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Grape pomace as alternative fuel in a lime furnace

Miguel Torres S A, is a company dedicated to the production of wines and brandies.

The process of making wines consists of several stages: harvesting, transport, residues separation, pressing, fermentation, clarification, filtration, stabilization, aging in barrels, bottling, aging, storage and distribution.

Before carrying out the pressing process, the grape residues must be separated, leaving the grapes free of grains, through a mechanical separation process. Once the grape pomace is separated (crushed, dry, dark-colored and woody), it is stored and available to be transported. This residue has a composition mainly based on hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon as a major component. The main characteristics of this waste is its high calorific value, which makes it interesting for energy recovery.

For this reason, Torres S.A contacted Pachs S.A, a company located nearby dedicated to the manufacture of lime, where the grape residues could be used as a partial substitute for the fossil fuel (coke) used in the process.

The main advantages offered by the use of grape pomace as a partial substitute for fossil fuel are the following:

  • Fuel cheaper than traditional.
  • Reduction of C02 and SO2 emissions
  • Performance improvement in the combustion of the dish
  • Reduction of ash generation

It should be noted that the attractiveness of this alternative fuel meant that the company Torres SA valued using it in its own facilities and finally installed a biomass boiler to provide heat and cold to its production processes. It moved from an external valuation as a by-product in the Catalan regulatory framework to an internal valorisation.