Landfills have been used for waste disposal in Europe since the end of the 19th century. But growing waste levels put pressure on landfills.
As the EU produces 2.5 billion tonnes of waste each year waste-to-energy (WtE) incinerators have become an increasingly popular method to reduce waste.
WtE incinerators can reduce waste by up to 90 per cent and recover useful energy as heat from the waste. However, they also produce by-products like fly ash, which is made up of fine particles containing toxic heavy metals.
Fighting fly ash
NORSEP has developed a process which can be implemented at WtE plants to reduce the problems of fly ash.
NORSEP converts hazardous waste fly ash from WtE plants into non-toxic residue and commercially attractive products.
The NORSEP process treats fly ash by dissolving it in hydrochloric acid, filtering the undissolved fly ash, and destroying the organic toxins using heat treatment. The process is controlled by the patented NORSEP processing algorithm.
NORSEP process products can be used as raw materials for a range of purposes in various industries, including for making concrete and for zinc production.
The NORSEP solution reduces problems with fly ash, while at the same time enabling the use of waste as raw material for other industries.
This way, the NORSEP solution reduces the need for landfills and hazardous waste transportation considerably. Turning one industry’s by-product into another industry’s raw material is circular economy in practice.
In Europe alone, there are over 500 WtE plants that annually generate over 2 million metric tons of fly ash. Worldwide, there are over 2000 WtE plants.
Close contact with the WtE plants in Norway has shown the need for the NORSEP solution. The first full-scale Norsep facility is to be installed in a WtE plant in Oslo.