Nothing to Waste in Frederica

Danish city to test Dong Energy/Inbicon-inspired MSW-to-bioliquid process
| August 22, 2011

Dong Energy wishes there were more cities like Frederica. The Denmark town is participating in a waste refinery project that will convert municipal solid waste into a bioliquid suitable for biogas or, as Dong Energy hopes, second-generation biofuel. The technology, developed in part between Dong Energy and subsidiary Inbicon, is based on a process that heats MSW in a reactor at low temperatures and atmospheric pressures, cools it, then treats the MSW mix with a cocktail of enzymes. The large plastic and glass pieces are removed and recycled, and everything else is converted into a bioliquid. The process requires no pretreatment or presorting of the MSW.

It’s called REnescience, and Jonny Trapp Steffensen, international sales manager for the process, says Dong Energy has two major stakes in the Frederica project that is putting the REnescience process to the test. The first is to further develop the gas-upgrading facility for injection into the natural gas grid based on biogas from Frederica’s municipal wastewater treatment plant. The second is to show “that the REnescience concept fits well with a municipal wastewater treatment plant,” he says. “The bioliquid has a strong biogas potential and can thus serve as a booster to existing biogas plants that run on animal manure or wastewater sludge,” he adds.

Early on in the project, the tests were conducted at an Inbicon facility. Now, any municipality with the right vision can put the process to use. Nanna Dreyer Norholm, senior innovation manager for the facility in Frederica, and the rest of her staff can help with design and support for the process. Or they can also provide a back-of-the-envelope type of feasibility assessment. Or, perhaps they can offer a test run to show that the process works on your waste too.

—Luke Geiver