Working with Bristol based company Compact Power, Qinetiq is developing an ‘on board’ waste processing system based on pyrolysis, a thermal destruction technique it claims is far more advanced than incineration, for use on Royal Navy ships.
Pyrolysis is a relatively long established technology for the destruction of solid wastes. Ash produced from the pyrolysis process represents around 5% of the original mass of the waste; the ash is stored on board until the ship returns to port.
A QinetiQ study has established the technical feasibility of using pyrolysis as an improved alternative to incineration for mixed solid waste on board RN ships. To demonstrate this, a land-based plant, based on Compact Power’s own plant at Avonmouth, will be constructed at QinetiQ’s Marine Technology Park, Haslar in Gosport, Hampshire.
Once the concept is proven, the system will be installed on HMS Ocean during her refit period ready for sea trials.
The new system, which will comply with emerging MARPOL legislation and NATO emission targets, will reduce reliance on shore side facilities and time spent in port off-loading stored waste. It will also require less manpower resources and free up valuable on-board storage space.
If sea trials planned for 2007 are successful, the system is likely to become the standard solid waste disposal technique for all RN surface ships.