Energy From Waste
Energy from Waste 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 being the most commonly used worldwide. The simple principle of burning waste that cannot be recycled, produces high pressure steam which is converted to electrical power using a turbine and generator. The electricity is then fed onto the national grid.
Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF)
SRF can be distinguished from RDF by the fact it is produced to an industry standard specification such as CEN TC 343. With a moisture content of less than 15% SRF is used as a substitute for fossil fuels in cement kilns, coal fired power plants, lime kilns, industrial boilers and combined heat and power plants (CHP) delivering energy to industry and/or municipalities. SRF production does not discourage recycling of plastic, paper and wood, because SRF production is a complimentary option, as at waste sorting the remaining high calorific fraction is often not quantitatively suitable for recycling. Therefore, it can be utilised as a complimentary waste technology. SRF is also not subject to the price volatility of fossil fuels and is eligible for various incentive plans, such as Green Certificates in Europe, Renewable Energy Certificates in the USA and Renewable Obligation Certificates in the UK.
Refuse-derived fuel (RDF)
RDF is made from domestic waste which includes biodegradable material and plastics, and has a lower calorific value than SRF and in it's make up is much cruder. RDF fuel is used in combined heat and power facilities, many of them in Europe where they produce electricity and hot water for communal heating systems in local areas. Compared to landfilling, the lower carbon emissions resulting from this approach to processing waste far outweigh the emissions associated with transporting the reclaimed fuel. There is also widespread support currently for the introduction of minimum standards with the European Recovered Fuel Organisation making great strides in it's formulation