Air QualityBiofuelEnergy storageEnvironment & ClimateFossil Fuels

Waste to energy. UK innovators transforming waste, non-recyclable plastics & biomass into sustainable & clean energy.

By February 25, 2021 No Comments

Ensuring access to Sustainable & Clean Energy for everyone forms part of the Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable & Clean energy. Despite huge developments in sustainable energy production such as wind, hydro & solar; there is still a long way to go to achieve the 2030 goal of Affordable & Clean Energy for all.

During the Covid19 pandemic some 789 million people – predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa – are still living without access to electricity, & hundreds of millions more only have access to very limited or unreliable electricity. (1)

It is estimated that only 28 percent of health facilities have access to reliable electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, yet energy is critically needed to keep people connected at home & to run life-saving equipment in hospitals. (1)

In the UK, despite nearly all citizens having access to constant access to clean & affordable electricity, the pandemic has shown how Covid19 restrictions have affected our electricity energy usage & needs.

The IEA (International energy Agency) identified a significant decrease in electricity usage across Europe, India & China whilst the most stringent lockdown measures were in place.

During the easing of lockdown restrictions in India from October 2020 & a stronger economic environment saw electricity demand (weather corrected) more than 10% above October 2019 levels, in line with pre Covid-19 trends. (2)

In China, once the Covid19 restrictions were lifted & industry returned to operation, from August 2020 on, the weather corrected demand was systematically 6% higher than 2019 levels. (2)

With ever increasing demand for renewable, safe, clean & affordable energy comes a need to find more innovative ways to transform the bi-products of human endeavours, into part of the renewables mix.

Once such company seeking out ways to transform industrial waste streams, non-recyclable plastics & tyres into energy, is Powerhouse Energy plc.

Powerhouse Energy plc

Powerhouse Energy plc had one objective from the start & that was to “identify, engineer & develop the world’s most efficient & economically viable & appropriate solution to a growing problem, namely the need for diversion of waste away from landfill & converting that waste into much needed & commercially viable products (3)

The Powerhouse Energy plc DMG® Technology is the pioneering process of recovering energy from unrecyclable plastic, end-of-life tyres & other waste streams through small scale gasification into an energy rich clean syngas (synthetic gas similar to natural gas) from which electrical power & hydrogen can be produced. (3)

The outputs from the DMG® Technology can be built to suit customer needs such as:

  • Energy rich syngas with chemical precursors for industry
  • Electrical Power
  • Heat or Cooling
  • Road fuel quality 99.999% pure hydrogen (3)

Biomass UK – Bio-energy

Biomass is the UK’s second biggest source of renewable electricity. Bio-energy is sourced through processing plant based bi-products such as food waste, wood chips or pellets & other plant based bi products of industry.

Companies across the globe have been tapping into the abilities to generate energy from biomass & household waste. The ability to convert biomass into fuels, energy, heat & electricity is not a new concept; but many people are wary of the carbon deposits which can still be inherent in the processing of such products.

With Biomass not being weather reliant, it enables a perpetual energy source to be generated. The Committee on Climate Change believes sustainably sourced bioenergy could provide up to 15% of the UK’s primary energy by 2050. (4)

Another British innovation currently in the design phase, is the proposed £200 million biomass plant planned in Preston, Lancashire. The plant is expected to generate around 40 megawatts of low carbon electricity which Longridge Road Energy say could power up to 89,000 homes.

Ensuring a perpetual stream of renewables is brought on stream by ever progressive & innovative engineering projects such as Energy Powerhouse plc & the work Biomass UK are undertaking, is essential as we find more efficient ways to move away from fossil fuel based energy.

The IEA identified that in several EU countries, lockdown periods saw new highs in variable renewables contribution as a share of electricity demand & that the share of renewables in the electricity generation mix quickly increased with lockdown measures. In late 2020 the generation mix reflected usual seasonal patterns. (2)

Written & cited by Katy-Jane Mason for & on behalf of Dolphin N2