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NRAs 2014: Best Energy-From-Waste Initiative

Winner: Chinook Sciences, Oldbury End Stage Recycling Plant

Chinook has partnered with European Metal Recycling to develop a world-leading recycling and energy-from-waste plant, now commissioning in Oldbury, West Midlands. The plant, which has a negative carbon footprint of more than 57,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent a year, is the first of three being developed by the Innovative Environmental Solutions joint venture, of which Chinook is the majority partner.

Each plant will process 180,000 tonnes a year of auto shredder residue (ASR), recovering up to 10,000 tonnes of previously landfilled metal from this feedstock and generating up to 40MW of electricity, of which up to 32MW will be exported to the grid.

“This is impressive technology that has been demonstrated, and can be applied to a wide range of waste streams including automotive and household waste.”

The Judges

An estimated one million tonnes of ASR and the metal within it ends up in landfill each year. Chinook’s plants would have the capability to process most of this, using its Rodecs system of advanced thermal treatment technology for metal recycling and renewable energy generation. This technology was developed by Chinook in 1999, and is now in its ninth generation.

Its active pyrolysis technology can process any feedstock with organic content, from contaminated aluminium scrap to municipal, commercial or industrial waste, and processes heavily contaminated scrap metal without the need to pre-process. Black bag waste can be taken without any shredding, blending or compacting.

The process then recovers valuable ferrous and non-ferrous metals, as well as glass and other inerts. Metals recovered are in a clean form, ready for recycling or onward sale.

The process typically requires only the residues from the air pollution control requiring disposal, so allowing for maximum landfill diversion.

Chinook’s technology and processes also allow it to clean and purify the syngas, turning it into a clean fuel. This can be fed into power generating options including combined steam turbines or gas engines.

The Finalists:

  • Highly Commended: Thermitech Solutions: pyrolysis

Thermitech technology was developed for a manufacturer of plastic footwear components, which wanted a solution for the 700 tonnes a year of residual waste it had to send off-site for disposal. Using the application of pyrolysis, a modular on-site solution was developed to process 500-1,000 tonnes a year of the waste stream, converting it into gas and oil. This creates electricity and heat and eliminates disposal costs and transport.

  • Carbonarius2: waste wood gasification
  • Econotherm UK: thermosyphon heat exchanger
  • Emerald Biogas: commercial food waste biogas plant
  • Foresight Group: Evermore renewable energy project
  • GD Environmental Services: refuse-derived fuel
  • New Earth Solutions Group: Avonmouth energy recovery facility


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