Renewable Waste to Energy
Green Tech Egypt is the project founder and sponsor of the first 3 Waste To Energy projects in Egypt. Working since 2017 on W2E in Egypt. A strong international consortium was formed in 2020 with OAK holding, WTEI and the Ministry Of Military Production (NOMP). With this consortium, we signed a protocol for a 500 million USD project to process 1.8 million tons of waste per year in 3 phases. We are now in the preparation stage to build phase one, the first Waste-to-Energy plant in Egypt at the Giza governorate.
Egypt is essentially an agricultural country but suffers from the global trend of increasing urbanisation. Moreover, Egypt’s population has risen by 16 million over the last ten years. This has led to an increase in domestic waste volumes, which is a growing environmental problem. The first WTE plant will handle circa 350,000 tons/year of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and will produce about 30MW renewable energy according to European Environmental standards. Using municipal solid waste as a source of electricity is in line with government programmes to encourage the development and utilisation of new and renewable energy.
The key to the corporation is that we transfer knowledge and use the NOMP factory facilities. We are also committed to using as many Egyptian companies in these projects as possible, which will increase with every project. Phase one, the plant at Giza will also facilitate special training rooms for graduate students in cooperation with the Universities. This will contribute to embedding this new industry in Egypt.
What is a Waste-to-Energy plant?
Waste-to-Energy plants burn MSW that could not be prevented or recycled.
From this waste the plant generates energy. This can be in the form of steam, electricity or hot water. The electricity is fed into the grid and distributed to the end-users. Waste-to-Energy is a hygienic method of treating waste, reducing its volume by about 90%, which requires fewer landfill sites. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) says that “Compared to landfilling, waste incineration and other thermal processes avoid most GHG generation, resulting only in minor emissions of CO2 from fossil C sources.” Landfills usually release higher quantities of greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxides, dioxin, hydrocarbons, and non-methane organic compounds, as well as generate leachate. Leachate is the hazardous water coming out of all the waste accumulated, which poisons the underground water systems. As a comparison, landfills only allow organic decomposition, so nonorganic waste keeps accumulating.
Especially our Waste-to-Energy plant will emit low levels of pollutants. We comply with the latest European Air emission regulations and use sophisticated scrubbers, filters and our own innovative flue gas treatment system.
Flue gases are a mixture of combustion products, including water vapour, carbon dioxide, particulates, heavy metals, and acidic gases generated from direct (incineration) or indirect (gasification and pyrolysis) oxidation. Many of the flue gases are greenhouse gases, gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. Each greenhouse gas has a different warming potential. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) described the global warming potential as follows:
‘The Global Warming Potential (GWP) was developed to allow comparisons of the global warming impacts of different gases. Specifically, it measures how much energy the emissions of 1 ton of a gas will absorb over a given period of time, relative to the emissions of 1 ton of carbon dioxide (CO2). The larger the GWP, the more that a given gas warms the Earth compared to CO2 over that time period. The time period usually used for GWPs is 100 years. GWPs provide a common unit of measure, which allows analysts to add up emissions estimates of different gases (e.g., to compile a national GHG inventory), and allows policymakers to compare emissions reduction opportunities across sectors and gases.’
An overview of the GWP of the different greenhouse gases is shown below:
Source IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)
*= parts per million by volume
**= 100-year global warming potential
***= Concentration in 2011
Some GHG have a lower GWP and atmospheric life span but are present in higher concentrations, so they still significantly contribute to global warming.
Clean and Responsible Waste-to-Energy
We developed an innovative flue gas treatment system to have minimal air emissions. It is a patent technology that is still getting improved with the help of esteemed professors, scientists and experts. We find it most important to pursue our business responsibly, so we are dedicated and work hard to have the cleanest Waste-to-Energy plant in the world. We do this because we value our planet, our next generation and each other. Keep following us for more information later!
RDF to Power by HTP
Waste sorting plants in Egypt separate MSW waste into three categories: RDF 15%, compost 50%, and reject 35% (glass, rocks, dust, rubber, electronics, organic matter etc.). Currently, there is only a limited market for RDF; the cement industry uses it to generate heat for industrial production processes. The cement industry burns the RDF without filtering the gases, so all emissions are released into the air, a disaster for the people and our environment. The demand and the price for RDF depend on the cost of the substitutes coal and natural gas. The current price for the RDF is 150-300 LE pt (2021). Most of the sorted RDF is dumped at landfill sites. This RDF can be used as a feed to generate electricity through a High-Temperature Pyrolysis (HTP) application on-site. RDF is known for its high calorific value because it consists, among other things, of paper and (non) recyclable plastics. The advantages of an application on-site are that there are no costs of RDF transportation which can be very high due to the low density of RDF, and there is an existing grid connection. Only a transformer needs to be installed to feed in the electricity. Moreover, the residue ash is only <5% of the initial RDF volume; the ash requires less landfill space and costs, and the costs of transportation to landfill will reduce. Furthermore, the residue ash could also be used as a by-product for the cement industry.
The HTP module is a closed-loop process developed to operate at high elevated temperatures (>700˚C), with no oxygen present, allowing for a more thorough chemical breakdown, improving production yield and minimising emissions. The HTP process converts organic material to gas and solid products. Organic volatile species within the material undergo chemical transformation through volatilisation, steam reforming, methanation and water-gas shift (WGS) reactions to produce a gas product. The gas product is a mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, steam, carbon dioxide and light hydrocarbon species. The high calorific value of the RDF (20MJ/Kg) and ideal air-fuel requirements make the gas an excellent fit for value-add applications. The process remains energy-positive and sustainable by having the system consume the gas to provide the requisite heating duty. The syngas produced in the HTP process is suitable for power production due to their high calorific value. Syngas is consumed in an array of self-contained spark-ignition engines coupled to an alternator, producing power for local plant-parasitic load and power for grid off-take.
We have listed all the pros and cons of the HTP application: