Testbed Ellinge - Sweden Water Research

Research and development for circular management of plant nutrients in the food and farming system

Testbed Ellinge

Testbed Ellinge is a project whose main purpose is to create a basis for the Swedish wastewater works´ choice for sustainable sludge management.

The pilot study within the project, drying and pyrolysis of sewage sludge from various wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), will be carried out at the Ellinge WWTP in Eslöv, Sweden. A competence team consisting of universities, research institutes and companies is connected to the testbed. The test bed is part-financed by the Swedish Innovation Agency, Vinnova. VA SYD is the coordinator for the project. Four other Swedish municipal water and wastewater utilities are also project partners.

The project is expected to result in that a relatively unexplored alternative for handling sewage sludge and recycling of plant nutrients is being highlighted and explored so that utilities can invest in the technology without having to do their own pilot studies. In addition to effects at the system level regarding the infrastructure for sludge management, new non-toxic fertilisers adapted to current and future agriculture can reduce imports of mineral fertilisers and make Sweden more self-sustaining of resources required for a sustainable and self-sufficient food production.

Municipal wastewater treatment generates sludge, which contains almost all the phosphorus found in the sewage as well as a large part of the organic material. A ban on sludge spreading on farmland is being discussed in Sweden, but regardless of a ban or not, municipal wastewater works recognise a need for complements/alternatives to today’s sludge management.

Expression of interest

Do you want to test to dry and pyrolyse your sewage sludge in Testbed Ellinge? Register your interest to david.gustavsson@vasyd.se


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The project will:

  • Gain operational experience and optimise operating conditions for drying and pyrolysis of different types of sewage sludge.
  • Create new, better market-adapted fertiliser products from sewage sludge.
  • Create an innovation platform in Sweden for future, alternative sludge management.

General meeting within Testbed Ellinge

A happy group from Testbed Ellinge's basic organisation gathered for a meeting in Eslöv to discuss the progress of the testbed and to visit the pilot facility.
Illustrationsbild över reningsverk med en sjö på ena sidan och gräs och skog runtomkring

Roslagsvatten invests in pyrolysis

Sweden's first pyrolysis plant at a wastewater treatment plant will be built at Magretelund's WWTP in the municipality of Österåker.
En grupp människor i varma jackor på ett snötäckt fält

Kick-off in the project on phosphorus availability

At the beginning of January, the Swedish Water and Wastewater Development project Phosphorus availability in sludge and sludge biochar had its kick-off meeting.
silverfärgade rör och kemitunnor i metall industriell miljö

Further delay of the start-up of the pilot plant

Unfortunately, the company Aquagreen announced last week that the start-up of the pilot at Ellinge WWTP will be further delayed.

Current research on sludge biochar

On Tuesday, November 22, project manager David Gustavsson made a guest appearance at the project Boost Nordic Biogas webinar on “Pyrolysis of sludge to obtain biochar”.
Man i gula reflexkläder står i industriell miljö

Welcome Hamza, our new operating technician on site!

For two weeks, our operating technician within Testbed Ellinge has been on site at Ellinge ARV. His name is Hamza Rslan and he is hired from the consulting company Start-up.
Slambiokol ligger i en hög. Det ser ut som ett svart pulver.

Two new Master’s thesis proposals spring 2024

We are happy to announce two new Master’s thesis proposals for the spring 2024
En kvinna och två män på rad, alla tittar in i kameran

How plant available is the phosphorus in the sludge biochar?

Thursday 21 September, we had a pre-meeting for the project Phosphorus availability in sludge and sludge biochar, in which we will study phosphorus and heavy metal uptake in a four-year frame study. Dorette Müller-Stöver and Jakob Magid visited VA SYD and Testbed Ellinge's project manager David Gustavsson yesterday to discuss the project.
Stora rostfria rörliknande delar

The pilot is now being assembled at Ellinge WWTP

Now all the parts for the pilot are in place at Ellinge.
Slambiokol ligger i en hög. Det ser ut som ett svart pulver.

The 2nd Swedish Conference on Sewage Sludge Biochar 2024

It's time to make space in your calendar for the 2nd Swedish Conference on Sewage Sludge Biochar, 15-17 October 2024.
Stort metallkar står i en rymlig verkstad

Pilot plant at Ellinge WWTP is further delayed

The startup of the pilot plant at Ellinge Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is further delayed. The first batches of sludge will be pyrolyzed in October instead of August as previously planned. The supplier, Aquagreen, will be on-site until December to fine-tune the facility.
flygbild över ett avloppsreningsverk där olika byggnader och bassänger syns

Testbed Ellinge presented at the Biochar Summit 2023

At the Biochar Summit 2023 in Helsingborg, during the Sewage Sludge Pyrolysis in the FPR workshop, several researchers presented their work on sewage sludge biochar. One of them was the project leader of Testbädd Ellinge. Here is a brief summary.

Testbed Ellinge represented when waste was in new focus

In March, people interested in waste gathered from all corners of Sweden in Gothenburg for the conference Waste in New Focus. During the session that dealt with attitudes and potentials around sludge recycling, Dag Lorick participated and told about Gryaab's view on pyrolysis and about the work carried out in Testbed Ellinge.
tältliknande konstruktion

Expression of interest – dry and pyrolyse your sludge in Testbed Ellinge

In August 2023, the pilot facility within the Testbed Ellinge project will begin its operation. The project is now looking for interested wastewater utilities that want to send their sludge to the facility.
Slambiokol ligger i en hög. Det ser ut som ett svart pulver.

EBI is working to include sludge biochar in the FPR

Since the summer of 2022, the EU's Fertilising Products Regulation (FPR) has been in place for fertilisers within the EU. Sewage sludge as a substrate for pyrolysis which can then be used as fertilizer, sludge biochar, is not included in the FPR. The European Biochar Industry (EBI) has now published a position paper regarding the pyrolysis of sewage sludge and sludge biochar.

The delivery of the pilot plant is delayed

In April 2022, an agreement was signed with the Danish company Aquagreen for the delivery of a steam dryer and a pyrolyser with associated equipment to Testbed Ellinge. According to the preliminary timetable then, the pilot would start in December 2022. The start of operation is now expected to take place in August 2023.

First study visit to Testbed Ellinge completed!

Testbed Ellinge has now organised its first study visit. A study trip to Sweden within the Food & Bio Cluster Denmark, this time with a focus on biochar, was carried out on 26-27 October.

Summary of the 1st SCSSB

On October 11-12, Testbed Ellinge organised the 1st Swedish Conference on Sewage Sludge Biochar in Malmö. The conference attracted 122 people from 14 different countries.