Advanced Plasma Power and Group Machiels announce landmark waste management

– Innovative British technology company is the first to provide viable and sustainable waste-to-energy solution –

Advanced Plasma Power (APP), the UK-based waste-to-energy company and Group Machiels, the global waste management firm, today announce a major joint venture in order to undertake the first enhanced landfill mining project in the world – involving an investment of hundreds of millions of euros.

Process and product development to make efficient use of all phases of a product’s life cycle, thereby closing the materials loop, are indispensable tools to overcome depletion of raw materials, shortage of energy and CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere.

The mining of existing landfills are an exceptional example of closing the material’s loop. Hence, the Closing the Circle concept, an enhanced landfill mining concept, has been developed by Group Machiels in collaboration with a consortium of academic partners (KULeuven, VITO, UHasselt), extracting the maximum value from historic waste streams as materials and energy, as well as CO2 sequestration or offsetting.

The Closing the Circle concept is being implemented in the project at the landfill site of Remo Milieubeheer NV in Houthalen-Hechteren, Belgium, a subsidiary of Group Machiels. More than 16 million tons of waste is stored at that landfill site. The type, amount and location of the waste stored is well documented, allowing its effective and efficient mining. Around 45% of the stored waste can be recycled as material. The recycling residue can be processed through APP’s patented Gasplasma® technology, Europe’s first truly sustainable waste-to-energy application of this kind.

The joint venture aims to construct an energy plant using up to five Gasplasma® units, with a net electrical power of 75 to 100 MW – this is equivalent to the energy required to power 100,000 homes. The energy produced by the Gasplasma® units will be fed into the national electricity grid in Flanders.

This joint venture is the first deal of this scale for the ground breaking Gasplasma® process. It combines two existing and proven technologies to produce a highly efficient waste-to-energy process meeting all European emissions requirements with virtually no residual wastes.

The Gasplasma® process is a gasification and plasma conversion technology that converts the waste stream into a clean hydrogen-rich syngas and a vitrified recyclate product called Plasmarok® that can be used as a building material or replacement aggregate. The Gasplasma® process destroys harmful gases leaving the high quality syngas to be used to generate clean, renewable, local energy.

Therefore the Gasplasma® process is perfectly suited for the Closing the Circle project, which will see the Remo landfill site that has been in use since the 1970s returned to its original state with green spaces to be enjoyed by the community.

Simon Merriweather, Chief Executive of Advanced Plasma Power said, “This is a landmark project for Europe. We are working with Group Machiels in a joint venture that makes best use of our Gasplasma® technology because we are able to provide a cost-effective and environmentally friendly waste-to-energy solution.”

Louis Machiels, Chairman of Group Machiels commented, “This joint venture is an important step in the realization of a ground breaking project. It is part of our Closing the Circle philosophy that wants to contribute significantly both to a cradle to cradle approach of the use of materials and the reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere. The energy plant that we will build together with APP is one of the key elements for the success of our plans. It is in the same spirit of collaboration that we want to reach out to other stakeholders. That should help us to achieve the ambitious goals set for this and other future enhanced landfill mining
projects.”

This project is the first of a number of initiatives that APP is undertaking over the coming months that will encompass waste-to-energy projects in the UK and mainland Europe. With landfill gate fees rising and energy security continuing to be an issue, the need for sustainable waste-to-energy solutions has never been greater.



7 Responses to “Advanced Plasma Power and Group Machiels announce landmark waste management”

  1. Bruce LeGros says:

    Using waste to create energy is something that will not be a choice in years to come, it will be an absolute necessity. Without it, our landfills will not be able to cope as our population, and therefore waste, grows.
    There should be far more funding pumped into research to allow the growth of waste-to-energy technologies.

  2. Sam Hett says:

    Great article and very helpful for us all when I'm searching about the waste management best practices. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Martin Max says:

    Very helpful article for me thanks for sharing this content.

  4. An excellent project, and let's hope for an even better implementation. The key, in my opinion, is precise waste separation. Not only would that increase the efficiency of the operation by saving time and resources, but it would also reduce the harmful emissions that mining a landfill could produce. I'd just like to point out that this is not the future of rubbish removal, it's the reality! Sweden has been doing it for years and with the right investment, the UK or Belgium can be the next ones to set an example.

  5. Very useful article with a great insight to waste management!

  6. A major step to sustainable living, which we should have taken long ago I think. Overpopulation and mass consumerism aggravate the problem with waste management and measures need to be taken as quickly as possible. Hopefully it is not too late.

  7. David House says:

    Interesting piece, quite detailed, which is cool.

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