Much of our biodegradable waste, from food and garden detritus to cardboard and paper, is sent to landfill. Once deposited in these sites it breaks down and releases methane, a powerful and complex gaseous compound which contributes to the greenhouse effect. Waste to Energy technologies enable energy to be recovered from waste materials destined for landfill.
Electricity generated in Waste to Energy facilities has a steady and controllable output much like that generated by geothermal, tidal and nuclear power plants.
Modern, well-run Energy from Waste facilities have many environmental and sustainability benefits including helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improving the UK’s energy security.
There a three key Waste to Energy technologies
- Combustion plants which use a boiler to capture and convert released hear into electricity and steam
- Gasification and Pyrolysis generate electricity by heating the fuel without allowing enough oxygen for complete combustion
- Anaerobic digestion which uses microorganisms to convert organic waste into biogas that can be used to generate electricity