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Recent news from suppliers to the waste conversion industry.

June 14, 2016

Air Products will exit energy-from-waste business

Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania-based Air Products has announced it will exit its energy-from-waste (EfW) business. As a result, the EfW business segment will be accounted for as a discontinued operation effective in the company’s second fiscal quarter.

Also in the second quarter, Air Products says it expects to record a pretax charge in the range of $900 million to $1 billion in discontinued operations, primarily to write down assets associated with the EfW business to their realizable value.

In previous public comments, Air Products management has communicated the challenges with the Tees Valley, U.K. projects.

Testing and analysis completed during the company’s fiscal second quarter indicated that additional design and operational challenges would require significant time and cost to rectify. Consequently, the board of directors has decided that it is no longer in the best interest of the company and its shareholders to continue the Tees Valley projects.

Air Products says it will work to optimize the cash value of its investments. Exiting the EfW business will allow the company to direct its resources to its core business of industrial gases.

The board of directors’ decision to exit EfW is expected to have the impact of moving the EfW segment to discontinued operations will increase EPS from continuing operations by about 3 to 4 cents for FY14 and FY15, as there was a small operating loss reported in the EfW segment.

Theco partners with Komptech for waste and biomass treatment

St. Michael, Minnesota-based Theco Inc. recently partnered with Komptech Americas, Westminster, Colorado to help bring its customers more innovative options for shredding, screening, composting and separation equipment. Theco is a materials processing equipment dealer that has been in the aggregate and recycling equipment industry for more than 25 years.

Komptech manufactures systems and machines for the treatment of waste and biomass. Its extensive line of equipment will give Theco an opportunity to profit from environmental recycling in the Midwest, the companies say.

Theco offers sales, rental, lease purchases, parts and service.

Tennessee gasification plant will include generators from Clean Energy Technologies

Clean Energy Technologies Inc. (CETI), Costa Mesa, California, announced a waste-to-energy (WTE) system set for completion in Tennessee later this year marks the second commercial collaboration utilizing the Clean Cycle generator from CETI. The WTE system will provide renewable electricity to a municipal wastewater treatment plant in Lebanon, Tennessee.

CETI’s equipment is designed to generate more than 1 million kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity over the 20-year life of the project by converting 8,000 tons of waste material diverted from landfills each year.

The system is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 2,500 tons annually. The plant has been awarded a $250,000 Clean Tennessee Energy Grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

PHG Energy (PHGE) of Nashville designed and is now building the waste gasification facility. It will initially convert some 32 tons per day of wood waste, scrap tires and sewer sludge into a fuel gas through a patented downdraft gasification process. The synthetic gas created will fuel a thermal oxidizer and that heat energy will be transferred to three 140- kilowatt Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) generators provided by CETI.

“We are very excited to play a major role in this system that provides clean energy and addresses economic concerns at the same time,” says Kam Mahdi, chief executive officer of CETI. “The flexible system PHGE has devised can be the start of a solid foundation of reducing landfill usage, greenhouse gas emissions and electrical costs for many cities and industries.”

PHGE began working with CETI’s heat waste generators during a research and development deployment in 2012. At the time the Clean Cycle generator business was owned by General Electric. CETI acquired the technology in 2015. It also acquired Heat Recovery Solutions assets, patents and licenses from General Electric International Inc. The company says this proprietary Magnetic Bearing Turbine Technology will serve as the foundation of the company’s new focus on clean energy and environmentally sustainable technologies.

“We have enjoyed the simplicity and reliability of the CETI equipment making it a good choice for our third project,” says Chris Koczaja, chief operating officer for PHGE. “We were able to utilize their ORC generators to prove our clean synthetic gas could be utilized to produce electricity from waste.”

PyroGenesis completes factory acceptance testing of plasma torches

PyroGenesis Canada Inc., Montreal, a designer, developer, manufacturer and commercializer of plasma waste-to-energy systems and plasma torch products, has announced that it successfully completed the factory acceptance test of six plasma torches under its contract with an Asian-based client for the design, manufacture and delivery of a fully automated plasma torch system.

The testing was conducted at PyroGenesis’ facilities in Montreal in the presence of the client and provided for the completion of the second phase of the contract, the company reports. PyroGenesis is keeping the client’s name and origin confidential for competitive reasons.

This $2.2 million contract is for the delivery of a fully automated plasma torch system comprised of eight air plasma torches to be used at the client’s waste-to-energy plant in Asia.

PyroGenesis has received full payment for this second phase of the contract, which includes the delivery of the remaining six plasma torches and accessory equipment, with shipment of these units to be expected by the end of the month.

During the client visit, PyroGenesis was asked to support the system startup at its client’s plant in Asia and to supply additional spare parts and consumables. Furthermore, the client expressed an immediate need for three new multitorch systems, with delivery expected as early as next year.

“With increased urbanization in this part of the world, the need for sustainable waste management technologies is rapidly growing,” says P. Peter Pascali, president and CEO of PyroGenesis. “In our efforts to meet the exact requirements of the U.S. Navy, PyroGenesis succeeded in developing a plasma torch with an electrode life amongst some of the longest in the industry, and it is my belief that our proprietary plasma torch will serve as the backbone for next generation waste-to-energy systems for hazardous, industrial and municipal solid waste worldwide. This order and the anticipated re-orders from our client are but a first step in this evolution.”

Redwave forms new subsidiary focused on MBT

Austria-based sorting and sensing equipment maker Redwave, a division of BT-Wolfgang Binder GmbH, has expanded its waste processing sector by founding a subsidiary called Redwave Waste GmbH. The new subsidiary, based in Wetzlar, Germany, “adds the important area of mechanical-biological waste treatment (MBT) to Redwave’s product portfolio,” says the company.

The new division “provides waste processing solutions, using automated mechanical sorting and processing technologies, for converting waste into secondary fuel and usable recycling fractions,” Redwave says in a news release.

Among the technologies it offers is biodrying, which Redwave says greatly improves the sortability of wet waste streams with high organic content, as well as turnkey plants for the composting of organic waste, such as kitchen waste, waste food and residual materials from biogas fermentation plants.

“By combining the two major areas of technology—sensor-based sorting on the one hand and classical mechanical-biological treatment on the other—we have become one of only a few suppliers on the market who are able to offer clients complete solutions designed individually to meet their needs,” says Silvia Schweiger-Fuchs, the CEO of Redwave.

Redwave Waste is currently working on projects in Finland, Scotland and China. The project in Finland “is a combined plant for sorting the light fraction of household waste and waste packaging and for mechanical processing of household waste to fuel,” says Redwave. The two plants together have a capacity of 175,000 metric tons per year.

In Scotland, Redwave is supplying the fuel storage and feed technology for a gasification plant for a project that is currently in the design phase and is planned to go into operation in the summer of 2017.

The project in China represents “a new kind of process in terms of plant size and MBT technology in China,” according to Redwave, with an annual capacity of 270,000 metric tons, in which household waste is first dried biologically and then processed mechanically.