How We Do It

Whilst each EnergyPark will be designed to meet the specific needs of the area it will be operating in, an EnergyPark will generally include three core processing areas / technologies, which work together to sort, separate and process mixed waste materials into useable materials.

This unique combination of technologies helps to maximise the value of waste, enhance recycling, eliminate the need for landfill and achieve energy recovery from renewable sources.  This significantly contributes to meeting national targets for landfill reduction, renewable energy production and recycling.

All elements of the integrated facility can be found operating around the world and the technology is proven.  Biomass Power Ltd has had three working plants in the UK since 2006 and has one under construction in Italy (2011).  Tetronics plasma is in use in the UK, Italy and Japan and has many years of operating data and experience.

Below are details of our three selected technologies:

Advanced Mechanical Recycling

  • This is where mixed waste is received and prepared for further processing
  • PREL has a supply agreement with Fusion Waste Solutions, who separate mixed waste materials through highly automated sorting systems, before delivering them to the EnergyPark
  • A range of sorting machinery is used, including lasers and optical recognition technology
  • Materials that are suitable for conventional recycling are removed and recycled, leaving a biomass fraction of a ROC-able (renewable obligation certificate) fuel standard to be used for energy conversion
  • Unlike most other mechanical recycling facilities in the UK, the process output is recycled and recovered on-site – avoiding additional costs and transport pollution so that the material’s value is realised locally

Energy Conversion – Biomass Gasification

  • PREL has a partnership with leading UK bio-fuel power plant specialists Biomass Power Ltd, who supply independent combustion units
  • At each EnergyPark site, there are multiple combustion units, which allows for maintenance to take place, without affecting the EnergyPark’s overall operation. Each biomass unit includes state-of-the-art gas cleaning equipment
  • The combustion units take the waste biomass fraction (and any other biomass such as farm residues and wood wastes) and combust it in an oxygen-reduced atmosphere (gasification)
  • This form of oxygen-reduced combustion is a cleaner thermal treatment process, and vastly reduces the number of pollutant gases
  • The combustion process produces gas that is used to heat water to make steam.  Each combustion unit is linked to a steam generator, which uses the steam to power turbines and create renewable electricity
  • The renewable energy output is available for sale to the National Grid or for use on a Private Network Grid
  • Any heat that is produced through this process is utilised within the EnergyPark itself – for heating the site and generating hot water, as well as providing warmth for a set of on-site greenhouses (subject to individual site constraints)
  • The dirty gases produced from combustion are collected and cleaned, producing Air Pollution Control residues (APCs)
  • Unlike normal biomass or waste-to-energy plants in the UK, where these APC residues are disposed of and sent to landfill, the residues are then collected and processed in a third stage to ensure that maximum value is derived

Plasma vitrification

  • There are a number of plasma systems, suppliers and applications.  The specific purpose of the Plasma unit in our EnergyParks is plasma vitrification of Air Pollution Control (APC) residues and Fly Ash
  • PREL has a partnership with Tetronics, a global leader in Waste Recovery Plants and Plasma Arc technology, who will supply a number of self-contained plasma units for our EnergyParks
  • These plasma units transform the APC residues to produce environmentally safe metals, glass, building blocks and compounds, which are then remanufactured to generate commercially viable products
  • The APC residues are melted at ultra-high temperatures, which turn them into a hard, inert glass type material that is then used as a construction material or filtration media
  • This form of plasma‐enhanced waste recovery separates and destroys all the hazardous components within the APC residues, leaving a totally safe material, without any risk to the public or the natural environment
  • Syn gas is produced and used as a fuel for the stage two combustion units, or as a precursor to producing clean ethanol and hydrogen
  • There are no residues from the plasma stage that need to be landfilled, meaning that the EnergyParks biomass power plant model is completely sustainable