PyTEC converts waste to energy

1 min read

Qinetiq has been awarded a £1.5m contract from the US Army for a system that converts waste into energy.

The PyTEC containerised Pyrolysis Waste Disposal System will continuously process up to 100kg of municipal solid waste (MSW) per hour and turn it into 500kW of thermal energy. A proportion of this energy can be used for electricity generation.

MSW includes general army base waste such as food, medical and sanitary, paper, plastics, tin, oil and glass.

The system is currently in the design, demonstration and testing phase. Qinetiq announced that plant commissioning and testing is due to commence next spring and delivery is expected by mid-year 2010.

The US Army will conduct additional testing and evaluation trial period that will last to early 2012. The programme is jointly funded by the US Office of the Secretary of Defense through the Foreign Comparative Testing Programme and is expected to result in more than 10 systems eventually being acquired.

Lt Col Daryl Harger, product manager for force sustainment systems, a part of the US Army’s Program Executive Office Combat Support and Combat Service Support, said: ‘The US Army’s introduction of the PyTEC Pyrolysis Waste Disposal System solution should provide a dramatic increase in sustainability and force protection.’

Pat McGlead, Qinetiq’s business development manager for PyTEC, said the system will reduce the need for outside contractors to dispose of solid waste from base camps.

He added: ‘Not having to rely on local contractors for solid waste disposal gives commanders the flexibility to operate in terrain that would be otherwise unsupportable plus it means they can proactively manage their environmental impact.

‘The energy-recovery aspect will also significantly reduce the amount of fuel needed to support the base camp and provide associated cost savings while reducing the number of trucks on the road and freeing logistics assets for more critical mission requirements. PyTEC will enable the US Army forward-operating bases to move towards being more self-sufficient in the management of their waste management requirements.’

The PyTEC Pyrolysis Waste Disposal System is housed in two standard free-standing interconnected 2.5 x 2.5 x 6m skeleton containers that are fitted with hinged opening sides.

Qinetiq claims PyTEC, which is based on commercial off-the-shelf technology, requires minimal operator training and involvement. Unsorted waste is continually fed into the closed-loop system and super heated, with just 25 litres of inert ’char’ being produced per 100kg of raw waste processed.

Qinetiq’s PyTEC system undergoing trials