LIFE+ METHAmorphosis

Group photo of the Life Methamorphosis participants
Waste Stream Treatment for Obtaining Safe Reclaimed Water and Biomethane for Transport Sector to Mitigate GHG Emissions
Technical details
Leader: Aqualia
Partners: Naturgy; SEAT Technical Centre; AMB; Institut Català d'Energia (The Catalan Energy Institute, ICAEN); FCC
Waste cycle
3.642.167,00 €
  • € 2,089,200. 60% of eligible expenditure cofunded by LIFE + Programme. The AMB will administer € 399,905 € with a 60% cofinancing. (€ 239,943).

In progress


The LIFE METHAMORPHOSIS project, cofounded by the European Commission within the LIFE Programme, intends to recover the energy from municipal organic waste and agroindustrial waste in order to obtain an alternative sustainable fuel to be used in vehicles. This project shares the same goals as the LIFE Programme related to climate change mitigation through the use of renewable energy and, especially, with the production of biomethane in waste treatment plants. Therefore, LIFE METHAMORPHOSIS is a demonstration project that seeks to highlight technical and financial feasibility, at an industrial scale, of two innovative waste treatment systems: the UMBRELLA prototype and the METHAGRO prototype.

The UMBRELLA prototype, located in the ecopark of Montcada i Reixac (Barcelona), optimises the energy used to treat water from the treatment of organic fraction selected at source by implementing innovative anaerobic and autotrophic processes applied in series: the anaerobic membrane reactor (AnMBR) and the autotrophic nitrogen elimination system Anammox ELAN®. Finally, the resulting biogas is treated with a cleaning and refining system, consisting of a combination of selective membranes with the patented technology of Aqualia ABAD Bioenergy ®, in order to obtain methane with sufficient quality to comply with UNE's standard EN 16723-2:2018 for its use as vehicle fuel.

The METHAGRO prototype treats the biogas generated from the anaerobic digestion of pig slurry from the Porgaporcs (Lleida) farm and organic matter from the local waste, by means of the membrane technology. Membranes separate CO2 from CH4, obtaining a CH4 enriched gas. Inlet gas is pretreated by eliminating humidity and pollutants, such as H2S, siloxanes and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The final biomethane produced in the upgrading plant meets UNE's standards EN 16.723-1: 2017 for gas networking injection and EN 16.723-2: 2018 for vehicular use.
Biomethane from both systems will be tested in SEAT vehicles. In the case of UMBRELLA, biomethane will be tested in heavy-duty vehicles for the collection of urban solid waste. The project, launched in July 2015, is a contribution to the shift in urban mobility and to the development of the cities of the future. Moreover, this initiative is in accordance with the guidelines on circular economy promoted by the European Commission.