The explosion in the world’s population means that more and more land is being converted to agriculture. As a result, the agricultural sector has gone from being a traditionally family-based sector to one which is almost completely industrialised, with the continuous generation of waste that this entails.
Spain is Europe’s largest agricultural producer in terms of land use at 71,783 hectares. Although the agricultural sector is highly technical, to date and due to a lack of knowledge in the sector, the recycling and revaluation of the sector’s waste is unfeasible.
The aim of the AGROLOOP project is to apply AITEX’s know-how in the field of mechanical textile recycling to a sector that produces large quantities of homogeneous waste that is not being fully revalued.
Results obtained with the Agroolop project
Three different types of recovery processes were performed:
- Valorisation by merger
- Valorisation by thermocompression
- Valorisation by gasification
Melting the waste was proven to feasible in the laboratory and characterisation was carried out without mixing with virgin materials, resulting in a material with good enough mechanical performance to meet the requirements of the industry for its reuse.
In the case of valorisation by thermocompression, as a proof-of-concept, the feasibility of the process was demonstrated, but it was not possible to characterise the materials obtained within the framework of the project.
In the case of recovery by gasification, carried out on a pilot scale, the feasibility of obtaining synthesis gas of sufficient quality for energy generation or transformation into other chemical products from ventilation mesh, thermal blanket and shading mesh waste was amply demonstrated.