What is your product?
The Advetec Rapid Thermal Organic Reduction system (Rap- TOR) is a development of the company’s high-temperature bio-thermic digester (BTD). This digests organic content rapidly in a range of difficult-to-handle liquid and solid waste streams, including sewage sludge, food processing waste, mixed solid waste and organic trommel fines.
How does it work?
The in-vessel solution uses extremophile bacteria in a controlled processing environment to digest organic content in liquid and solid waste streams. Digestion rates of up to 90% or better can be achieved.
Nearly all the water is extracted during the process, leaving a small quantity of inert dry residue which can be used as refuse-derived fuel or a soil conditioner. Reducing the waste volume significantly cuts disposal and haulage costs.
Where would it ideally be used?
The RapTOR is a modular solution available in a range of size configurations to suit different waste volumes. It is completely scalable for use at sites such as food businesses and commingled waste processors.
How is it different?
It is designed to supplement or replace conventional filtration, activated sludge and anaerobic digestion processes, and the technology is unique.
What benefits does it offer?
The ability to digest organic content in the widest variety of waste streams can help to ensure compliance with trade discharge consents and permits. It also means an end to expensive off-site haulage and waste disposal costs. Its ability to deal with commingled waste and normally indigestible materials fills a significant gap in the market.
Where has it been used?
The technology has been trialled and installed in various applications over a period of eight years in the UK, the US and the Middle East. Two of the world’s largest food manufacturers have ordered their first machines.
How many have you sold and where?
Currently Advetec is making machine number 23 and, by the end of the year, following investment and relocation to a larger site, our manufacturing plan will take us past 100. We are providing solutions for food waste, schools and universities, and shopping malls, among others.
Depending on how much waste a company has, the solution could cost £25,000 or up to £1,180,000. Return on investment is typically between 18 months and two years.
Organic content is digested in a 72-hour cycle, far quicker than conventional processes. Once running, heat generated by the exothermic process is reused to sustain the high-temperature environment. This reduces the requirement for an external heat source which, in turn, will cut energy running costs by as much as 60%. It makes the disposal cost less than £20 a tonne.
What about maintenance?
The machines require a quarterly service which is contracted by Advetec. We currently work on an average of the machines operating 335 days a year.
What is its life span?
It has a minimum 10-year design life before complete overhaul and refurbishment is required.
How is it future-proofed?
Advetec runs continuing research to improve the activity of bacteria used, and in the identification of new strains of extremophile bacteria to enhance the process.
Q: Any future applications?
Advetec is currently working on a RapTOR unit designed to be an add-on to any existing sold unit. This will see the introduction of solar thermal energy as a power source, and will aim to achieve 99.5% volume reduction in all waste types.