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Mechanical biological treatment - solution or hype?


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Mechanical biological treatment - solution or hype?

Presented by Adam Read, Waste Management & Resource Efficiency Practice Director.

Presented at the Air & Waste Management Association’s 105th Annual Conference & Exhibition, San Antonio, June 19-22, 2012.

Published in: Business, News & Politics
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Mechanical biological treatment - solution or hype?

  1. 1. MECHANICAL BIOLOGICAL TREATMENT Solution or Hype?Dr. Adam Read – Practice DirectorWaste Management & Resource Efficiency, AEAAWMA 2012 A world leading19th – 22nd June energy and climate change consultancySan Antonio, Texas
  2. 2. Overview ….. In 20 minutes …. + Personal Welcome + UK Waste Situation - Drivers, Legislation, Targets…. + What is Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT)? + The role of MBT? + MBT development in UK + MBT Composts and Digestates + Waste Composition changes? + Conclusions … 2
  3. 3. A personal welcome + Adam Read - Practice Director @ AEA - 17 years of operational expertise in waste technology appraisal, design and procurement - Staff of 75 plus consultants (UK and US) - Leading MBT procurement for a number of UK authorities - Specialise in waste infrastructure siting and community liaison + Role on the project - Project Director and lead policy advisor to the Essex Waste Partnership, North London Waste Authority & West Sussex County + Acknowledgements - Andy Godley as lead author and UK leading specialist on MBT technologies, their application and monitoring - Chris Hoy as co-author and lead modeller 3
  4. 4. My sponsors ….
  5. 5. Our US sponsors + We are here exhibiting with ERG - we acquired them in 2010 + Come and see us on Booth #118 - ERG and AEA Technology Group + Franklin Associates (ERG division) - extensive experience in all aspects of solid waste management (over 30 years of practice) - integrated solid waste master plans - full life cycle analyses of solid waste - waste stream evaluations for local, regional, state, and national agencies 5
  6. 6. The UK Waste situation 6
  7. 7. The EU Landfill Directive + EU Landfill Directive – mitigating landfill’s environmental impacts - BMW reductions required to mitigate fugitive CH4 emissions - Pre-treatment of landfilled materials - Landfill waste acceptance criteria (WACs) - Landfill design, operation, completion and closure requirements + BMW includes commercial and industrial wastes and municipal waste streams + BMW Landfill targets for the UK - 75% of 1995 level by 2010 - 50% of 1995 level by 2013 - 35% of 1995 level by 2020 + Significant driver for innovation in technology solutions 7
  8. 8. The Need For Change in the UK (MSW) 60 50 Millions tonnes per annum 40 Non-biodegradable Municipal Waste 30 20 Biodegradable Municipal Waste Requiring Diversion 10 Biodegradable Municipal Waste Allowed to Landfill 0 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
  9. 9. Government ‘Waste’ ObjectiveAnnual reduction in GHG emissions of 9.3 milliontonnes of CO2 equivalent per yearEquivalent to annual use of 3 million cars!Closure of most of the 8,000 licensed facilitiesProcure, design & build a suite of new treatmentfacilities!!Need to identify bankable solutions / technologies
  10. 10. The UK Recycling Agenda + UK Policy - Derived from EU Directives - Encourage Recycling and Recovery including EfW - Discourage Landfill + UK Recycling targets - Revised Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) - 50% by 2020 - Set nationally at 60% in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - Currently recycling 42% (2010-11) - Need to increase diversion o @ curbside or @ treatment facility ? 10
  11. 11. The Energy situation in the UK + Commitment to CO2 Reduction + Commitment to Renewable Energy + Ageing Nuclear Capacity + High gas and oil prices (security risks) + Dwindling home production of oil and gas + Rising population ~20m by 2070 + Equates to a potential Energy Crisis - Extracting energy from waste seen to be a positive contribution! - But EfW (capped at 20% of MSW) - Looking at expansion of Biogas & Solid Recovered Fuel production 11
  12. 12. The growth of AD solutions + AD has historically been used in sewage treatment + Use of biogas is a major bonus + Now recognised as an option for generating ‘value’ - recognised and actively promoted o UK Government AD Road Map & Action Plan o ROCs incentive for electricity generation (x2) o Renewable Heat Incentives (feed in tariffs) + Feedstocks - Food waste & farm wastes - Residual wastes (yes but poorer quality) + Commonly being linked with fuel preparation technologies - Like MBT! 12
  13. 13. Revised Waste Framework Directive + 2008/98/EC + Waste Hierarchy + Recycling Targets – 50% by 2020 + End of waste status – CLO from MBT not applicable - Drives greater quality in collection & processing …. 13
  14. 14. The ‘residual waste’ debate + EfW v MBT – only realistic options currently out there! + EfW - Incineration has bad public image and planning permission difficult - Involves combustion of all waste with limited recovery - Combustion is single use - Only exploits energy content of waste - Low cost but irreversible MBT is gaining popularity in the UK! + MBT - Greener image and planning is easier - High recycling and exploits carbon chemical value as well as energy - High flexibility to offer best value - Can preserve other nutrients in CLO (N, P, S) - High cost but more flexible 14
  15. 15. Scale of MBT application in Europe + MBT has provided a substantial contribution to EU waste management practices since 1990 + 330 major MBT facilities in EU - mainly Spain, Italy, Germany + 450 major MBT facilities in EU by 2016 (expected) + UK - About 20 major facilities (<50,000 tpa) are operational - More than 20 planned or under construction - Combined capacity ~ 4,000,000 tpa - Selected as more politically acceptable and reduces the need for a thermal facility by 50% 15
  16. 16. What is MBT? 16
  17. 17. MBT is …. + Combination of Mechanical separation and Biological Treatment (composting and/or anaerobic digestion) + Processes may include multiple steps in any order and produce a variety of outputs dependent on the MBT design + Possible outputs: - Metal recyclables - Glass recyclables - Plastic recyclables - Compost like output (CLO) - Biogas energy - Solid fuel (SRF or RDF) - Biostabilised waste - Residues 17
  18. 18. MBT solutions 18
  19. 19. MBT – design can hide all process types 19
  20. 20. More MBT 20
  21. 21. MBT outputs 21
  22. 22. The role of MBT? 22
  23. 23. Role of MBT + Landfill and Recycling Targets are being achieved through - Composting garden waste - Collection recyclables (e.g. plastics, glass, metals) as source segregated or co-mingled and separated in MRF - Promotion of food waste collections and AD + This leaves residual “black bag waste” ~40 - 50% of MSW + Simple choice - Thermal Treatment (Energy from Waste) or MBT + MBT often seen as more acceptable to public - Not a burner & reduces tonnage going to thermal treatment - No chimney! 23
  24. 24. MBT solutions in the UK 24
  25. 25. UK MBT Development (options) + MBT with Biodrying and SRF Production - several established and in construction/procurement + MBT with RDF and AD - many in procurement + MBT with Biostabilisation - a few in construction and procurement + MBT with rapid composting and recyclate production - a few in operation + MBT with AD and recyclate recovery - one in construction + MBT with RDF and composting - None 25
  26. 26. Biodrying MBT CO2, Moisture Biological step: Mechanical SRF (has BMW) Short composting step: Refining 2-4 weeks. SRF and Drying limits recyclate Metals degradation recovery Glass/Aggregates Residue (has BMW) O2 Optional Re-wetting and composting Biostabilised Residue residue 26
  27. 27. MBT with RDF and AD RDF (has raw BMW) Biogas/energy Mechanical step: Refining Biological step: RDF and Anaerobic recyclate Digestion Digestate recovery (partially biostabilised) Metals Glass/Aggregates Plastics 27
  28. 28. MBT for Bio-stabilisation CO2, Moisture Mechanical step: Metals Biological step: Extended Refining and Glass/Aggregates composting 6-12 recyclate Plastics weeks recovery Paper CLO Residue O2 28
  29. 29. MBT for Rapid composting and recyclate CO2, Moisture Metals Biological step: Mechanical Glass/Aggregates Rapid high rate step: Refining and recyclate Plastics composting 1-2 weeks recovery Paper Partially biostabilised CLO Residues O2 29
  30. 30. MBT with AD and recyclate Biogas/energy Biological step: Wet Mechanical Anaerobic Digestate step: Digestion (partially biostabilised) (Paper included in AD feed as well as food waste) Metals Glass/Aggregates Plastics 30
  31. 31. MBT with RDF and Composting RDF (has raw BMW) CO2, Moisture Mechanical Metals step: Refining Biological step: Glass/Aggregates RDF and Composting CLO recyclate 4-8 weeks. recovery Biostabilised Residue Metals O2 Plastics 31
  32. 32. MBT compost and digestate 32
  33. 33. MBT compost like outputs (CLO) + Potential MBT outputs - CLO has significant potential for recycling to land/land reclamation (but an uncertain market) - Many MBT designs could produce CLO if market was available - Stabilised compost CLO also counted + Previously in UK this could contribute to recycling targets under NI192 (recently abolished) - New definition of recycling is coming (CLO wont count) + Significant tonnage of CLO produced in UK but rationale no longer pertinent - Could see a switch in MBT design …. - Less CLO production and increase in MBT with AD because of the energy agenda…. 33
  34. 34. MBT compost like outputs (CLO)+ Revised Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) - Likely that CLO will not attain “End of Waste Status” as from mixed source o CLO then would not count towards recycling o Recent selling point for MBT with AD of digestate recycling invalid o What happens to digestate from existing MBT with AD facilities? o Potential increase in source segregation of organic waste to obtain end of waste status of digestate, e.g. food waste removal for separate AD - Impact on UK MBT facilities? o Those with AD? – loss of good food waste feedstock o Those with composting? – loss of feedstock for biostabilisation and biodrying - Takes the B out of MBT and MBT concept redundant o Potential concern that significant investment in MBT infrastructure in UK to be undermined! 34
  35. 35. The global recession + Has also had a significant impact on UK waste management + Reduced need / feedstock for residual treatment - 5% reduction in waste arisings year on year (2008 – 2011) - Some authorities have reported 10% reductions in some years + End markets for SRF are under threat - Cement kilns are taking less waste derived feedstock - Postponement of developments with integrated SRF & CHP - Postponement of merchant SRF-EfW developments - Increasing competition for SRF outlets (insufficient SRF utilising capacity) + Solutions: - Procure your own SRF using facility (as in West Sussex) - Export SRF - possible but stringent consent condition (Shanks to Germany) - Landfill the SRF!! (seems at odds with the rationale for MBT!) 35
  36. 36. Export the SRF + Export Consent required from Environment Agency + High quality of SRF required - must be free of hazardous contamination - but definition of contamination is not specific + Any export batch may be inspected + High risk of adverse publicity and fines if batch rejected + Also subject to economic recession + UK currently exports 300,000 tpa - Over 1 M tpa is licensed (Holland, Germany, Denmark etc.) + Recent permits for Sita to export to Rotterdam / Amsterdam - To fill up the spare capacity in their EfW facilities - Lose of UK resources and energy potential – seems nuts! 36
  37. 37. The Essex Waste Partnership+ Residual Waste Treatment for ~380,000 tpa+ Preferred technology MBT – No Waste Incineration Policy!+ Objectives:- - Meet BMW diversion targets & minimise total waste landfilled - Maximise recovery of recyclables - Exploit SRF if markets become available (none currently)+ MBT biostabilisation system that can switch to produce SRF - Maximise decomposition of biodegradable waste (LOI & biogas reduction) - Maximises moisture loss - Maximises and flexible recyclables – metals, plastics, aggregates, CLO - Flexible to switch operation to produce SRF if markets available+ Acceptable redundancy of equipment in different operational modes….. A significant investment but retains flexibility! 37
  38. 38. Essex County @ procurement + Predicted contract value of £2.5 billion over 25 years (PFI) + Demonstrating savings of £300m (compared to do nothing) + Carbon benefits of 2.4 million tonnes of CO2 saved + In built switching capability believed to cost an additional £80 million + Real costs will be known in July 2012 @ preferred bidder 38
  39. 39. What might it look like? 39
  40. 40. Waste Composition Changes? 40
  41. 41. Waste Composition Changes + Residual waste composition is variable and will change! - Changes in waste generation (efficient use of products) o less waste - Changes in consumer products & packaging o changing type, size, density etc. - Changes in source segregation o removal of materials from feedstock (food) + MBT flexibility comes at a cost! - High level of waste composition detail needed for MBT design o content and type of components such as plastic film dense plastic, PVC plastic, food waste, metals – to set targets and design equipment - High flexibility to meet all composition change risk o complex and costly plant - Low flexibility to meet all composition change risk o simpler plant, lower cost, but at risk of being made redundant 41
  42. 42. Composition risks + MBT plant failure? - Examples known where waste composition has fallen outside MBT design parameters before the plant has become operational o From design & contract award to operations can take 3 or 4 years - Build in redundancy of equipment to accommodate changes in waste composition or retrofit equipment to keep pace with changes in waste composition! o Expensive + EfW plant failure? - Waste composition is less important o Only concern is calorific value - Less susceptible to residual waste composition changes - Lower risk for investors & decision-makers …. 42
  43. 43. MBT Procurement & composition risk + Lengthy discussion on waste composition impacts - Balance of cost vs. flexibility - Need good data @ outset - Need to model impacts of changes and the flexibility of proposed solutions + Transfer waste composition risk to technology provider - Must treat waste provided effectively whatever its composition - Comes @ a cost + Control of feedstock quality for residual waste stream - Facility must deal effectively with residual waste whatever its composition 43
  44. 44. Conclusions 44
  45. 45. Conclusions + MBT often selected as more acceptable to public (and politicians) than EfW + MBT is playing a significant and growing contribution to UK waste management + Various designs of MBT exist with increasing emphasis on MBT with AD (fits UK Renewable Agenda) + MBT derived composts and digestates do not qualify as recycling – undermining some of the earlier plans! + MBT is sensitive to changes in waste composition + MBT flexibility comes at a cost – but needs to be addressed @ outset + Potential that many UK plants will prove costly to remain functional to keep pace with future waste situation 45
  46. 46. Lessons for the US + Switching technologies needs careful analysis + Solving 1 priority may create problems elsewhere in the system + Look @ joining up the agendas (energy, resources, waste etc.) + Don’t choose MBT to boost recycling or deliver quality composts! + Fuel preparation is a valid role for MBT prior to EfW, Cement Kilns, Advanced Thermal Solutions + Learn from the UK’s experiences …. 46
  47. 47. Thank you! 48
  48. 48. Come and see us …. Booth #118 Adam Read Shelly Schneider Practice Director - AEA Franklin Associates (ERG) Waste Management & Resource Waste Management & Resource Efficiency Efficiency cell: 0044 7968 707 239 tel: 913-800-8276 email: email: web: web: