Clear The Air Energy Blog Rotating Header Image

May, 2013:

Solena – BA One Destination – British Airways Reality – the plant is under construction and operational by 2015 in East London, UK

http://www.onedestination.co.uk/wp-content/themes/csrTheme/images/BA_logo.png

http://www.onedestination.co.uk/wp-content/themes/csrTheme/images/OD_Logo_Final1.png

http://www.onedestination.co.uk/environment/climate-change/biofuels/solena/

· Environment »

· Climate Change »

· Biofuels »

· Solena

Solena

A CG impression of the Solena biojet fuel plant.

In 2009 British Airways formed a partnership with Solena, a renewable energy technology company based in the US. Together we are developing a project to create sustainable biojet fuel by processing municipal waste using plasma gasification technology. We aim to build a commercial scale biojet fuel plant in the South East of England; the first of its kind in Europe. It will convert up to 500,000 tonnes of waste into 16m gallons of aviation biofuel each year, meeting all of British Airways’ fuel needs

at London City Airport.  The fuel itself will be cleaner burning than kerosene providing air quality benefits as the fuel produces much lower levels of particulate matter

A digger piles up waste material inside a warehouse.By using biomass waste to produce the biojet fuel, the project will help to reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfills.  In addition, its zero waste philosophy means that all materials from the plant are recycled – producing renewable naphtha that can be used to make renewable plastics or blended into other fuels,  and it also produces a solid aggregate-type material.  The plant will also produce more than 20MW net of green renewable power that can be fed into the grid and any excess steam can be used for local heating applications.

The BA and Solena partnership project represents a significant inward investment of new green technology into the UK. Helping to divert waste from landfill sites, providing energy to the local area and producing greener aviation fuel, the project will help to reinforce the UK’s position as an innovator in technological advancement whilst providing leadership in the area of sustainable green energy and biojet fuel solutions.

WPC SoQ March 2013 NDA Not Required Final-cn.pdf

Download PDF : WPC SoQ March 2013 NDA Not Required Final-cn

40 MW Plasma Gasification Facility for Sri Lanka

http://www.stopford.co.uk/case_studies/40mw_plasma_gasification_facility.html

40MW plasma gasification facility

Stopford is currently the Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Commissioning and Management (EPCCM) contractor for a 40 MW plasma gasification plant in ($220m investment) Sri Lanka.

The plant will process 1,300 tonnes of municipal waste as a feed for the generation of electricity

40 MW Plasma Gasification Facility for Sri Lanka

http://www.waste-management-world.com/etc/designs/default/0.gif

40 MW Plasma Gasification Facility for Sri Lanka10 October 2011 http://www.waste-management-world.com/articles/2011/10/40-mw-plasma-gasification-facility-for-sri-lanka-.html

Malaysian waste to energy company, Octagon Consolidated Bhd, has started to build a US$248 million plasma gasification facility in Sri Lanka, according to a report in the country’s Sunday Observer.

The 1000 tonne per day facility will be use gasification technology to treat locally collected municipal solid waste a day and generate a minimum of 40 MW of electricity which will be sold to the Ceylon Electricity Board.

According to the company, it licences its Advanced Thermal Gasification Process technology from Green Energy and Technology Sdn. Bhd.

The company says that the plasma torch technology is capable of producing very high temperatures in the order of 10,000 degrees Celsius within the plasma torch and as high as 8000 degrees Celsius at the visible plasma gas tip.

The temperature profile in the gasifier is sustained by using thermal energy from the plasma gas which in turn breaks down the molecular compounds in a very short period of time, often milliseconds. According to the company, this avoids the formation of secondary combustion products and the production of polluting flue gas.

According to the report, Octagon says that construction is due to start in Colombo in the second quarter of next year, with the facility completed by the second quarter of 2014.

The Global Market for New Gasifiers, by Application is Projected by BCC Research to Increase to 1064 Annual New Units by 2017 with a 15% Growth Rate

http://www.prweb.com/printer/10743152.htm

The Global Market for New Gasifiers, by Application is Projected by BCC Research to Increase to 1064 Annual New Units by 2017 with a 15% Growth Rate

A primary driver of the markets for gasifiers is the need for energy in the forms of electricity and liquid fuels; roughly half of the world’s most affordable electricity is fueled by coal, which is bountiful on all inhabited continents and some islands as well. The four highest growth rate gasifier market sectors are: plasma gasifiers (the fastest expansion by far), CTL (coal-to-liquids), petcoke/residuals, and CTE (coal-to-energy); direct reduction iron (DRI) melt gasifiers are in a bit of a slump due to steel market conditions in the United States and China.

Wellesley, MA (PRWEB) May 17, 2013

The gasifiers sector has become a proven yet quickly evolving energy conversion and chemicals production technology. Needs of the present and the future are pressing them into adoption for bulk power generation, fuel production, oil refining and energy, industrial chemicals production, municipal waste treatment, and as a means to supply thermal and electrical energy at any scale in rural areas connected to and away from the power grid.

A primary driver of the markets for gasifiers is the need for energy in the forms of electricity and liquid fuels. Roughly half of the world’s most affordable electricity is fueled by coal, which is bountiful on all inhabited continents and some islands as well. Coal in its various forms is well-understood for power generation and conversion to transportation fuels, as well as serving as a low-cost source for carbon-based chemicals. A host of environmental and health protection constraints have been put in place to limit the quantities of pollutants allowable from coal use. Gasifiers have emerged as an effective technology for accessing the chemical energy and content of coal in a manner that makes it quite a bit safer, less polluting, and a more efficient to use. It is affordable when other energy and fossil fuel sources are scarce.

Gasifiers are proving to be an effective means of supplanting dwindling fossil fuel resources while raising efficiency when using fossil fuels. This is a necessity, since civilization has entered the era of unconventional sources of fuel (deepwater drilling, underground coal gasification, shale gas, coal-to-fuel, biomass-to-liquids [BTL], and so on). By using gasifiers, coal, petcoke, peat, biomass, and municipal and industrial waste can be converted to power, heat, drop-in liquid fuels, and chemical feedstocks.

The market for gasifiers has seen an ebb and flow for a century. It is now coming into its own, with devices from the very largest, such as integrated gasification and combined cycle (IGCC), a baseload power plant, to the very small, such as those for cooking heat in remote village homes. The largest gasifiers are the size of rocket boosters and are powering China’s continued industrialization using low-grade coal. The smallest are camp-stove-sized, utilizing twigs, nutshells, and leafy materials. In between, an entire spectrum of sizes and capabilities are now powering industrial parks, villages, microindustries, refineries, buildings, and villages in developed, transitioning, and developing regions of the world.

The four highest growth rate gasifier market sectors are: plasma gasifiers (the fastest expansion by far), CTL (coal-to-liquids), petcoke/residuals, and CTE (coal-to-energy). Direct reduction iron (DRI) melt gasifiers are in a bit of a slump due to steel market conditions in the United States and China. Petcoke/residuals gasifiers are essentially waste-conversion tools, and provide value to what would otherwise be toxic materials that are the residue of the refining and extracting industries. The low value of petcoke and its high carbon content make it an ideal feedstock for cogeneration applications at refineries and for power generation at utility power plants in emerging economies.

Continued strength of the CTE sector is almost strange unless the China effect is taken into account with the India effect. Both are emerging economic giants, account for a third of the world’s population, remain intense coal consumers, and have their own reserves. If the atmosphere and climate are to be saved, then proven, affordable, sustainable carbon capture and sequestration technology are necessary. The same could be said for CTL usage and petcoke/residuals gasification, both of which are expanding as quickly as CTE.

Biomass-to-energy (BTE) has bas become a fairly stable market expanding on a large base (for gasifiers). It will begin to accelerate later in the forecast interval due to proving out of new, well supported, reliable power generation options around the 1 megawatt (MW) level. Note that the BTE gasification aggregate total annual market exceeds all other gasifier segments combined. The market for very small gasifiers is also poised for explosive growth due to robust, simple, low-cost, well-engineered cook stove gasifiers that are beginning to be shipped in quantity from many Western Europe, U.S., and Indian manufacturers to developing regions everywhere.

The last and fastest-growing segment is plasma, which may be the best technology for waste-to-energy (WTE) applications and beyond, with the capability of destroying hazardous waste, medical waste, construction debris, unrecyclable parts of whole cars, almost anything nonradioactive.

GLOBAL MARKETS FOR GASIFIERS (EGY106A) identifies, characterizes, describes, and forecasts world markets for gasifiers on global and regional bases. Attention is given to national/state incentives, international agreements, regulatory regimes, and political policies that foster, hinder, or neglect (whether benignly or otherwise) the implementation of gasifiers.

Forecasts are provided to estimate the robustness of gasifier markets in their different size ranges, feedstocks, and applications over time, covering the period from 2012 through 2017.

Contact Information

Chris Ross
BCC Research
http://www.bccresearch.com
781-205-2428

Materials Recovery Biological Treatment ‘better’ than Energy from Waste

http://www.mrw.co.uk/news/mrbt-is-best-option-for-zero-waste/8647998.article?blocktitle=Latest-news—recycling-and-waste-management&contentID=2182

15 May 2013 | By Marino Donati

http://www.mrw.co.uk/pictures/586xAny/5/1/9/1332519_MRBT.jpg

Materials Recovery Biological Treatment (MRBT) is a better way of dealing with residual waste than incineration, according to a life cycle analysis study.

A report on the study, What is the best disposal option for the ‘Leftovers’ on the way to Zero Waste?, concluded that MRBT, which extracts remaining recyclable material from residual waste and reduces landfill gas produced by material that is buried, has the lowest environmental impact of all current disposal methods.

The study, carried out for US zero waste social enterprise Eco-Cycle, compared the environmental and health impacts of three disposal methods: Energy from Waste, energy from landfill gas and MRBT. The comparisons were across categories including climate change, water pollution, air pollution and health impact.

The research concluded that MRBT recovered the most extra recyclables, stabilized the organic fraction of residuals and reduced the amount of material to be disposed of to landfill.

The study estimated that the city of Seattle, Washington, could divert 87% of waste from landfill by employing MRBT.

Eco-Cycle executive director Eric Lombardi said: “MRBT is not a replacement or substitution for source separation, but it is a tool for helping communities reduce the environmental impacts of managing their leftovers as they progress on their way to Zero Waste.”

Other key findings include:

  • All options resulted in increased pollution in at least one of the seven public health and environmental impact categories included in this study.
  • The climate impacts of landfills depended highly upon the effectiveness of the landfill gas capture system.
  • The combustion of Energy from Waste had higher relative human health impacts than the non-combustion MRBT-to-landfill scenarios.
  • Communities should continue to focus on decreasing the amount of leftovers they produce through recycling, composting and waste reduction programs.

The study was undertaken by Dr Jeffrey Morris, an economist and life-cycle assessment expert with Sound Resource Management Group based in Olympia, Washington; Dr Enzo Favoino, senior researcher at Scuola Agraria del Parco di Monza in Milan, Italy; and two of the Eco-Cycle staff.

CPI warns paper industry could lose out to Energy from Waste

http://www.mrw.co.uk/news/paper-industry-alarm-over-loss-of-material-to-incinerators/8647982.article?blocktitle=Latest-news&contentID=2186

CPI warns paper industry could lose out to Energy from Waste

15 May 2013 | By Mark Smulian

http://www.mrw.co.uk/pictures/586xAny/4/7/2/1332472_ANN-Paper-pic.jpg

Energy from waste overcapacity could limit recycling rates, according to the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI).

The CPI does not oppose incineration as such, but said the UK could soon reach overcapacity, a state it said had already been reached in Germany, the Netherlands and some Scandinavian countries.

Where UK local authorities entered long-term residual treatment contracts underpinned by guaranteed minimum tonnages “there is a genuine risk that residual treatment over-capacity could act as a disincentive to increasing recycling rates,” the confederation warned in its annual review.

It is warning both central and local Government of the “potential risks to the future availability of quality recyclate posed by thermal waste treatment”.

The CPI said clean, source-separated recyclables were a valuable resource, but the need to keep incinerators supplied under these contracts could see “the boundary between extracting value from mixed dry recyclables and otherwise ‘recovering’ it via residual waste treatment [becoming] blurred once the capacity threshold is achieved.”

It also said that major exports markets, notably China, were likely to enforce tougher restrictions on the quality of imported materials long term “meaning that the UK could become squeezed out unless quality improves”.

The annual review said collection of recovered paper in the UK rose by 1.5% in 2012 to 8.15m tonnes, giving a 2012 recycling rate of 70% in line with the European target. Exports represented 55% of total UK collections, a 1.1% increase on 2011, with China accounting for 70% of the exported total.

The CPI also highlighted its role in lobbying in the last year against the development of large-scale energy-only biomass – which it fears would drive up the costs of wood and paper prices by competing for forestry products.

CPI director general David Workman said it had worked with environmental organisations “to lobby against the development of large scale energy-only biomass plants, which are inefficient and demand such high volumes of wood that they present a potential threat to the supply of wood for pulp.”

He added: “At the same time, we are continuing to lobby extensively for Government to incentivise on-site good quality combined heat and power plants which are currently the only proven method for papermakers to achieve significant improvements in carbon and energy performance.”

Waste-to-Energy Facilities in New York City: Challenges and Opportunities – Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP – Kwok Talk programme

Elvis Au ENB – Starts at 13:29

L-R

L-R “Tom Hope, Dr. Rosa Ma and Liz Case”

Elvis AU quotes:

‘This (plasma) technology is not suitable to treat 3,000 tonnes per day (MSW’) – (obviously as being shown by Teesside and the British Airways / Solena plant this is no longer true)

‘prevailing winds are predominantly NE to SW’ ( this is contradicted by data from University of Hong Kong)

‘Volume reduced by 90%’ (does not answer that the MSW weight thermally reduced to 30% of which 22% by weight is bottom ash and 7% toxic fly ash – so what will they do with that ash to landfill it ,

and where will they treat that ash since our landfills will be full soon?) Answer: they intend to build a man-made island in the sea near Cheung Chau as the new ash lagoon !

‘There are 6 incinerators near NY City’ (Canada is near NY City also)

‘within NY STATE there are ten incinerators’ (correct )

‘40% of waste in NY CITY is treated by incineration’ (this is directly contradicted below)

http://programme.rthk.org.hk/channel/radio/programme.php?name=radio3/kwok_talk&d=2012-03-19&p=5160&e=172591&m=episode

http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/23683.html

Municipal Waste Combustion Facilities in New York State

Municipal waste combustion (MWC) is defined as a solid waste management strategy that combusts wastes to generate steam or electricity and reduces the volume of municipal solid waste (MSW) that would otherwise need to be disposed of by approximately 80-90 percent.

As of February 2012, there were 10 active MWC facilities in New York State. In 2010, these facilities processed approximately 3.9 million tons of solid waste and generated approximately 2 million megawatt hours of electricity. Additionally, approximately 87,000 tons of metals were recovered for recycling.

http://www.clm.com/publication.cfm?ID=370

Publications

Waste-to-Energy Facilities in New York City: Challenges and Opportunities

New York Law Journal

March 8, 2012

by Christopher Rizzo and Michael K. Plumb

On Tuesday Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced New York City’s solicitation for proposals to construct a waste-to-energy facility near or within New York City, a decision that reflects the mayor’s intention, announced in the 2012 State of the City address, to “explore the possibility of cleanly converting trash into renewable energy.”[1] The proposed facility will be a pilot program, processing at most 450 tons of waste per day but capable of doubling capacity if successful. According to the mayor’s press release, conventional incineration facilities are excluded from consideration, limiting eligible proposals to emerging waste-to-energy technologies. The mayor is seeking jobs, energy independence, reduced greenhouse gas emission and—most importantly—reductions in the city’s solid waste management costs. The city currently spends about $1 billion per year to manage solid waste—a cost that is certain to grow as landfills in the United States close.[2]

To realize these goals, however, the city must confront the challenges of siting such a facility in one of the city’s 59 neighborhoods, which have consistently and often successfully fought new solid waste facilities for over two decades. Any proponent of a new waste-to-energy facility may also need to navigate the state’s new licensing process for electric generating facilities, which is expected to become applicable this year after implementing regulations are finalized.

Background

At one time, New York City relied on 32 municipal waste incinerators and at least 35 municipal landfills to manage its solid waste. Those facilities were phased out beginning in the 1960s, and by 1994 there were no incinerators and only one landfill remaining in five boroughs. Bucking this trend, however, in 1979 Mayor Ed Koch proposed the construction of a new incinerator at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Community groups successfully fought this proposal until 1996, when Mayor Rudolph Giuliani signed a bill prohibiting construction of the Navy Yard incinerator and requiring closure of Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island—the last in the city.

Since the closure, almost all the city’s commercial and residential waste has been trucked to out-of-state landfills at great financial and environmental expense. The city’s 2006 Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) tried to expand the options for handling waste by planning for more recycling, composting and out-of-state shipment by barge rather than truck. But New York City and its private waste haulers continue to truck the vast majority of the city’s waste to out-of-state landfills.

Cleaner Alternatives

During the course of the Navy Yard Incinerator debate, the regulatory landscape for incinerators changed. In the early 1990s, Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drastically curtailed allowable incinerator emissions.[3] This rule change helped bring about a 96 percent reduction in mercury emissions between 1990 and 2005 and a 99 percent reduction in dioxin emissions.[4]

The U.S. Supreme Court also resolved the issue of “toxic ash” from incinerators in 1994. Prior to 1994, incinerators had relied on the household waste exemption in the U.S. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) when disposing of incinerator ash. But the Supreme Court held that incinerator ash with hazardous waste characteristics must be disposed of as hazardous waste in accordance with RCRA.[5] The environmental concerns that surrounded the 1985 proposal may therefore no longer be valid.

While nearly all existing waste-to-energy facilities in the United States create electricity by burning waste, emerging technologies provide alternative electricity production methods. Thermal processes (e.g., gasification and plasma) involve heating the waste to release gases that are then burned to create electricity. Separating the solids from the gases prior to combustion eliminates most ash and other particles from the exhaust. Anaerobic digestion uses municipal waste as a food source for microbes that thrive in oxygen-free environments, converting organic waste into methane gas, among other things, which is then burned to generate electricity. Hydrolysis involves immersing the waste in acid to create sugars that can then be fermented to produce ethanol, which can be sold or used as fuel for energy production.

Each of these emerging technologies further reduces the potential for adverse environmental effects.[6] And they are arguably consistent with the state’s solid waste management policy, which creates a hierarchy of solid waste management methods that include, from most to least preferable: (1) reduce waste; (2) reuse or recycle or compost; (3) recover energy from solid waste that cannot be reused or recycled; and (4) landfill or burn.[7] New York City’s current SWMP concluded that it was not a realistic alternative to site, permit and build a new commercial-scale waste conversion facility in the New York City region in the near term of the next five years.[8] The city’s next SWMP is due in 2016 and, based on recent statements from local officials, is likely to re-visit this conclusion.

Article 10

The state’s renewal of Article 10 of the Public Service Law in 2011 will both help and hurt the effort to site a waste-to-energy facility in New York City. From 1992 to 2003, Article 10 created the exclusive process for licensing electric generating facilities of 80 megawatts or more in New York State. The Siting Board of the Public Service Commission oversaw the process and issued certificates of public need and necessity to successful applicants. The board had the authority to waive compliance with other state and local requirements and permitting processes on a case-by-case basis. Facilities that generated fewer than 80 megawatts (MW) were subject to normal state and local approval processes, however, including the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and local zoning. When Article 10 expired in 2003, SEQRA, zoning and other state and local laws applied without restriction to all power plants—a development that many municipalities and residents welcomed.

Since the existing waste-to-energy facilities in New York are each below the 80 MW threshold, Article 10 would not have applied to them. The prior version of Article 10 also contained an exemption for facilities that generated electricity from solid waste—an exemption conspicuously lacking in the 2011 version. Whether the amended Article 10 will apply to a new waste-to-energy facility depends on its size and use of its electricity. Article 10 applies to all new facilities with a nameplate capacity of 25 MW or more that sell power to the electricity grid. At least a few of the 10 existing waste-to-energy facilities in New York meet this threshold. Even a relatively small conventional waste-to-energy facility processing as little as 1,000 tons per day would likely be subject to Article 10.

On the positive side for new electric-generating facilities, Article 10 is intended to provide a streamlined review process with four phases: the formalized pre-application phase, the application phase, the administrative hearing and the decision. Identification of environmental or health effects, mitigation of those effects, and reasonable alternatives must all be identified in the pre-application phase. The process is intended to address all legal and environmental issues and stakeholder concerns in one forum overseen by the siting board constituted for the particular application.

On the challenging side, Article 10 requires a heightened consideration of environmental justice (EJ), community impacts and alternatives. Unlike SEQRA, which requires disclosure but not necessarily action on environmental justice, Article 10 requires proponents to avoid, offset or minimize impacts on EJ communities through “verifiable measures.” Article 10 also requires a full exploration of alternative locations and solid waste management options (i.e., continued landfilling and recycling). In addition to the alternative proposed by the applicant, the intervenors or the siting board may also propose alternatives, and the siting board may make a preliminary finding on the adequacy of the consideration of alternatives before addressing other issues.[9]

One recent event is a potent reminder of challenges that waste-to-energy will face inside or outside the new Article 10 process. In 2011, the commission received an application to add waste-to-energy facilities to the list of projects that qualify as “renewable” under the state’s renewable portfolio standard, which calls for the New York State Energy, Research & Development Authority to help the state produce 30 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2015.[10] The commission promptly received thousands of comments in opposition, and the application was withdrawn on Dec. 8, 2011.

Best Practices

Successfully siting a waste-to-energy facility will involve conducting a rigorous environmental impact review; choosing the proposed location carefully; and building strong community support. Year after year, New York courts reject legal challenges to projects where a complete environmental impact statement has been prepared under SEQRA. This includes solid waste management facilities like the proposed waste-transfer station on the East River at East 91st Street, which residents repeatedly and unsuccessfully challenged in court. New York courts are likely to be deferential to electric generating facilities where they feel that a thorough environmental review has taken place whether pursuant to SEQRA or Article 10.

With regard to location, Article 10, once effective, will bar municipalities from separately regulating electric generating facilities.[11] But local laws still matter—a lot. Applicants must demonstrate to the Public Service Commission whether and how a proposed facility will comply with local laws or, if not, why the commission should permit exceptions. Moreover, municipalities are mandatory participants in the hearing process.

The New York State Department of Public Service has recently released its draft of Article 10 regulations for public comment and they underscore the important role that members of the public and municipalities will play in the commission’s review process. Selecting a site where waste-to-energy facilities would be as-of-right (if possible) is therefore recommended. Applicants should also consider choosing a brownfield site, which may provide access to tax credits offered through the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program. If Article 10 does not apply to the facility, local laws will govern. In New York City, this may include compliance with the City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) regulations and the CEQR Technical Manual, the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), and Fair Share regulations (which seek equity among neighborhoods in siting municipal facilities). Most important, the facility will be subject to local zoning controls.

In New York City, siting will be complicated by the dwindling number of manufacturing zones. In the past 10 years, the City Planning Commission has undertaken extensive (and in some cases long overdue) zoning changes in industrial areas to eliminate some “M” zones and open up vast areas to residential and commercial uses. The result is a 20 percent reduction in dedicated manufacturing zones in New York City.[12] This figure does not account for the ad-hoc erosion of industrial zones where the city has allowed a large number of new parks and residential uses to be sited in the past 10 years.

With fewer dedicated manufacturing zones and more mixed use districts, siting heavy industrial facilities has become tougher. According to the Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council, housed at Columbia University, facilities ideally require 25 acres to accommodate truck queuing within the project site.[13] With the exception of the west shore of Staten Island, this is likely to be a challenge in New York City. It also suggests that waterfront sites that can accommodate barge transport and minimize truck traffic will have preferential treatment.

Finally, proponents must develop strong plans for building community support. Article 10 creates a formal role in the review process for residents within five miles of a proposed facility and certain nonprofit organizations.[14] And the amended Article 10 preserves the “intervenor account” that is paid by the applicant to defray costs incurred by municipalities, nonprofit organizations and municipalities in participating in the review process.[15] If the facility is under 25 MW, local laws—particularly ULURP and Fair Share—provide their own process for seeking community input and developing project alternatives.

Addressing valid community concerns is therefore vital. One way to accommodate such concerns is through “community benefit agreements,” which are typically negotiated outside the formal permitting processes with key community stakeholders and elected officials. These agreements can be highly controversial and are largely untested in courts, but they remain a regular part of development in New York and will likely play a key role in developing community support for a waste-to-energy facility.

Conclusion

The deep public concerns about waste-to-energy facilities are rooted in a history of incinerators that is admittedly ugly. But modern waste-to-energy facilities are dramatically cleaner than their pre-1992 predecessors and air emissions even compare favorably to fossil-fuel power plants. These facilities also reduce emissions from truck traffic and landfilling, which will have regional environmental benefits.

A key critique, that waste-to-energy facilities will reduce the city’s incentive to increase recycling, may prove unfounded. Europe has at least 400 waste-to-energy facilities and local recycling rates that are often above 50 percent. The biggest challenge for new facilities is likely to be the identification of an industrial site that is appropriate for a waste-to-energy facility (if not zoned for it) and that satisfies the state’s rigorous new standards for environmental justice.



Christopher Rizzo is counsel and Michael Plumb is an associate at Carter Ledyard & Milburn in its environmental and land use practice group. Mr. Rizzo teaches at Pace Law School.

Reprinted with permission from the March 8, 2012 edition of the New York Law Journal © 2012 ALM media Properties, LLC. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. For information, contact 877-257-3382, reprints@alm.com or visit www.almreprints.com.

Endnotes



[1] The comment echoed similar statements by the City’s Director of Sustainability and Long Term Planning at an Oct. 24, 2011 City Council Hearing.

[2] New York City, PLANYC, p. 137 (April 2011).

[3] 42 U.S.C. §7429(a)(2) (1990 Clean Air Act Amendments requiring NSPS for new incinerators and MACT for existing sources); regulations promulgated at 60 Fed. Reg. 65387-65436 (Dec. 19, 1995).

[4] Memorandum from Walt Stevenson, EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, on Emissions From Large and Small MWC Units at MACT Compliance (Aug. 10, 2007).

[5] Chicago v. Environmental Defense Fund, 511 U.S. 328 (1994).

[6] WTE facilities are likely to do well in a greenhouse gas analysis because, municipal solid waste is composed of renewable fuel which will displace fossil fuels in energy production. In addition, landfill methane gas is avoided. If greenhouse gas reductions become a marketable commodity in the United States, WTE facilities could generate carbon credits.

[7] N.Y. Envtl. Conserv. L. §27-0106.

[8] Emerging solid waste technology facilities were evaluated in a separate study which was attached as an appendix to the SWMP. New York City Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan, Appendix F (September 2006).

[9] DEC released draft environmental justice regulations in January 2012. Among other things, the regulations require a study area of ½ square mile around the proposed major electric generating facility.

[10] New York State Public Service Commission, Proceeding 03-E-0188.

[11] N.Y. Public Service L. §172.

[12] Pratt Center for Community Development, “Protecting New York’s Threatened Manufacturing Space,” April 16, 2009.

[13]www.seas.columbia.edu/earth/wtert/faq.html.

[14] N.Y. Public Service L. §166(m).

[15] N.Y. Public Service L. §163; N.Y. Finance L. §97-kkkk.

2010 Municipal Waste Combustion Facility Capacity Chart

2010 Municipal Waste Combustion Facility Capacity Chart

Facility Name

County

2010 Waste
Quantity* (tons)

Bypass
Waste (tons)

Existing Annual Permit
Limits (tons/year)

Babylon Resource Recovery Facility (52E13)

Suffolk

231,103

81

287,442

Covanta Niagara, L.P. (32E01)

Niagara

756,213

106

821,250

Dutchess County Resource Recovery Facility (14E01)

Dutchess

152,623

1,072

164,250

Hempstead Resource Recovery Facility (30E06)

Nassau

967,547

240

975,000

Huntington Resource Recovery Facility (52E15)

Suffolk

329,800

12

350,400

MacArthur Waste-To-Energy Facility (52E10)

Suffolk

176,847

3,463

177,025

Onondaga County Res Recov (34E01)

Onondaga

314,473

7

361,350

Oswego County Energy Recovery Facility (38E01)

Oswego

61,721

4,884

73,000

Wheelabrator Hudson Falls (58E01)

Washington

168,569

32

219,000

Wheelabrator Westchester (60E01)

Westchester

691,528

710,000

Totals:

3,850,424

9,897

4,138,717

“Existing Annual Permit Limits” is based on steaming rate per Air Permit Condition.

* 2010 Waste Quantity includes Bypass Waste.

Utashinai plasma gasification plant

AECOM attention Dr Lee Potts

Dear Lee,

At the public forum this week there were doubts expressed from the Panel that any plasma gasification plant using MSW as their feedstock had been operational for a sufficient period of time.

From memory I knew that Utashinai plasma gasification plant had been operational for many years after initial hiccups were sorted.

In our discussion at the end of the forum you mentioned a possible problem with refractory linings at Utashinai so I contacted AlterNRG and herewith their reply with some useful emissions’ data that

would interest you, rather than relying on hearsay disinformation from a certain official.

Utashinai closure:

Obviously the Japanese waste recycling efforts reduced the MSW feedstock supply hence the closure rather than the technology problem : whereas in Europe now MSW is a business commodity item rather

than a problem, and with massive incineration overcapacity already they need to import waste as a financial venture to keep the burners running, rather than a waste problem solver.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/30/world/europe/oslo-copes-with-shortage-of-garbage-it-turns-into-energy.html?_r=0

We have yet to hear back from CLP as to how HK Govt would legally connect or be granted access to the local grid for any electricity generated by any thermal facility here, given the Scheme of Control and

exclusivity contracts signed with the local generation companies and required increase in natural gas powered generation etc. CLP profits by selling electricity it generates rather than buying it for resale.

As spoken, all aggregates in Hong Kong are imported with resultant carbon and pollution footprints and associated higher costs for the construction business so inert plasmarok from any gasifier would be

a low cost boon.

No doubt in due course or through Legco we will learn why the ENB rejected an offer of a free trial plasma gasification plant financed by APP UK and guaranteed by Technip.

Kind regards,

James Middleton

Chairman

www.cleartheair.org.hk

Download PDF :

NAWTEC_2010_Presentation_FINAL

Incineration vs Plasma Gasification

ecovalley hokkaido plasma lessons learned

Hong Kong’s first electric coach is faster, lighter

Friday, 10 May, 2013, 12:00am

NewsHong Kong

ENVIRONMENT

The vehicle, bought by CLP for staff transport, is a third cheaper to run than the diesel version

Power company CLP, which introduced Hong Kong’s first electric coach yesterday, says it plans eventually to replace all its staff shuttle buses with the non-polluting vehicles.

Mainly for staff transport, the 49-seater will also be available for trials by other organisations.

Managing director Richard Lancaster said that while the coach cost HK$3 million – double the price of an equivalent diesel vehicle – he believed it would prove economical as the power cost was 27 per cent that of diesel.

The coach – built in Shandong province – joins CLP’s fleet of almost 60 electric vehicles, and can travel 250 to 300 kilometres on a three-hour charge. Chinese University, the Science and Technology Parks and Caritas have joined the test programme.

Lancaster gave no timetable for switching CLP’s staff transport from diesel to electric.

“We are building [our electric vehicle fleet] over time. As new vehicles come onto the market, we would be buying those and introducing them to Hong Kong,” he said. The coach can be charged at stations in Tsing Yi and Lung Kwu Tan.

Edmond Chan Kwai-wah, a senior manager for the company’s smart grid infrastructure, said the extra cost could be nullified in a few years.

Raymond Lo Yuk-shun, managing director of dealer Great Dragon, said the public would soon see electric buses in Kowloon Bay and Discovery Bay. He said Hopewell Holdings had bought two coaches for its feeder service between the Kowloonbay International Trade and Exhibition Centre and Kowloon Bay MTR station, and two electric buses could be running in Discovery Bay by the end of the year.

Lo said many companies were interested in electric vehicles, but they hoped to see more examples in the city before buying them. Electric coaches were more common on the mainland, with more than 100 of them on the roads, he added.

The coach is made of aluminium alloy, 15 per cent lighter than diesel coaches, and has a lifespan of 17 years. The battery lasts for five to six years. The vehicle can travel at 80 km/h.

Buses in Hong Kong have a speed limit of 70km/h.

Meanwhile, mainland carmaker BYD is launching its first batch of 45 electric taxis in Hong Kong on Wednesday. The company plans to replace 3,000 taxis running on liquefied petroleum gas within two years.

Topics:

Electric Vehicle

CLP

Roadside pollution

Environment



Garbage as Energy Commodity? Industry Booms in Europe | The Energy Collective

http://theenergycollective.com/ecskris/222321/distributing-garbage-commodity-industry-booms-europe

Posted by:http://theenergycollective.com/sites/theenergycollective.com/files/imagecache/profileThumb80px/me_0.JPG Kristopher Settle

PostsProfileComments

Follow

Please login or register to follow this user.

Garbage as Energy Commodity? Industry Booms in Europe

comments

0

Posted May 10, 2013

Keywords: Tech, Green Business, Environment, Biofuels, Renewables, Energy and Economy, cogeneration, energy investment, europe, waste to energy

Oslo, Norway is known for many different characteristics; being Norway’s government capital, for one, along with being the economic hub for trade and home to over 1.4 million citizens.  One thing most people don’t know about Oslo however, is how much they really want your garbage.

“I’d like to take some [garbage] from the United States…sea transport is cheap,” said Pal Mikkelsen, mechanical engineer and managing director of Oslo’s waste-to-energy agency.

Sound a little weird?

It’s really not as bizarre as it seems.  Norway, along with many other northern European countries, has built a network of cogeneration plants that produce heat and electricity from recycled waste.  Referred to as waste-to-energy facilities, the process is relatively simple.  Garbage is burned in a portion of the facility, creating steam, ash and flue gases.  The facility collects the steam and uses it to turn turbines, which generates the electricity used throughout much of the country.  The ash is trucked away to a landfill, while the remaining gases are either filtered and dispersed into the atmosphere, or collected and used for additional products like biofuel.

Below is a great visual example of how a garbage burning plant processes waste.  (via industrytap.com)

garbage-burning-plant

It’s a commodity’

And this is no rinky-dink side project that spits out a few megawatts and creates some strong PR.  No, the Oslo waste-to-energy projects mean business, literally.

”There’s a European waste market – it’s a commodity,” states Hege Rooth Olbergsveen, senior advisor for the program.  Mikkelsen concurs, “Northern Europe has a huge generating capacity.”

This process of generating power, along with the prevalence of factories within the region, is quite common.  Many other northern European countries have done the same for decades, which has actually spurred competition within Scandinavia.  Stockholm, Sweden, for one, has lured several municipalities to truck in an abundance of waste from many locations, including Norway, for their benefit.

Collectively, Oslo residents rely on over 400 incineration facilities in the region for many elements of their daily lives.  For one, half of their residential heat and energy needs come from a consistent supply of waste-to-energy plant output.  They heat most of their local schools using the same energy.  And even the city’s Metro bus system relies on recycled gas fumes from the facilities to create the biofuel they use, increasing energy efficiency between seventy-five to one hundred percent.  As odd as it may sound from an American perspective, the necessity of collecting waste to thrive in Norway is as vital as ever.

Even after importing garbage from countries like England, Ireland and Sweden, the agency operates at a fraction of its incinerating capacity, according to Mikkelsen.  Despite receiving over 150 million tons of waste to process every year, their factories are able to handle upwards of 700 million tons.

US Potential to Participate Overseas

The prospect of bringing in garbage from the United States is still an option, but stumbling blocks remain in the process.  In Norway, the garbage industry is highly organized and technologically savvy; free garbage bags are offered at local grocery stores and they’re color-coded depending on what’s being discarded.  Blue bags denote plastic materials, green bags are for food waste and other recyclable materials are disposed elsewhere.

Conversely, a sizable portion of American garbage is considerably less organized, which could pose an additional environmental hazard for the incineration process, as well as potential complications that could arise from either sorting through the garbage or choosing to burn it as is and wasting recyclable materials.  The concern is notable, but the opportunity certainly appears viable based on Mikkelsen’s interest mentioned earlier.

US Potential to Participate at Home

Similar concerns about environmental hazards have affected the livelihood of waste-to-energy facilities in the United States.  While there are 89 facilities that still function today across the country, almost none of them were built within the last 15 years. The Environmental Protection Agency acknowledges “economic factors” being the main culprit of limiting new construction, although a considerable level of concern among certain environmentalist groups has also played a role in the discussion.

At least one US company has achieved success with working to create an alternative template for operating a waste-to-energy facility with newer technologies.  The big difference however, is that they doesn’t use incineration to do so.  Maryland-based Fiberight converts up to 20 tons of garbage an hour by running trash through a processing center which keeps temperatures low, rather than the conventional high-pressure, high-temperature method.  The end result is a sterilized, odor-less pulp that is made into sugars and biofuels, along with clean, unharmed plastics and metals which can be sorted easily in the process.  Although there is more physical ‘waste’ at the end of the process compared to incineration, there’s also less risk (and less money spent on the filtering) of airborne toxins to consider.

Perhaps the answers for long-term waste-to-energy solutions can be found with methodology similar to Fiberight, but if one thing’s certain, burning garbage isn’t going anywhere any time soon in Oslo.  Although the industry will continue to evolve over time, their reliance on the resources being generated from it is too strong to change much for now.

Demand response programs and energy supply services help businesses control their energy usage and costs. Sign up for one of our energy education workshops and learn more by clicking here or here.

Kristopher Settle
ECS