dedicated to the sustainable management of port sediment, which represents a European problem, with specific features in the Mediterranean region and which influences port facilities’ operation and development. European policy regarding the problem will be further highlighted by a special session of the European research project KILLSPILL, dedicated to the prevention and cleaning up of marine oil spills.
INVESTMENTS, INNOVATION AND TECHNICAL, ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY OF THE INTEGRATED WATER SERVICE
In Italy, three Italians out of ten are not yet connected to a sewage system or purification plants. This infrastructural gap condemns Italy to EU sanctions of approximately 480 million euros from 2016 until the work necessary to meet community objectives is completed.
We must speed up investments, passing from approximately 30 to 50 euros per inhabitant/year, and we will thus also have a driving force for the development of the green economy.
How to regulate this driving force will be the topic of the workshop of Wednesday 4th November, coordinated by Federutility/Utilitalia. The violation can however turn out to be an opportunity to direct investments towards innovation and technical, economic and environmental sustainability. On the other hand, the global water service market is growing rapidly and internationalization has become a must for the sector’s companies.
All this will be the topic of Global Water Expo, the new section of ECOMONDO 2015, which on 5th November will bring to Rimini the key players of international networks, such as Water 2020, who will show how “ready-to-market” innovation is demonstrated in real European plants, which have reached excellent levels of energy, economic and environmental efficiency. The innovators will meet and network with companies, which in Italy and abroad are filling the infrastructure gaps with work for hundreds of millions of euros. On 6th November, energy efficiency will be at the core of the entire day, developed with reference to the “water-energy-carbon nexus” and the application of the recent European directives. National and international experiences will be presented, also in the context of international Horizon 2020 projects that standardize methods and instruments for the energy certification of purification plants. On 3rd November, the nexus between water, (eco)toxicity and health will be faced with reference to the presence and destiny of hazardous substances. Also on 3rd November, case studies will be presented by Italian companies that recover resources from wastewater, with a view to a new feasible vision of purification plants.
COMMUNITY AND NATIONAL FUNDING TO SUPPORT RESEARCH AND INNOVATION IN THE GREEN ECONOMY.
Ecomondo will host the presentation of the financing allocated by Horizon 2020 and the Public Private Partnership (PPP) “Biobased Industry”’ to support innovation and industrial revival in the context of the green economy. This will be done during individual conferences, but also by means of dedicated events. As is known, Horizon 2020 finances research and innovation with a foreseen overall balance of approximately 80 million euros; it will provide the necessary means for carrying out research and innovation projects to encourage international cooperation and excellence, with the aim of favouring intelligent, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe.
Over 50% of the 80 billion euros earmarked by Horizon 2020 for the 2014-2020 period will be destined to supporting priority aspects of research and innovation connected with the green economy, while the PPP will specifically support European biorefineries with a further 3.7 billion euros of public and private financing.
There will also be talk about Joint Programming initiatives (JPIs) and regional Smart Specialisation Strategies and how to favour the participation of SMEs in the opportunities of EU co-financing.
On Friday 6th November, there will also be a presentation of the industrial priorities that will be implemented in the context of the new Key Innovation Community on supplies of Raw Materials. Italy, which has few mining resources, is completely dependent on foreign countries for the supply of raw materials and Italian enterprises are subject to considerable oscillation in raw materials’ cost and availability. On the contrary, every year Italy produces hundreds of thousands of tons of end-of-life complex products (WEEE, batteries, professional electronic devices, automotive products, end-of-life boats, etc.) which are a real goldmine of metals and materials in general, the potential if which is not adequately exploited. The economic and environmental sustainability of recovery technology must be based on the use of an integrated approach and technology with a low environmental impact that enable to recover several materials from the same product. The conference will be an opportunity to obtain an insight on the current situation in Italy, identifying some cases of best practices and any gaps that have to be filled.