SITA UK Opens Recovered Fuel Plant

Waste management firm spent $10.75 million at plant in Birmingham, U.K.

June 24, 2013
Waste Today Staff
Legislation & Regulations

The U.K.-based waste management firm SITA UK has opened a new facility in Birmingham, U.K. which will convert various type solid waste into a solid recovered fuel that it is calling Climafuel. The fuel will be used at the CEMEX cement works facility in Rugby, U.K.

“Traditionally, a significant proportion of Birmingham’s commercial waste has gone to landfills, but space is running out and as an environmentally-conscious company we would rather see the waste put to good use,” says Ben Harding, SITA UK’s general manager – material sourcing.

With the new recovery center, waste entering the facility will be sifted and shredded. Metals, plastics and paper will be removed and processed as a recyclable. Further, any material with a high water or chlorine content, which would harm the cement-making process, is also removed.

The resulting material is then processed into confetti-like flakes, known as Climafuel, which has a high calorific value and is perfect for fuelling the cement kiln, according to SITA UK. As it is produced, it is continuously analyzed, using the latest infra-red technology, to make sure it meets the exacting standards required by CEMEX.

Any material that does not meet CEMEX’s specification can be used as refuse derived fuel (RDF) elsewhere, so hardly any of the 100,000 metric tons each year will end up in landfill.

“We have been successfully burning Climafuel at Rugby since 2007 and during that time we have been steadily increasing the proportion we use,” says CEMEX’s Ian Southcott. “At the moment, we source Climafuel from a number of plants around the U.K. and to be able to secure supplies locally genuinely provides a local solution to the local problem of how best to utilize the waste that the community generates.”

The site officially started at the end of March, 2013. Equipment at the facility is being tested, and when the facility is fully operational it will process 22 metric tons of waste per hour.

The company has added that it is presently working on a second facility, located next to the Rugby facility, that also will produce Climafuel. Work on the project is expected to start by the middle of 2013 with the facility operational by the end of 2014. Together the two plants will produce around 250,000 metric tons of Climafuel a year.