Project details

Integrated urban-rural concept for the production of activated carbon and energy sources from residual biomass – CoAct

Within the framework of the "CoAct" project, the realization of a plant for the conversion of residual biomass into activated carbon and fuels is being examined. In addition to the technical process, the economic and ecological effects and coordination issues are at the forefront of the project. The aim of the project is to develop an implementation concept with the necessary actors.

The IfLS will carry out economic efficiency calculations for the provision of biomass from nature conservation areas or other landscape conservation materials ("residual biomass"). Furthermore, it will investigate how value chains in the field of activated carbon and energy can be built up in the Lake Constance district. As part of a scenario development, it is clarified which actors would participate in the construction and operation of a "CoAct" plant under which conditions. To this end, the IfLS will work together with the project partners with actors from agriculture, nature conservation and the (municipal) waste, wastewater and energy sectors.

The network partners will develop a concept for the plant that meets the requirements of the available biomass. In addition, the water qualities that can be achieved with the help of the activated carbon produced in sewage treatment plants are tested. Furthermore, an environmental impact assessment of such an installation will be undertaken.

The process means that the "residual biomass" does not have to be composted but can be used further. The activated carbon and energy obtained can be used to purify waste water or protect the climate. In addition, the regional economy benefits from increased value creation and jobs. The CoAct project aims to test and improve the possibilities of sustainable development and cooperation between urban and rural areas.

The project will run for five years (July 2018 - July 2023) and is coordinated by the University of Kassel, which is represented in the fields of grassland science and renewable resources and public law, environmental and technology law as well as the Centre of Competence for Climate Protection and Adaptation to Climate Change - CliMA. In addition to the IfLS, ifeu - Institute for Energy and Environment (Heidelberg), the DVGW Technology Centre Water (Karlsruhe), the Lake Constance Foundation (Radolfzell), the companies Krieg und Fischer (Göttingen) and Pyreg (Dörth) as well as the city of Friedrichshafen and the Lake Constance district are also participating in the CoAct project. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the "Stadt-Land-Plus" funding measure. The aim of the BMBF funding measure "Stadt-Land-Plus" is to achieve integrated sustainable development of regions by strengthening urban-rural relations.

Project no.: 



Research | Pilot project | Klimawandel und Erneuerbare Energien |


Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Executing Organization: 

Institut für Ländliche Strukturforschung e.V.


2018 - 2023

Contact person/s at IfLS: 

Dr. Ulrich Gehrlein, Christoph Mathias