Arriving at Waste-to-Energy: The UK Story

The amount of residual waste after recycling has made the UK Government rethink the utilization scheme of recycling byproducts. Incentives towards Waste-to-Energy (WtE) have brought attractive solutions and opportunities for both the Government and investors.

In the past decade, Justsen has delivered over thirty small scale boiler plants in the UK. During this time, the market has been driven by the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) scheme, creating a certain degree of saturation on the biomass market. Until 2016 the incentive applied mainly to 1 MW boilers. Thanks to local partnerships, Justsen solutions were successfully pioneered through the ‘’RHI era’’. Since 2017 the scheme is driven more by the greenhouse sector, and Justsen was awarded contracts for delivering four medium/large-sized boilers to the leading plant producer in the UK.

The market shifted when Small Scale Waste Incineration Plants and Small Scale Energy to Waste concepts came into play, permitting combustion of certain waste grades. The wood recycling industry ranks waste wood into four grades A, B, C, and D. Two latter ones are classified as waste and are a part of a WtE concept at Justsen. Until now, Justsen technology design allowed combustion of A/B and C Grade fuel. Another type of waste recognized under the WtE concept is a refuse-derived fuel (RDF) typically disposed as landfill.

In the beginning of 2020, Justsen completed the Research and Development of two new boiler types designed to combust hazardous waste wood Grade D and RDF. Flue gas retention in the after-combustion chamber for a 1.6 MW high-pressure Grade D fueled boiler is 1,100 °C/2 s and 850 °C/2 s for a high-pressure hot water boiler with 2.6 t/h of RDF fuel. Small scale WtE plants burning RDF are a novelty in the UK market. After 12 months of research, local partners are seizing market opportunities with Justsen’s newly developed technology.

The poultry farm in Yorkshire project is the first demonstration of hazardous wood waste incineration Ecotec Services Ltd implements with Justsen combustion technology in the UK. The boiler is designed for Grade D fuel as defined by the WRA (Wood Recyclers’​ Association) wood waste grading system.

Ecotec Services Ltd and Justsen cooperation has strengthened technological solutions for converting treated wood to energy. Incorporating incineration technology innovated by Justsen, Ecotec will bring their Small Scale EfW (Energy-for-Waste) Plant, running on RDF at 2.6 t/h, to market in 2021.

About author

Justsen Energiteknik is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specializing in biomass boiler systems ranging from 300 kW to 30 MW. Justsen designs and manufacturers hot water, steam and chp type boilers for all kinds of biofuel. Justsen water-cooled grates is our key system element that has changed biofueled boiler plants.

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Tom Bak

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