Solid Waste & Recycling

Feature

Mobile Waste-to-Energy

Eco Waste Solutions (EWS) is a Canadian environmental technology that’s enjoying sales abroad — a concept often touted by the government but not always seen to play out in the real world. But this Burlington, Ontario-based company...


Eco Waste Solutions (EWS) is a Canadian environmental technology that’s enjoying sales abroad — a concept often touted by the government but not always seen to play out in the real world. But this Burlington, Ontario-based company was awarded two new contracts last fall to bring point-of-need waste solutions to the mining and military sectors, on top of other contracts in North America, South America and Europe to treat biowaste, animal waste, so-called “camp waste” and more.

EWS claim to fame is the production and installation of mobile waste incinerators at remote locations. The technology is best suited for places that generate waste but where transportation logistics and related costs are prohibitive for conventional haulage and disposal. Clean-burning systems also minimize the environmental impacts of operations such as mining and are preferred to the long-term legacy of an onsite landfill.

Last fall a multinational mining company operating in West Africa selected EWS to supply three ECO Model batch incinerators. This equipment will process 23 tonnes per day — all the domestic waste generated on-site. With large camps, the installation of these facilities can improve sanitation by reducing vermin and disease vectors, enhancing personnel health and safety.

EWS also has been awarded a contract to supply its system to a foreign Department of Defense. The fully containerized mobile system has been procured as part of a readiness program for public health protection.

Another off-beat waste stream for which the systems are suited is animal waste. Recent crises such as the Avian Bird Flu and H1N1 have highlighted the need for governments to react quickly to quarantine and destroy diseased animals. In these emergencies, most agencies resort to open pit burning which is inadequate for infection containment and creates air pollution. The ECO Mobile provides rapid response to the site of a disease outbreak and operates at temperatures that destroy even the more resistant prion — the infectious agent associated with BSE (mad cow disease).

The ECO Mobile is designed to international military specifications and has on-board pollution control and monitoring equipment to meet the strictest emissions standards.

The system

EWS containerized mobile system is designed for rapid deployment; the scalable modular incinerators can offer heat recovery in the form of hot water, steam and small scale energy from waste. The system is available as either a batch or continuous feed operation.

The batch process involves the gasification of waste materials as a single batch load, without disturbance to the waste bed, and without adding more waste until the completion of the cycle. This design removes the need for constant attendance to the process, which is fully automated after loading and starting the machine. This is a starved-air, pyrolytic combustion process where oxygen levels are kept to a minimum. The minimal disturbance of the waste during the process results in a very thorough thermal conversion and very low emissions.

As waste burns in the primary chamber, the gases generated enter the high temperature, richly oxygenated and turbulent conditions of the secondary chamber for cleansing. Gases are retained for a minimum of two seconds at an internal temperature of 1000°C.

After the completion of the burn and cooling cycles, residual materials are removed by manual or automated means and the complete process is repeated.

The continuous feed systems operate under the same design principles — pyrolytic gasification in the first stage and thermal oxidation in the second. However, unlike the batch system, waste is charged on a continuous basis to the primary chamber and ash is conveyed out of the system automatically.

The continuous feed systems allow the ECO model to economically scale up to meet the need for larger capacities. Also the 24 hour operation is more conducive to energy recovery.

For optimal performance an Air Pollution Control Scrubber is added to any of the models. Scrubbers are selected depending on the waste type and are designed to meet specific air regulations. They can neutralize acid gases, remove particulate matter and may also capture heavy metals and other toxic compounds not treated by combustion alone.

After waste is processed the volume is reduced by over 90 per cent. What remains is a non-toxic, inert ash and non-combustible materials (primarily metals and glass). The high temperature process will ensure that any infectious material is burned away. Metals and glass remaining will be sterile, safe to handle and can be recycled.

Eco Waste Solutions has subjected technology claims to this process to verify performance when processing both municipal solid waste and biomedical waste. The company’s air emissions data performance claims have been verified by Environment Canada’s ETV Program: Eco Waste Oxidizer (ETV 97005) and Bio Waste Oxidizer (ETV 00005).

Guy Crittenden is editor of this magazine. Contact Guy at
gcrittenden@solidwastemag.com


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