Waste2Tricity’s proposes to use plasma gasification technology combined with fuel cells to convert waste to energy in response to LWRB’s open call for environmentally responsible and innovative approaches to deal with the capital’s 21 million tonnes of waste produced annually.
The Waste2Tricity consortium includes AFC Energy Plc, Alter NRG, and WSP Environmental. Its proposition is to establish a £135 million commercial scale plant capable of converting 250,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste into electricity a year. GDF SUEZ has expressed an interest in purchasing the electricity produced.
The Waste2Tricity plant will use Alter NRG’s Westinghouse plasma gasification technology to convert municipal solid waste feedstock into syngas, which is then cleaned and converted to hydrogen.
In stage one of Waste2Tricity’s programme, the process will use internal combustion engines (ICE) to generate electricity. In stage two the ICE will be replaced with AFC Energy’s fuel cells, potentially increasing the net output of electricity by a minimum of 60% over an ICE system, or by 200% over a steam turbine system.
The project will meet LWRB’s aim to support ‘new and emerging advanced thermal conversion technologies, with a preference for technologies that have the potential to produce hydrogen from waste’.
It will also help achieve the Board’s stated benefits to stakeholders of ‘local heat and power plants providing cheap energy; reduction in carbon footprint; energy security; and lower financial costs for London boroughs through avoided landfill tax and gate fees’.