The HB Ponics project aims to study and propose a new innovative model for digestion valorization, bringing South Tyrol into a niche position with respect to this issue, fully respecting the principles of circular economy and sustainability. This objective will be achieved by following an approach that involves the academic and scientific world, in particular the Free University of Bolzano, which will work in close contact with HBI. At the beginning, needs and opportunities of the market will be analysed, both through the review of scientific literature and through targeted surveys on the territory (WP3). Subsequently, the digestate will be characterized both quantitatively and qualitatively (i.e., chemical and physical characterizations – WP3 and 4). The digestate will then be treated in a lab scale HTC reactor and the chemical-physical characteristics of the outputs (WP5) will be determined. The HTC process will also be modelled with commercial and open source software, in order for the consortium to built and adopt a predictive tool to be used in the design phase (WP5).

The HTC products will then be tested in conventional hydroponic systems, with the aim of optimizing these systems, both depending on the HTC products uses and on the type of selected crops (WP6).
The analysis of the technological positioning will be carried out by identifying potential competitor technologies and formulating hypotheses concerning the diversification of the product. In addition, an ad hoc business model will be studied and the business plan (WP7) will be improved. This will be followed by the analysis of the possible improvements concerning the HTC system for the treatment of the digestate and the hydroponic system that exploits the products generated by the HTC process (WP8). Finally, the main positive economic, environmental and social impacts for South Tyrol will be assessed (WP9).