Now That’s Meta. Waste from Car-Shredding Can Be Converted Into Energy

Home » Now That’s Meta. Waste from Car-Shredding Can Be Converted Into Energy

Sims Metal buys 1,3 million tonnes of automotive shredding residue per year to fuel an energy plant in Australia, the first of its kind. Because China and India won’t take our trash anymore.

One man’s trash is everybody’s energy – this should be the motto of Sims Metal Management. Although in this case it’s more accurate to speak about trash of the trash or trash residue.

The process of car-shredding leaves three-million tonnes of leftover residue just in the European Union each year, and the world’s leading metal and electronics-recycling company found a way to utilize that.

Sims Matel Management announced on Monday that it would spend $158 million to build and operate seven shredding waste ’gasification’ plants within the next decade. The fuel for such plant is the aforementioned metal residue. One kg of shredding waste contains 16 megajoules of energy, which can be extracted through non-combustion, thermo-chemical processes.

All previous projects of metal waste-gasification had failed within a few years.

Sims Metal is going to install the first such plant in Australia. The facility should consume a million ton of shredding waste per year and create more energy than the gasification process itself requires. Depending on the success of the project, Sims Metal is planning six another units in the USA and the United Kingdom.

Burn them all?

The proposed energy plant of Recovered Energy Australia would use gasification to convert household waste into energy to lite up 20 thousand homes.

Recent events has made the utilization of that type of waste, which usually ends up in landfills, even more important for the main ’output’ countries. China had introduced regulatory action on the import of solid waste, including scrap metal, plastic and paper. They expanded the lists of banned product types last November. India followed China’s lead this March.

A successful and cost-effective operation of the Sims Metal Management plants would present an attracting option everywhere where waste-to-energy incineration is among the main methods of waste disposal. Apx. 80 million tonnes of waste are burnt in the EU every year.


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