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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P510336/1
Title: Pre-commercial technology validation of a clean cold renewable syngas production plant.
Principal Investigator: Wagland, Dr S
Other Investigators:
Anthony, Professor E
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr N Jurado
Project Partners:
Department: School of Water, Energy and Environment
Organisation: Cranfield University
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 01 June 2016 Ends: 31 May 2017 Value (£): 81,247
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Bioenergy Waste Minimisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Domestic oil and gas production is declining and the deployment of fracking within the UK has stalled. Therefore the UK needs new enhanced sources of clean energy. In 2014, 2.6 million tonnes (Mt) of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) was exported from the UK and 14.7Mt of suitable input material was landfilled (source: Defra). In the same year, industrial energy consumption was 24Mt of oil equivalent (Mtoe), of this 8Mtoe was gas consumption (including blast furnace, coke oven, town and natural gas). (source: DECC - Energy consumption in the UK (2015)). Not all fossil gas burning industry uses the heat to generate steam, many industrial customers use the gas directly in their processes, and in contact with their product, and thus require the gas to be clean to avoid contaminating their product. Examples of some of these industrial applications would be; lime manufacture (kilns), brickwork manufacture (kilns), earthenware / potteries (kilns), grain drying and sugar beet drying. To enable these industries to prosper, a UK sourced low carbon clean alternative is needed.

Conventional pyrolysis and gasification of RDF produces a hot syngas that has tars and oils contained within the gas stream. These tars and oils prevent the syngas being used for many applications. This new technology produces a clean syngas which will reduce: emissions associated with the transportation of RDF abroad; the fossil gas carbon release with the substitution of the clean renewable syngas; the fossil gas carbon emissions associated with electrical network losses in transmitting the power generated back to the UK. The amount of waste exported from UK as RDF in 2014 was 2.6Mt. Assuming a net average electrical potential of 0.6 MWh per tonne (RDF with a CV around 10 MJ/kg) provides an estimate of 1,560 GWh of potential electrical energy exported. In heat terms, assuming a thermal capacity of 1.2 MWh per tonne, this would estimate a loss of potential heat source from England of 3,120 GWh (source: CIWM).

The development of the full scale integrated prototype pyrolysis and associated syngas clean-up system has demonstrated the concept of producing a clean contaminant free syngas. Through a 12 mth trial this project aims to exploit the technology development achieved to-date, and to demonstrate the robust, repeatable, and consistent production of syngas and substantiate the inputs to a financial model; to a degree of accuracy that technical assessors for funding, planning and permitting bodies will require; successful delivery of the project will enable the technology's commercialisation which will enable it to be part of the energy trilemma solution.

Although there are other large gasification plants, one of the unique selling points of this development is that this patented (feed input to gas generation) small scale modular system can be built alongside the gas customer.
Key Findings
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.cranfield.ac.uk