Event: Beyond incineration? Prospects to improve and commercialise Advanced Thermal Treatments for MSW (21st November 2016)

Date: Monday 21st November 2016
Venue: Open University regional centre, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, London NW1 8NP (5 minutes walk from Camden Town tube station)
How to register: Please email FASS-ATT-MSW@open.ac.uk by end of October
Rationale
In the past decade the UK has had controversy over incinerating municipal solid waste (MSW), alongside efforts towards moving up the waste hierarchy. These pressures have offered opportunities for Advanced Thermal Treatments (ATTs), e.g. pyrolysis and gasification. Long ago gasifiers were designed to convert homogeneous feedstock, so the technology has needed significant development to treat MSW and recover more energy. In the past couple years, some contracts between UK local authorities and waste-management companies have included a gasifier, usually with an on-site MBT plant to remove recyclables and pre-treat the feedstock. Such facilities have been promoted as ‘not incineration’.
Questions: What are the prospects to improve and commercialise ATTs for MSW, to move up the waste hierarchy, and to take waste management beyond incineration? How do decision-makers compare various options for thermal treatment? Within an EPSRC project, the socio-economic study analysed such decision-making; the results will be discussed in the first part of this seminar. The overall project tested synergies between waste-conversion technologies; its experimental results will be discussed in the second part.
Agenda
12.45 – Lunch
13.30 – Welcome by Dr Les Levidow Introductions
13.45 – Part 1
Gasifiers versus incinerators for treating MSW: decision-makers’ criteria
Presentation by Dr Les Levidow and Dr Paul Upham, based on their journal paper,
‘Innovating thermal treatment of municipal solid waste’, Science and Public Policy, online Sept 2016, doi: 10.1093/scipol/scw054 (open access)
Commentators
Geraint Evans, Energy Technologies Institute
Others invited
Discussion
15.30 – Part 2
Pyrolysis-AD integration for treating MSW: experimental results and implications
Presentation by Professor Anthony Bridgwater, Aston University, and other project partners (see below).
Discussion
17.00 – Tea & coffee
Note: Aston University coordinates the project, ‘Increasing energy yield from integrating anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis’, funded by the EPSRC Supergen Bioenergy programme (2014-16), overview at https://www.supergen-bioenergy.net/research-projects/increasing-the-energy-yield-from-the-integrations-of-anaerobic-digestion-and-pyrolysis/