10 Aug Creating Energy from Waste
Did you know that the average family in Essex produces over 560 kg of residual waste per year?! Residual waste means that the quality of the material is so poor or contaminated that it is unable to be recycled, resulting in disposal at a landfill site. However, at Indaver, our aim is to create a circular economy to reduce residual waste and provide a valuable source of local energy through our Energy from Waste facilities.
What is a Circular Economy?
The aim of a circular economy is simple: to reduce waste. If this is not possible, then the rubbish should be re-used or recycled. However, there will always be some residual waste remaining. Although recycling has increased steadily over the years, the average family still produces around 10 kg of residual waste per week!
Our aim is to use this residual waste to produce clean, affordable energy through our Energy from Waste facilities. These facilities convert your 10 kg of waste per week into enough energy to warm-up a shower for a week or to charge your laptop for 3 hours per day for 2 months! This low-carbon energy produced from residual waste also helps to make the air in our cities cleaner and healthier for us.
For example the Ecluse, Indaver Energy from waste facility produces steam which is then provided to five companies allowing them to switch off their steam boilers. This results in a saving of 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum!
The production of energy from local resources, is an ideal way to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. Today, the energy content of residual waste that is treated in our centres is equivalent to 20% of natural gas imports from Russia. These faciltiies could potentially supply over 17 million people with electricity or heating.
Converting unrecyclable waste into energy, rather than disposing of it in landfill, would also save up to 92 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the European Union! We must prioritise reducing our utilisation of natural resources, hence our Energy from Waste facilities are essential for the sustainable, circular economy model.
Energy from Waste facilities
Our facilities provide a renewable and indigenous alternative to fossil fuels. The Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) ensures that only non-recyclable waste, suitable for incineration, is treated. Once the rubbish has been weighed, it is delivered to the bunker where it is mixed to ensure a consistent feed stop. Whilst this is being carried out, the facility operatives are continuously monitoring all ongoing activities from within the control room.
Following this, the waste is then loaded into the hopper, which in turn transfers the waste onto the moving grate furnace. This furnace operates at an astounding temperature of 850°C to ensure the destruction of dioxins that form during the combustion process. Aftertreatment, metals are removed from the bottom ash and sent for recycling, whilst the remaining non-hazardous bottom ash is sent away for recovery off-site.
The Gas Cleaning Process
Flue gases, which are caused by the treatmentof waste material, need to be cooled, cleaned and continuously monitored prior to entering the atmosphere. To begin the cooling process, water is used. Subsequently, activated carbon, expanded clay and lime are added to remove the dioxins, heavy metals and acidic gases. It is then filtered to remove these additives and any dust particles, which are collected in silos for treatment at an external site.
The emissions are constantly sampled and analysed to collect data. These figures are fed back to the control room, where the data is monitored to ensure we are strictly adhering to emission limit values that are enforced by local environmental agencies.
How are the Facilities Powered?
Our Energy from Waste facilities use a small portion of electricity in-house to power the operations that are carried out on the site. The remaining electricity is exported to the national grid to provide energy to domestic homes and local businesses. In addition, the driving of the turbine produces steam, which is piped outside to be cooled and condensed into water. This water is then transported back into the plant to be re-used in the electricity generation process.
If you would like to find out more about our sustainable waste management services and Energy from Waste facilities, then please get in touch! Please call our team on 01279 311440 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.