The “Alfonso Maíllo” Technological Waste Innovation Centre (CIAM), just three years after opening, has made Urbaser a world leader in innovation applied to environmental services.

Redacción web, mayo 2017

In February 2015, URBASER opened the “Alfonso Maíllo” Technological Waste Innovation Centre (CIAM), in Zaragoza, which is the company’s innovation flagship. And since then it has become a world leader in the development of new technologies and processes for recycling and municipal and industrial waste recovery. With an investment of six million euros, the Centre was calledAlfonso Maíllo (19xx-19xx) in special tribute to his professional career as one of the leading global experts on waste management and treatment. Mr.Alfonso Maíllo Maíllo collaborated with Urbaser since the company was created and worked in the municipal waste sector for more than 30 years.

Towards a Circular economy

The CIAM is located in the Urban Waste Treatment Centre of Zaragoza (CTRUZ), where it can obtain the raw materials and technology for its research. Occupying 2,500 square metres, it is a pilot scale reproduction of the critical stages of waste treatment. A multidisciplinary team of technicians in thermal and biological processes working on solid, liquid and gas testing. With a laboratory for R&D&I research projects that are subsequently incorporated into Urbaser’s services. CIAM scientists work day by day to obtain valuable and added value raw materials from waste, thus closing the cycle of the so-called Circular Economy.

How to obtain diesel fuel from plastic waste or how to obtain biogas from organic waste are some of CIAM’s current lines of research.

Aiming for zero dumping

The ultimate goal of the company -in line with international legislation- is to achieve Zero Dumping without prior treatment. For this purpose, the CIAM is researching with new models of integral and sustainable municipal waste management to reduce rejects as much as possible andobtain valuable by-products. Some of CIAM’s current research lines include how to obtain diesel from plastic waste or biogas from organic waste.With reference to the latter, Urbaser has patented a unique “digester” for organic waste, which enables an “anaerobic digestion process” that turns organic waste into biogas.

The CIAM was conceived as a platform for demonstrating technologies that brings together technology and know-how for improving and optimising urban waste management processes. The collaboration of URBASER’s R&D&I management with Clients, Administrations, Public Research organisations, Research Centres, Technological Centres and Universities, have placed CIAM in a privileged position to involve different public and private actors. This model of collaboration provides results that are not only technically viable, but also economically profitable.