I have written an article on ICIS Chemical Business about the waste plastic-to-energy market last year where Dow Chemical is one of the companies looking into the PTF (plastic-to-fuel) technology. Some of the companies involved in this field include Agilyx. Plastic2Oil (JBI) and Nexus Fuels, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC).
According to a January study prepared by research firm RTI International for the ACC, there are two types of advanced conversion technologies being used in this industry: gasification and pyrolysis. The primary difference between the two is the feedstock used.
Pyrolysis technologies are generally suited to handle feedstock from non-recycled plastics while gasification accepts all municipal solid waste (MSW) including non-recycled plastics.
According to the study, gasification of MSW saves 6.5m to 13m BTU/ton and 0.3-0.6 tons of carbon equivalent emissions per ton compared to landfill disposal. Pyrolysis, which converts plastics to oil or gas, saves 1.8-3.6m BTU/ton and 0.15-0.25 tons of carbon equivalent per ton over landfill disposal.
RTI identified 41 advanced conversion technology facilities that are under development or undergoing demonstration in North America that that will accept MSW or non-recycled plastics as feedstocks.
Vendors of pyrolysis technology includes Agilyx, Envion, Global Climax Energy, JBI. Gasification technology developers include Enerkem, Plasco, Ze-gen, Geoplasma. Most of these companies are definitely new to the blog!
Anyway, just today, US-based industrial gas company Air Products announced that it will build and operate the world's largest renewable energy plant in the UK using the Westinghouse advanced gasification energy-from-waste (EfW) technology provided by AlterNRG.
The Tees Valley plant located near Bilingham, Teesside, will have a capacity of 50MW and is expected to power up to 50,000 homes. According to Air Products, it will divert up to 350,000 tonnes/year of non-recyclable waste from landfill. The facility is expected to start operation in 2014.
|Proposed Air Products facility|
Covanta Energy's gasification unit can process 350 tons/day of post-recycled municipal solid waste which does not have to be pre-treated.