The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) in the UK has chosen three companies to compete in designing the most commercially viable, energy-from-waste gasification plant possible. Advanced Plasma Power (APP), Broadcrown and Royal Dahlman have each been commissioned to design and develop a plant to demonstrate an integrated system that would be commercial at between 5 and 20 MW.
The chosen plant could be designed, built, tested and in operation by 2016. The expectation is that once completed, the chosen plant will operate as a demonstration site for up to four years.
The aim of the ETI commissioned and funded $4.2 million project is to demonstrate how such a plant could create energy from waste at efficiencies higher than previously produced in the industry at this scale. The challenge is that each complete system will need to operate at a net electrical efficiency of at least 25 percent.
The consortium led by APP will design a demonstration facility with an electrical output of 6 MW.
APP’s Gasplasma technology will be used to produce a clean synthetic gas (syngas) as a fuel for the development and demonstration of high-efficiency power generation solutions.
Broadcrown will design a demonstration facility with an electrical output of 2 MW using a concept that promotes distributed waste management and power generation. Broadcrown will be partnering with European and American technology companies including a gas engine manufacturer to demonstrate a combined cycle with unprecedented efficiency using syngas.
In parallel, Royal Dahlman will develop a plant with an electrical output of 7 MW that will convert the waste into a clean gas suitable for an efficient combined cycle power plant. Royal Dahlman will lead a team of British, Swiss, American and Dutch partners.
Stage one of the project (the design phase) will last 10 months and phase two of the project will see the winning design selected in early 2014, with selection based on cost and projected performance.
APP’s technology combines two existing processes – plasma conversion and gasification – to produce energy with a 30 percent electrical heat efficiency. APP’s technology produces no bottom ash.
Rolf Stein, CEO with APP, said the plasma is used to clean the tarry gas from the gasifier into hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The ash melts into a stable, solid material that can be sold as a construction material or granulated and used as an abrasive material.
In a similar vein, Waste2Tricity recently announced the start of a concept design study for the development of an advanced waste-to-energy plant. The project will use Westinghouse plasma assisted gasification from Alter NRG, to convert waste sourced from several suppliers.