A thermal energy biomass boiler system from Sugimat, distributed by Tidy Planet. The Industrial Emissions Directive-compliant technology is specifically designed to process a wide range of organic fuels, from wood to non-conventional and problematic waste streams.
How does it work?
The on-site energy-from-waste (EfW) system works in a similar way to a biomass plant, converting fuel into heat energy using the most efficient combustion process.
But this system offers bespoke configurations specifically for the combustion of difficult-to-combust fuels.
Typically, biomass solutions are unable to process materials that have very low bulk densities, high moisture, high ash content or low ash melting points. This boiler technology is engineered to deal with complex materials such as packaged CAT 1 international catering waste, high silica- and plastic-contaminated compost oversize and sewage screenings, as well as low bulk density items such as poultry feathers and Grade C wood fines.
Where would it ideally be used?
It is ideal for companies that produce troublesome wastes that could be combusted, and also those businesses with a significant need for heat, electricity or cooling.
How is it different?
Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, the boiler system’s combustion process operates in line with the characteristics of each waste it treats. As a result, this creates an efficient and optimised solution whose output fulfils the specific needs of the site.
The process is also continuously monitored with a Computer Vision combustion control system to optimise performance and minimise operator interaction.
What benefits does it offer?
In addition to processing contaminated wastes, the biomass boiler allows companies to generate their own energy on-site from wastes that would otherwise have been destined for costly, off-site disposal. It supports the development of closed loop models.
Where has it been used?
There are several examples of this type of waste management system throughout the UK. In 2017, Gatwick Airport and DHL Supply Chain became the world’s first airport to not only process packaged CAT 1 international catering waste, but also to convert it – along with other organic airport refuse – into energy, which provides heat for the airport.
The system starts at £500,000 for a 0.5MW hot water or steam option, and prices can reach up to £10m for one that generates 9MWt and 2MWe.
Aside from greatly reducing waste disposal and energy costs, some businesses can also benefit financially from utilising this renewable energy source under the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.
What about maintenance?
The smaller system requires little maintenance and most of it can be done in-house, whereas the larger system needs more regular technical servicing. This is due to the composition of more complex equipment such as electrical turbo generators that are needed for generating electricity or providing cooling.
How is it future-proofed?
We cannot predict the future, but all of our waste solutions are built to comply with the most current legislative standards, particularly those pertaining to emissions.
Any future applications?
We will continue to help airline catering sites tackle CAT1 wastes, as well as focusing on other organic waste streams, including that from anaerobic digestion plants, fish farming, water treatment, composting and wood processing sites, among others.
How many have you sold and where?
The equipment is now in its 38th year of production and we have recently become the sole distributor for the UK. So far, we have implemented two systems and already expect to deliver a further three or four units during the next 24 months. Worldwide, there are around 50 installed units, ranging from 0.4-25MW.
What is its life span?
The EfW system has a design life of more than 20 years, making it a highly sustainable solution for companies that produce a consistent amount of hard-to-dispose-of waste.