Up to 50% reduction in the capital costs of waste to energy? 

Renewable Energy from Municipal Waste, WWTP Sludge, and other sources within 12-18 months

Flexibility, Reliability and Affordability at City, Region and Village Scale

Renewable energy is available from “black bag” organic waste and biosolids. For years valuable waste has entered landfill even though it has, on average, energy content equivalent to coal. Until now, the high moisture content of these wastes prevented this energy from being recovered in conventional processes such as large scale moving grate incineration or gasification. 

 

Composting, and capping landfills to capture methane, are partial and imperfect solutions to the issue and the potential contamination of local water courses; difficulties in repairing or resolving leaks; creation of flammable pockets of methane and difficulties in assessing whether organic matter has successfully biodegraded and composted over landfill life still remain.

Situation

Our client has integrated proven and patented technologies including energy-efficient moisture removal. Their solutions offer immediate savings in capital costs, shorter construction timelines, greater flexibility to cope with variable, declining or seasonal waste volumes, consume a larger variety of black bag waste or other wet waste sources containing biosolids, and permit a potential reduction in waste transport costs and emissions.

Modelling of recently publicised large-scale waste to energy projects suggests:

  • that the capital costs per MWe alone may be reduced by up to 50%; and

  • the overall cost is competitive with large scale solar renewables with storage (once accounting for landfill and waste handling costs).

Opportunity

Large Scale

Waste >300t/day
eg a city population at 
thousands of tons

Our client's novel use of sizing, sorting and drying, when applied to MSW and biosolids, means that the output is perfectly homogenous and ideal for energy or electricity production using gasification and gas turbine or as a coal replacement for power stations or other combustion-based plants including cement kilns

Medium Scale

Waste 50-100t/day eg Resort Hotel | Office Park | Mall | Residential Camps

In the absence of a city or regional scale waste collection system, or to take advantage of waste transport savings in both direct fuel costs and CO2 emissions, smaller scale facilities can be developed. These have dramatic advantages in reducing waste volumes and produce a material safe for composting or as a fuel input into a boiler or boiler/heat exchanger to produce cooling. At this scale electricity production is typically inefficient but avoiding electricity purchases for heating or cooling can be very cost-effective.

Small Scale

Waste 500kg to 4t/day
eg Village

At very small scale, in the absence of grid electricity, organic waste can be converted efficiently into compost or combustible bricks that have a similar calorific content to collected firewood. This can reduce deforestation and enhance local ecology as well as introduce circular economy benefits.

Benefits
  1. Renewable energy source for clean energy targets

  2. Fast build time (eg energy in 12-18 months)

  3. Flexible configuration (eg combine large scale + small scale equipment)

  4. Smaller land size

  5. Smaller building footprint

  6. Pathway to complete coal replacement

  7. Wide range of waste material inputs

  8. Potential for distributed energy and reducing transmission losses and providing grid risk reduction

  9. Suitable for PPP investment/operating models

  10. Potential carbon credits

Lead Times
  1. Typically, 12-18 months to electricity production for a city-scale project

  2. As short as 8 weeks for a village to produce fuel for heating and cooking

Types of Waste
  1. Municipal Solid Waste (aka MSW)

  2. Agricultural and animal waste biosolids including dairying, beef and chicken farming, and other similar sources; 

  3. Organic matter from food/packaging/processing etc (eg date pips, food waste, bamboo waste, sugar cane, prawn shells)

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