- ETI estimates that bioenergy can reduce the cost of meeting the UK’s 2050 carbon targets by more than 1% of GDP
- Gasification is a key technology for delivering low carbon energy – it can use a variety of feedstocks to produce electricity, heat, power, chemicals and materials
- The ETI is investing £5m in a 1.5MWe gasification project incorporating syngas cleaning and tar removal in the West Midlands to build confidence in the technology
A new report published today by the ETI has concluded that using waste and biomass for gasification can produce low carbon power efficiently particularly at a town scale.
The ETI’s latest report “Targeting new and cleaner uses for wastes and biomass using gasification” sets out why it believes the technology could be so important to a future low carbon UK energy system, what the current UK landscape looks like along with analysis of earlier ETI research into waste gasification technologies.
ETI analysis of the UK energy system indicates that bioenergy should be a crucial part of the UK’s future energy mix as it can reduce the cost of meeting the country’s 2050 carbon targets by more than 1% of GDP.
Gasification, which can use a variety of feedstocks, is a key technology for delivering low carbon energy as electricity, heat and power as well as chemicals and other materials. This is because it converts the energy held within a difficult to use solid fuel into an easier to use gas.
It is especially useful when operated at a town scale because the waste heat generated can be used in district heat networks to provide heat and power for commercial operations.
Currently, the technology and commercial risks are too high for typical investors and developers. To accelerate the technology to the point where these risks are more acceptable, the ETI is investing £5m in the construction of a 1.5 MWe waste gasification demonstration project incorporating an engine fuelled by “ultra-clean”, tar free syngas.
The 1.5MWe facility being built in Wednesbury in the West Midlands will produce enough electrical power to supply 2,500 homes and will use advanced gasification technology to produce power at high efficiency and high reliability from sorted and processed municipal waste.
The plant will convert about 40 tonnes a day of post recycling, refuse derived fuel (RDF) produced locally into a clean syngas. The syngas will then be converted into power using a modified high- efficiency gas engine, and waste heat generated from the engine will be made available to heat a local swimming pool.
It will also incorporate a unique test facility which will allow the testing of new engines, turbines and upgrading processes which produce products from waste derived clean syngas including a proprietary methanol production process which boosts product yield significantly over rival technologies