Innovative project in Tuscany / Italy for the production of perfumes by distillation of local wines using geothermal energy.
Geothermal energy clearly presents many opportunities beyond electricity generation and we have highlighted the role it can play in diversifying local economies. From the tourism sector to the agri-food sector, there are many examples, and thanks to research they can still expand, hence an article in Greenreport.
Thanks to the co-financing guaranteed by the Tuscany Region within the framework of the Por Fesr 2014-2020, the Divine perfumes project – Production of innovative perfumes by distillation of local wines using low cost energy resources is underway in The area . With the leader Speziale Laurentiani and partners ranging from Geo energy service to the Magona technology center of the University of Pisa, the project aims to transform waste from the wine industry – such as marc – into wine products of significant commercial interest. (polyphenolic extracts, grape seed oil and ethyl alcohol), for which there are excellent prospects in the market for biocosmetics and environmental remediation products.
“Divine perfumes – detail of the Technological Pole of Magona – aims at the pre-commercial demonstration of an innovative process for recovering waste from the wine industry, thanks to the use of renewable geothermal energy. To support pre-commercial development, an experimental phase on a pilot plant will make it possible to obtain sufficient quantities of products for quality and market evaluations, and to define the most innovative aspects of the process, in particular those relating to the process. conditioning of the waste (necessary to allow non-seasonal treatment), at the plant / geothermal fluid interface, the integration of operations with very different dynamics, their automation and control with enabling technologies for Industry 4.0 â³ .
At the same time, the Region of Tuscany co-financed the SE2030 project – which, in this case too, sees the scientific collaboration of Polo Magona-, with the leader Locatelli Saline di Volterra spa which âintends to introduce important innovations in its production process with the double objective of reducing the consumption of reagents and energy and to obtain products of better quality and therefore of greater added value (energy salt, pharmaceutical salt). Another objective of the project is the introduction into its product portfolio of lithium carbonate (a product whose demand is growing strongly as a fundamental raw material for the production of batteries for the automotive or electronic sector), to extract from the resulting mother liquors. . from the production of salt, of which they represent waste, in accordance with the circular economy model â.
Geothermal energy has nothing to do here, but in reality the project represents further proof of the potential of Tuscan geothermal areas for the production of lithium in a sustainable manner.
Supporting the ecological transition, with the massive generalization of industrial installations for the production of renewable energies and the rapid development of electric mobility, means an in-depth review of the supply chains for multiple raw materials. For example, globally the World Bank documents that – if we want to keep global warming at + 2 Â° C compared to the pre-industrial era – more than 3 billion tonnes of minerals and metals will be needed, with the production of lithium alone. which will have to grow by nearly 500% well before 2050.
At European level, the European Commission estimates that lithium needs will be nearly 60 times by 2050, and has included this metal among the critical raw materials for the development of the Old Continent. âWe cannot afford to replace the current dependence on fossil fuels with a dependence on critical raw materials – observed European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic – The simple truth is that we largely depend on unsustainable raw materials, coming from countries with much lower environmental and social standards, less freedom or unstable economies.
In this regard, geothermal energy represents not only a renewable energy source, but also a sustainable source of lithium supply. Also in Larderello, unconventional geothermal lithium deposits have already been identified, an opportunity for the industrial development of the area waiting to be explored: âGeothermal lithium – they Explain in this regard by the European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC) – it differs from traditionally mined lithium in that it has almost zero environmental impact and involves marginal use of water and soil. Traditional mining methods rely on evaporation processes to produce this precious metal. In geothermal power plants, on the other hand, lithium-rich frost is pumped to the surface directly from geothermal wells. The heat transported by the frost is used to produce renewable energy, while the frost, net of lithium, is reinjected into the well. A single geothermal power plant can therefore produce electricity, heating, cooling and raw materials such as lithium, with a zero carbon process. A quadruple advantage,
Source: Green report