SITA UK begins production of Climafuel at new SRF plant, UK

 SITA UK begins production of Climafuel at new SRF plant, UK

SITA UK has begun production of Climafuel at a new GBP7m (EUR8.2m) solid recovered fuel facility to be used at Cemex UK's Rugby cement works.

The new facility, situated in Birmingham, UK, as been developed by recycling and resource management company SITA UK to transform commercial waste, which would otherwise go to landfill, into Climafuel, an alternative to coal.

As Ben Harding, General Manager – Material Sourcing at SITA UK, explained: “Traditionally a significant proportion of Birmingham’s commercial waste has gone to landfill, but space is running out and as an environmentally-conscious company we would rather see the waste put to good use.

“At the same time coal and other fossils fuels are becoming increasingly scarce so finding alternatives is crucial, particularly for energy-intensive processes such as cement making.

“Our partnership with Cemex to supply the Rugby kiln with a specialist fuel, made from waste that can’t reasonably be recycled, is providing a cost-effective, greener and cleaner solution to two problems – reducing landfill and preserving fossil fuels.”

Waste going into the new Birmingham facility is repeatedly sifted and shredded. Metals, plastics and paper are taken out for recycling and anything with a high water or chlorine content, which would harm the cement-making process, is also removed.

The resulting Climafuel has a high calorific value and is perfect for fuelling the cement kiln. As it is produced, it is continuously analysed, using the latest infra-red technology.

Any material which doesn’t meet the Cemex specification can be used as refuse derived fuel elsewhere, so hardly any of the 100,000t of waste going into the Birmingham facility  each year will end up in landfill.

Ian Southcott from Cemex said: “We have been successfully burning Climafuel at Rugby since 2007 and during that time we have been steadily increasing the proportion we use.

“At the moment, we source Climafuel from a number of plants around the UK and to be able to secure supplies locally genuinely provides a local solution to the local problem of how best to utilise the waste that the community generates.”

The new processing plant took in its first waste at the end of March. Equipment at the facility is still being tested, but when it is fully operational it will process 22tph of waste.

Currently 23 staff work there, but further jobs will be created in the future, when a materials recycling facility, where household and business recycling will be sorted, is created on the other half of the site.

In the meantime, a second facility producing Climafuel is planned at Malpass Farm, next to the Rugby cement works. Work will start this summer and it should be up and running by the end of 2014. Together the two plants will produce around 250,000tpa of Climafuel.

Climafuel is a registered trade mark and is only used to describe this alternative fuel used by Cemex in the UK.