Our Energy Centre converts waste that has not been recycled by households into electricity. The plant uses the heat generated from controlled combustion of the refuse to produce steam. The steam is then taken off at high pressure to drive turbo alternators which generate electricity. We produce electricity at a rate of 32 megawatts per hour, which is sufficient power to meet the electrical needs of 24,000 homes – that’s equivalent to a small town. The plant is tightly regulated by the Environment Agency and operates to some of the most stringent emission limits in the UK.
How it works – go to schematic
Once the waste has been collected from households it is taken to the
EcoPark Energy Centre. The trucks then tip their load into one of five bunkers.
Huge grabbers then feed the waste into a feed chute, which leads into
the boiler. It is here that the waste is incinerated at between 800
and 1,200 degrees centigrade. The heat is used to turn water into
steam, which is then used to drive the generators. The electricity
produced by the generators is fed into the National Grid at a rate
of around 32 megawatts an hour.
The gases resulting from the burning pass through an Electrostatic
Precipitator which captures the lighter particles of ash and dust.
They then pass through the flue gas treatment plant where they are
cleaned by lime and carbon filters.
The heavier particles of ash are collected on conveyor belts, where
giant magnets pull out the ferrous metals. The ash is then recycled
and used as an aggregate for roads and construction materials.
Benefits of Energy from Waste
"If we are to achieve a sustainable waste management system, then
incineration with energy recovery will need to play a full and integrated
part in local and regional solutions developed over the next few years."
Government Waste Strategy 2000
Across Europe Energy from Waste is considered to be a better environmental
option for dealing with waste than landfill. Countries such as Denmark
and Switzerland, which have achieved far higher recycling rates that
the UK, also rely much more heavily on Energy from Waste.
Benefits of Energy from Waste Include:
Production of electricity – The EcoPark Energy Centre produces enough electricity to meet the needs of
Cuts lorry exhaust emissions
which would result from taking waste to landfill
Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
from landfill sites
Enables the recovery of ferrous
metal for recycling
The high temperature steam which is generated
can be used to treat waste from hospitals and heat homes and
Reduces pressure on landfill void space.
Energy from Waste: Emissions Data
To check emissions from the LondonWaste plant select from the following:
*Our EcoPark Energy centre not only meets the current limit of 1 ng/Nm3 but has voluntarily adopted the new EU limit which only comes into effect in 2005.
Our Energy Centre is strictly regulated
by the Environment Agency. Emissions from the plant must also comply
with stringent limits set down by the European Union.
In 1996 LondonWaste EcoPark invested £15 million in a state-of-the-art
flue gas treatment equipment. Using a combination of lime and carbon
filters the system has had a dramatic effect on the emissions coming
out of the chimney. In addition, the EcoPark Energy Centre is also equipped
with Electrostatic Precipitators which ensure the gases are cleaner
Since 1996 - when the new gas cleaning equipment was installed - dioxin
emissions from the Edmonton stack have been dramatically reduced.
Limit - applied since 1996
New European Standard:
Dioxin Emission June 2003
(The measurements are shown in nanograms
per normal cubic metre - a nanogram is 0.000000001 of a gramme).
With its new state of the art equipment, the Energy Centre not only meets
the current emission limit of 1 ng/Nm3
but actually surpasses the proposed new European standard which is
not due to be applied to the Edmonton plant until 28th December 2005.
In fact, the Company has already notified the Environment Agency that
it will voluntarily adopt the new limit applying to dioxins with effect
from 1st January 2001, five years early. The reality is that almost
all dioxin emissions arise from other sources such as traffic pollution, open burning such as bonfires and fireworks.
A recent study by the National Society for Clean Air stated that all
of the country's municipal waste incinerators only accounted for 3%
of dioxin emissions. This compared with 20% from accidental fires
and open agricultural burning.
To put this into perspective, a person would have to stand next to
the Energy Centre for over 100 years to receive the same level of
exposure to dioxins as that person would receive from two hours exposure
to a large city bonfire event on Guy Fawkes Night.