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NRAs 2015 Best Energy-from-Waste Initiative: Olleco

Olleco has created an organic recycling initiative that provides a circular solution to the problem of waste produced by the food manufacturing, catering and hospitality sector.

In 2014, it completed the construction of its organic waste recycling centre in Liverpool.

This facility uniquely brings together an AD plant and a biodiesel plant, both fed from waste collected from the same customer base. The biodiesel plant is powered by the outputs of the AD plant. Its cluster of technologies has ensured an entwined technological process that maximises the use of heat and power, minimises losses or inefficiencies and ensures recovery of all the potential value from waste streams.

Olleco EfW initiative

The project is complex in its design but simple in its concept. Olleco collects waste food and used cooking oils and fats from its 50,000 food industry customers who would otherwise throw waste food into landfill and pour used oils into the drains. Food is taken to the Liverpool organic recycling centre, processed and mixed with a liquid effluent stream from its industrial process to create a homogeneous ‘soup’ mixture. This is fed into the anaerobic digester which converts it into biomethane.

“A timely and innovative solution – the linked facilities are a well thought-out, effective and sustainable use of waste products. Additionally, the ability to create a consistent fuel from such a variety of waste oils is very impressive.”

Judges’ comment              

The AD plant has incorporated a system that cleans the effluent water to a high environmental standard and a sludge de-watering system that yields nutrient-rich compost sludge. The biogas is collected and burned in a special gas engine to produce renewable electricity. Meanwhile, the heat generated by the engine is reintegrated and used on-site for the production of biodiesel in a plant located next to the AD facility.

The used cooking oil refinery and biodiesel plant is a multi-stage process designed to produce biodiesel which fully meets the EN 14214 standard. This ensures that the biodiesel can be safely used in engines either as a blend with mineral diesel or as a 100% (B100) replacement for mineral diesel.

After pre-treatment, the oil is chemically converted to biodiesel in a multi-step process. This yields primarily biodiesel, as well as glycerol and bioheating. The Liverpool plant has the capacity of more than 1MWh of renewable heat and power and produces 16 million litres of biodiesel a year. 

 

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