World’s first facility using enzymes to process unsorted household residual waste

By | 2016-02-23

In Northwich, Cheshire, UK, will soon begin the construction of an innovating facility able to treat unsorted household residual waste with enzymes. The plant should be ready in 2017. The Danish company DONG Energy is behind the project. They began in 2009 testing a prototype plant located in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The REnescience Technology

DONG Energy developed a technology called REnescience. It is meant to maximize resource and energy outputs of regular household waste. The concept allows centralizing the whole residual waste treatment in one plant, which makes reducing unwanted waste of resources a lot easier.

By taking out the sorting from pre-plant treatment and making it a necessary step in the process, it optimizes the potential of recycling, reusing and producing renewable energy of unsorted waste.

The process starts by mixing the unsorted waste with warm water containing enzymes that will separate any organic matter from solid waste like recyclable or inert substances. The separated solid waste can be easily sorted and either recycled or reused in the most useful ways possible. What is left is an organic liquid, called bioliquid, which is then used to produce biogas by anaerobic digestion with the required bacteria in a sealed vessel.

Key numbers

  • DONG Energy: investment of DKK 600 million (USD 88.7 million)
  • Potential of 120,000 tonnes of unsorted waste processed per year
  • Up to 150 employees for construction
  • 24 employees for daily operations

DONG Energy is hoping to invest into a second facility over the next 12 months.

By Simon Lefebvre | 2016-02-23

Sources : DONG Energy, Let’s recycle, Business Green