Gasification Plant To Produce Green Gas From Household Waste

artists-impression-of-final-siteConstruction is set to begin on a new green energy plant that is claimed to be the world’s first commercially viable facility to convert household waste to a bio-substitute natural gas (BioSNG) – which is claimed to emit 80% less carbon dioxide than the diesel used widely in the UK.

The developers of the plant in Wiltshire, Advanced Plasma Power and National Grid Gas Distribution, say their technology has the potential to use waste to generate 100TWh of BioSNG each year if deployed nationwide. This could fulfil one-third of the UK’s annual heating requirements or power all of the UK’s heavy goods vehicles.

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BioSNG can be used in existing appliances, such as boilers and cookers, and distributed in existing gas networks – as well as in transport – representing a major step forward in decarbonising the energy system. Whilst the power generation sector has made huge progress towards decarbonisation in recent years, decarbonising heat and transport has proved a more stubborn challenge, and is an established government priority.

The first plant, near Swindon, will take in 10,000 tonnes of waste from the local area and produce 22GWh of BioSNG, enough to heat 1,500 homes. It will also reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gases by 5,000 tonnes per annum.

“Advanced biofuels have the potential to save at least 60% of the greenhouse gas emissions from the equivalent fossil fuel – and Advanced Plasma Power is at the forefront of this pioneering technology.”

The £25m facility is funded by an £11m grant from the Department for Transport’s Advanced Biofuels Competition, as well as Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition and the project partners.

The plant also brings jobs and investment to the local area, with 50 roles created during the construction phase and additional full-time skilled jobs once operational from 2018 onwards.

The technology has been developed at a £5m pilot plant in Swindon, a joint project between National Grid, Advanced Plasma Power and Progressive Energy.

Advanced Plasma Power is also exploring the potential to use their technology to produce hydrogen, which would further reduce carbon emissions as the UK moves to a more sustainable energy mix.

Progressive Energy provide strategic and engineering direction for the project, whilst Wales & West will connect the facility to the gas grid, and CNG Services advise on the use of gas in transport.

Rolf Stein, CEO of Advanced Plasma Power said: “As our technology matures we will be able to convert waste into fuels cost competitively with fossil fuels, helping to achieve an affordable, secure and sustainable low-carbon future.”

Transport Minister John Hayes said: “Biofuels have an important role to play in keeping Britain moving and will deliver cleaner, greener fuels.

“Thanks to our £11m investment this Swindon plant will help make significant carbon savings and deliver a boost to the technology.

“Advanced biofuels have the potential to save at least 60% of the greenhouse gas emissions from the equivalent fossil fuel – and Advanced Plasma Power is at the forefront of this pioneering technology.”


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