The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has drawn up a shortlist of three companies competing to design the most economically and commercially viable, efficient energy from waste gasification demonstrator 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 5MW and 20MW.
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.
This is thought to be the first time a total system approach for an energy from waste gasification facility of this size has been considered in an R&D project.
The aim of the ETI commissioned and funded £2.8 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 per cent.
ETI bioenergy project manager Paul Winstanley said: “Our national modelling work shows that bioenergy could be a key component of any future energy systems mix to meet the demands of providing affordable, secure and sustainable energy.
“We have already completed an extensive analysis of the existing energy from waste technologies currently available, as well as the breakdown and quantities of typical UK municipal, commercial and industrial waste.
“This analysis indicates that new plant designs at this scale could potentially operate at a net efficiency rate of at least 25 per cent, which significantly exceeds the performance of current plants in operation. Any successful design of such a plant will provide the opportunity to move towards more efficient, distributed energy conversion technologies and reduce dependency on landfill for waste management in the UK.”