The “WtE” Revolution

The “WtE” Revolution

Energy is a key factor in the socioeconomic development of any country. All countries are constantly growing in terms of GDP and population, which has put resources under severe stress. This alarming issue needs a comprehensive, long-term and all-inclusive solution. Particular generators of waste are factories which have been wrapped by the corporate blanket. Despite charges being imposed to remedy the levels produced by companies, the waste already produced is usually suitable for Waste to Energy (“WtE”) production.

UK and England estimates for waste generation by the commercial and industrial (C&I) sectors have been calculated as part of the Waste Statistics Regulation returns for 2010, 2012 and 2014. The term ‘commercial and industrial’ spans a range of economic activities (based on the European NACE statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community) including manufacturing, industrial processes and service based enterprises.  UK Commercial and Industrial sectors generated 27.7 million tonnes of waste in 2014, of which 19.8 million tonnes was in England. A little more than half of this waste was Commercial waste in both the UK and England. UK generated 202.8 million tonnes of total waste in 2014. This represents an increase of 4.6% from 2012. England generated 167.6 million tonnes of total waste in 2014.

The ability of WtE plants to convert any type of waste into a source of energy has shown a large technological boost. Sources of energy can now be found in commercial, household and bio-degradable waste. Work has begun on a 1.5 MWe commercial demonstration WtE plant in the UK. The SynTech Energy Centre in England’s West Midlands will use gasification technology from US-based Frontline Energy to process 40 tonnes of post-recycling refuse derived fuel (RDF) per day, turning it from municipal waste into syngas. The syngas will be converted to power using a modified gas engine, with the engine’s waste heat used to heat a local swimming pool and the power planned to supply around 2500 households.

The success of WtE is consequentially growing, providing a viable solution to the production of waste in the UK. For further information about the steps REWS has taken to participate in the WtE revolution, please visit our projects page.