What is Energy from Waste (EfW)?
Energy from Waste (EfW) is a proven renewable energy technology that recovers energy from waste. It is generally acknowledged that three technologies are principally used for mixed municipal waste; direct combustion, pyrolysis and gasification.
Direct combustion is the most commonly used of these in Europe and throughout the world.
It works by burning waste that cannot be recycled. The combustion process produces high-pressure steam that is converted to electrical power using a turbine and generator. This electricity can be fed into the national grid or supplied to the local community.
They can also produce high-pressure hot water or steam that can be used by industry or domestic heating. These plants are highly efficient and are encouraged by Government policy.
Pyrolysis is the thermal degradation of the waste in the absence of air. This produces a syngas which is then used to generate energy.
Gasification can be seen as being between pyrolysis and direct combustion in that it involves the partial oxidation of the waste, again producing a syngas which is then used to generate energy.
The EfW facility envisaged by arc21 could supply renewable energy for at least 30,000 homes (the equivalent of Down District Council) .