Waste Treatment Technologies
At UKWSL, we have access to state of the art treatment and processing technologies across the UK. This allows us to identify the best options for recycling and disposal processes for our clients, in order to achieve their environmental and commercial objectives. Treatment technologies available to us include:
Anaerobic digestion+ Click to open
This is a natural process in which micro-organisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. It reduces the emission of landfill gas into the atmosphere. It also is a renewable energy source because the process produces a methane and carbon dioxide rich biogas suitable for energy production. Also, the nutrient-rich solids left over can be used as fertiliser.
Biodegradable Municipal Waste (BMW)+ Click to open
This is the term used for biodegradable waste material (such as garden waste, food waste, paper, cardboard, textiles and biodegradable plastics) that is commonly found in municipal solid waste (waste collected by local authorities).
Bio-drying+ Click to open
This is an aerobic pre-treatment of municipal solid waste that shows its best performances when the waste has a high moisture content. The bio-drying process significantly reduces the amount of waste required to be processed due to the removal of moisture from the waste.
Composting+ Click to open
This is the breakdown of plant matter by the action of micro-organisms and other organisms into usable end-products. It is an important method of processing organic waste because it reduces the production of the powerful greenhouse gas methane being generated as this material biodegrades in landfill sites.
Energy-from-waste (EfW)+ Click to open
This refers to any waste treatment that creates energy in the form of electricity or heat from a waste source. The electricity and heat generated can be provided to local communities/businesses or the national grid. EfW technologies reduce waste that otherwise would be transferred to a “greenhouse gas” emitting landfill.
Gasification+ Click to open
This is a process that converts materials, such as coal, petroleum, or biomass (i.e. biodegradable material), into carbon monoxide and hydrogen by heating the raw material at high temperatures using a controlled amount of oxygen and/or steam. The resulting gas mixture is called syngas and is itself a fuel. Gasification is a very efficient method for extracting energy from many different types of organic materials. It is a unique treatment method as it relies on chemical processes at high temperatures over 700°C.
Incineration+ Click to open
Incineration is a waste technology that involves the combustion of organic and non-organic materials and/or substances. Incineration and other high temperature waste treatment systems are described as “thermal treatments”.
In-vessel composting+ Click to open
This is an industrial form of composting biodegradable waste that occurs in an enclosed space. These generally consist of concrete bunkers in which air flow and temperature can be controlled. A dry layer of carbon material is placed on top of the compost which filters odours and maintains moisture
Materials Recovery Facility (MRF)+ Click to open
This is a building for recycling or recovery of waste materials.
Mechanical biological treatment (MBT)+ Click to open
This type of facility combines mechanical ‘front end’ sorting with a form of biological treatment such as composting or anaerobic digestion. The sorting facility initially removes recyclable material leaving the remaining waste to be treated through the anaerobic digestion/composting process. MBT plants are designed to process mixed household waste as well as commercial and industrial wastes.
Mechanical heat treatment (MHT)+ Click to open
MHT involves a mechanical sorting stage with technology often found in a material recovery facility. The mechanical sorting stage is followed by a form of thermal treatment. This might be in the form of a waste autoclave or processing stage to produce refuse derived fuel. MHT is sometimes grouped along with mechanical biological treatment. MHT does not however include a stage of biological degradation (anaerobic digestion or composting).
Pyrolysis+ Click to open
This is the chemical breakdown of organic materials by heating in the absence of oxygen or any other substances, except possibly steam.
Refuse-derived fuel (RDF)+ Click to open
This is a fuel produced by shredding municipal solid waste (MSW) or steam pressure treating in an autoclave. RDF consists largely of organic components of municipal waste such as plastics and biodegradable waste.
Waste autoclaving+ Click to open
This is a form of solid waste treatment that utilises the heat, steam and pressure of an industrial autoclave. Steam is pumped into the autoclave at temperatures around 160°C. The pressure is in the vessel for up to 45 minutes to allow the process to fully ‘cook’ the waste.