Gatwick and DHL team up to turn airport waste into energy
Gatwick Airport and DHL Supply Chain has now opened a new waste management plant, making the former the first airport in the world to turn waste into energy on-site.
DHL’s £3.8 million facility not only disposes of Category 1 (defined as food and food packaging) waste safely on-site, but converts it and other organic waste into energy – in the form of dry-powdered organic material used as fuel – to heat Gatwick’s waste management site and power its water recovery system. The plant is expected to save £1,000 in energy and waste management costs a day.
Currently, Gatwick treats 2,200 tons of Category 1 waste a year – just 20 percent of the total generated – but the new plant will process 10 tons a day. The goal is to take Gatwick’s recycling rate from the 49 percent it is currently to 85 percent by 2020, and having the recycling facility on-site ensures waste transportation is as efficient as it can be, alongside reducing emissions.
Gatwick’s CEO, Stewart Wingate, said: “On our journey to become one of the greenest airports in the world, our new world-beating waste plant turns a difficult waste problem into a sustainable energy source. We’re confident it sets the benchmark for others to follow in waste management.
“Our ambitious plans to develop in the most environmentally responsible way possible are driven by a set of rigorous targets. I’m delighted to say our strategy is working and, despite passenger numbers doubling, our environmental footprint is better today than it was in the early 1990s.”
Martin Willmore, Senior Vice President, Specialist Services, UK, DHL Supply Chain, added: “After a decade of working closely with Gatwick, we’re excited to still be finding innovative ways to improve operations across the airport. Disposing of Category 1 waste can be very costly and time-consuming, but our new waste management and recycling system is a huge step forward.
“Gatwick is leading the way in converting waste onsite into an energy source and we’re already investigating a number of further initiatives to support sustainable energy production and the future expansion of the airport.”
Read the March 2017 edition of Energy Digital magazine
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.