Attero is a major Dutch waste processing company that processes the waste of 6 million households and many companies. The company strives to provide sustainable solutions for processing these streams of waste. Its aim is to maximise the recovery of usable materials and to transform waste into sustainable energy and into raw materials and nutrients.
Role in CADoS
The combined water authorities in the Netherlands produce a total of around 1.4 million tonnes of sludge. For Attero this represents a potential source of sustainable/green energy (biogas, heat and electricity), and in the future it might also be an important source of raw materials. Attero has developed a vision focused on the company’s transition from a primary waste processor to a producer of raw materials, sustainable energy and nutrients made from these waste streams. There is a prominent place in this vision for the recovery in the Netherlands of sieved material containing cellulose. The market for producing sieved material in the communal sector is still largely undeveloped in the Netherlands, despite the considerable scope for gains in terms of raw materials. More than 200,000,000 kilograms of cellulose – it adds up to an awful lot of trees!
The primary goal of the CADoS project is to pave the way for producing raw materials from waste that contains a high content of cellulose. This will be accomplished through valorisation routes. The first gains lie in savings on energy and chemicals at sewage treatment plants operated by water authorities and in less transport after dewatering. The first step at Attero will be to produce green gas (biogas of natural gas quality). The further development of processes will lead to the recovery of high-quality raw materials and nutrients usable for the production of degradable plastics, artificial fertiliser substitutes and so on. The processing of sieve fibres is very much in tune with the valorisation of other waste streams that contain cellulose, such as wood, paper, diapers and drinks cartons.