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20 Feb 2024

Veolia has now launched a new feasibility study which shows potential for sustainable fuel production

Amy Power
Veolia has now launched a new feasibility study which shows potential for sustainable fuel production

Veolia will soon be launching their pilot project, which will use innovative carbon capture processes in energy recovery facilities (ERF) throughout the UK. Veolia also recently decided to go ahead with a site feasibility study, before the pilot project is held.

The system that Veolia will be operating, was engineered by Veolia’s in-house design teams and it works through the use of advanced amine technology. This technology uses advanced amine technology to capture carbon emissions which are produced from the combustion of non-recyclable biogenic waste. Around 60% of the carbon emissions that will be captured, are produced throughout the incineration process. However, rather than being released into the atmosphere, the biogenic carbon dioxide can be mixed with green hydrogen, which will result in fuels such as eMethanol, as well as Sustainable Aviation Fuel. The creation of this sustainable aviation fuel will lead to a reduction in the carbon intensity of shipping and air travel.

Veolia’s innovative amine carbon capture technology works in four specific stages, with the first being that the flue gas is cooled and all the trace pollutants are removed before the carbon capture process begins. Once this is done, the amine solvent begins capturing the Co2 and clean flue gases are returned to the flue. The next step is the solvent being heated with steam that is produced by the ERF. The ERF produces a Co2 rich steam whilst also regenerating the solvent so that it can be brought back to the absorption process. The carbon dioxide is then dehydrated and compressed so that it produces an almost 100% pure stream of Co2, which can then go on to be used to create new products or it can simply be stored.

Altogether, Veolia has ten ERF sites active and operating within the UK and all of these sites are able to take an estimated 2.3 million tonnes of non-recyclable waste and develop this into electricity which is then used by more than 400,000 homes. Aside from providing power to these homes, the other benefit of this system, is that generating this combined capacity of 180Mwe, removes a lot of pressure from the stretched UK electrical grid. This also provides the ability to avoid the use of fossil fuels to create enough energy.

Chief Operating Officer - Treatment, at Veolia, Donald Macphail, commented, "This latest innovation marks a major step forward in our ability to utilise non-recyclable waste and captured CO2 to create the next generation of fuels. This development, combined with greater recycling and the removal of plastics from waste streams,  will further reduce carbon emissions from ERF. It will also make a major contribution to  meeting net-zero targets that protect the environment for the future, and supports our commitment to achieve ecological transformation."

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