From 17th to 19th October 2018 international students with a background in engineering had the opportunity to work at the :metalobon pilot plant installation in Germany and gained valuable hands-on experience with key technologies at the research lab.
Along three days training, four students from two different European universities took part in the third edition of the BET Pilot Plant Course on Organic-Waste Exploitation hosted by the company Bergischer Abfallwirtschaftsverband (BAV) at the Leppe Waste Disposal Centre in Lindlar-Remshagen, DE.
The event aimed at providing participants with broader skills and valuable real-world technical practice at the :metalobon. The Waste Disposal site focuses on sustainable resource efficiency, material conversion, and site-related environmental technologies and techniques.
Coming from the Cologne University of Applied Sciences (TH Köln, DE) and the Saxion University of Applied Sciences (NE), the participants had different educational backgrounds ranging from bachelor to masters students and researchers with an expertise on engineering.
The four participants were encouraged to carry out experiments while supervised by academic and business experts. The pilot-scale plants on site are the Industrial Biogas plant, the Process Water Pilot Plant as well as the Pellet and Wood Chip Furnace. The experiments at the installations were organised in small groups of 2 students under the supervision of both BAV staff and academic instructors from TH Köln.
At the Biogas pilot plant, the students took substrate samples from primary and secondary digesters and analysed those for different parameters. Based on the results of their measurements the students were able to assess the current state of the pilot-scale plant. After a short introduction in the Leachate Water Treatment plant, they were trained to deal with bigger plants and unknown situations.
Altogether, the participant’s feedback was mostly positive. The groups were divided by their academic background and specialization so the skill level could be successfully adapted while experimenting and the working atmosphere was challenging.