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A safe yet very efficient method for treating mixed food and plastic waste

Resumen

Tipo:
Oferta Tecnológica
Referencia:
TOUK20200602001
Publicado:
02/06/2020
Caducidad:
03/06/2021
Resumen:
A UK university spinout has invented and proven a catalyst that safely turns mixed food waste and packaging into carbon, at lower temperatures. In collaboration with Japanese partners, they offer a full solution for decentralised treatment of up to 24 tons of food/plastic mix per day. Both producers and treatment companies of such waste are sought for commercial agreements with technical assistance.

Details

Tittle:
A safe yet very efficient method for treating mixed food and plastic waste
Summary:
A UK university spinout has invented and proven a catalyst that safely turns mixed food waste and packaging into carbon, at lower temperatures. In collaboration with Japanese partners, they offer a full solution for decentralised treatment of up to 24 tons of food/plastic mix per day. Both producers and treatment companies of such waste are sought for commercial agreements with technical assistance.
Description:
The problems with mixed waste are widely known. The separation of streams, for example food waste and plastic bags, cutlery, and packaging, is currently impractical. The processing of mixed waste is quite possible and the technology for doing so keeps improving. In addition to simply incinerating it, there are ways now to use water steam, pressure and elevated temperature, to produce energy and also oils etc. from waste.
Still, there is room for improvement. There is no good solution to avoid formation of dioxins and other toxic substances. Finally, the plant for these processes is typically large and expensive. It is common that waste gets sent to a different country for processing.
A UK university spinout is working on the problem jointly with universities and machine builders in Japan. The results are pictured below.
They have invented a catalyst that turns mixed organic waste into carbon. The process is more energy efficient than the ones on the market. It runs at below 200 degrees. Suddenly, it has become feasible to treat waste on-site at organisations large and small. There are no health or safety hazards. The two models take from 100 kg to 24 t of waste per day. They work in continuous and not in batch mode which makes them quite user-friendly. The reaction works particularly well on waste largely composed of food waste, with packaging and other plastics in the mix. The product is carbon (Picture 2) that can be sold off. There are plenty of processors who turn it into briquettes, activated carbon, cokes, fillers, plastics. This solution has won recognition and awards from amongst others, the Solar Impulse Foundation, and they have already sold one unit and the catalysts to a food company in Japan.
The UK company will remain as the supplier of the catalyst. As the innovation spreads, the manufacture of the equipment can be licensed from the Japanese partner.
Commercial agreements with technical assistance are sought with waste management companies, catering and events organisers. The waste may come from food and agritech industries, sludge, local government etc. Some technical assistance will likely be needed. The UK company will review the composition of the waste stream. If it is not well understood, analysis will be agreed on to check the safety post-installation.
Advantages and Innovations:
Most technologies available turn the waste into a mix of oils that gets burned for energy. This catalyst generates pure carbon which can be sold on.
The catalyst drives a process that is no-pressure, lower temperature, and free from toxic by-products.
This in turn opens up the possibility of a decentralised and safe processing of mixed waste.
Stage of Development:
Field tested/evaluated
IPs:
Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
Type of partner sought: industry but also public bodies.
Specific activity of partner sought: anyone who either produces or handles more than 100 kg of mixed food waste per day.
Role of partner sought: to acquire the technology. Once the demand grows, licensing will be considered for building the equipment outside Japan. The UK company also offers technical assistance with monitoring installations. Where the composition of waste is not fully defined or fluctuates, initial health checks need to be run.

Client

Type and Size of Client:
Industry SME <= 10
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Si
Languages Spoken:
English

Keywords

Technology Keywords:
10003007 Conversión de residuos en energía / recursos
08001003 Empaquetado / manipulación de alimentos