Waste conversion

A joint venture between United Utilities and Interserve is proposing to build an advanced thermal conversion waste facility in Derbyshire that will use gasification technology from Energos.

The energy-from-waste plant is part of a proposed integrated waste treatment facility for Derbyshire County Council and Derby City Council, which have appointed the joint venture to build the facility and operate it for 27 years.

Energos, part of UK-based sustainable power group Ener-G, would supply its gasification technology, which has a 10-year track record of safe operation in Norway and Germany and is now operating at the UK’s first gasification plant on the Isle of Wight.

Nick Dawber, managing director of Energos, said: ‘The proposed Derbyshire gasification plant would only handle the leftover, residual waste that could not be processed through the facility’s recycling operation.’

Energos uses its own gasification technology – an advanced thermal treatment process that converts residual, non-recyclable waste into a gas by using the heat of partial combustion to liberate hydrocarbons.

Complete oxidation of the gas in a finely controlled environment enables much tighter controls than can be achieved in conventional energy from waste plants, resulting in low emissions. The heat produced is recovered to produce steam and electricity.

The proposed gasification plant will export some 8MW of green electricity from 140,000 tonnes of fuel produced from the residual waste of  Derbyshire and Derby City, sufficient to power 14,000 homes. The facility would also create 38 full-time jobs.

The Energos gasification process is the first in the UK to qualify for Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs). The technology was pioneered in Norway, where Energos operates five community facilities in tandem with recycling operations.

Energos, which recently won a British Renewable Energy Award, will start construction of a further two 80,000-tonne plants in Norway and Irvine, Scotland, in 2009.

The company has recently submitted a planning application to build a further facility in Knowsley, Merseyside. This would process 80,000 tonnes of residual waste, generating enough electricity for more than 10,000 homes, as well as producing heat for use by neighbouring industries.