Jan 21, 2014

Nottingham Plant Generates Energy from Waste

In 39 years, the facility has kept 5 million tons of waste from entering landfills

Atlas Copco FCC Environment waste to energy

FCC Environment, a U.K. recycling and waste management company, is using energy-efficient compressor and filtration solutions from Atlas Copco to help turn waste into energy at its Nottingham waste processing site.                

The energy from the company’s commercial and domestic waste processing facility in Nottingham produces heat and steam to generate power without using fossil fuels. Since the facility opened 39 years ago, it has reduced the amount of Nottinghamshire’s waste going to landfill sites by 5 million tons.

The FCC facility needs quality compressed air for a number of process applications from emission monitoring equipment to the pulsing of filtration bags employed in the Flue Gas Treatment stages of the operation. Air quality is extremely important, since any contaminants in the air supply would affect the instrumentation that is vital to flue gas monitoring and risk non-compliance with the company’s Environmental License stipulations.

This requirement for high quality standards is the reason FCC turned to Atlas Copco to meet its compressed air needs. Equipment installed at the site includes two GA 90 screw compressors—one fixed speed and the other a VSD machine, capable of matching output to user demand for optimum energy savings.

The system was augmented with three vertical air receivers, and to ensure first class dry air at the point of use, three BD desiccant dryers with a guaranteed dew point of -70°C. These were then fitted and connected to Atlas Copco’s particulate and coalescent filters. Environmental protection was also ensured with the installation’s EWD condensate management system that prevents any possible drainage contamination.

When the Atlas Copco team surveyed the installation site they found a great deal of external pipework between the location of the compressors and the various points of use throughout the production facility so it was essential that pressure drop within the air net had to be kept to minimum. FCC was one of the first compressor customers to have Atlas Copco’s brand new filter range units installed. The design of these innovative filters means a pressure drop of only half of that associated with conventional coalescing or particulate filters is incurred. This translates into significant energy savings.

“When we sat down to discuss potential requirements, life cycle costs and energy efficiency was at the forefront of everyone’s mind,” said Alan Burkill, Atlas Copco sales engineer, the principal liaison on the FCC project. “Our proposal was a solution that delivered the lowest life cycle cost to our customer and energy-efficient filtration was an integral and indispensable part of the installation.”