Waste to Energy: How it Works

Many people these days have an increased awareness of the significant impact that we collectively have on the environment. What’s more, there seems to be a real shift towards something known as the circular economy which has become increasingly a sensible outlook.

Essentially, this refers to creating products that have greater longevity. Generating energy from waste, be that electricity or heat, can then be used in homes and businesses, this is a logical step towards circular thinking in the form of waste-to-energy.

What Is Waste?

Using waste as a combustion material will lower the volume of landfill significantly.

Waste to energy will stop one ton of CO2 release for every ton of waste burned and gets rid of methane that would have leaked with landfill disposal.

This sounds simple but something really helpful to remember is the three Rs:

  • Reuse
  • Reduce
  • Recycle

By taking the time to recycle household items such as plastics, glass, paper, metals, and wood, is going to lower the carbon and pollutants brought about during the burn process. Any kind of materials such as kitchen refuse, bio waste, and commercial rubbish is well suited to combustion. In general, waste-to-energy encompasses all types of energy recovery that transform waste directly back into energy.

Waste-to-energy processes

At its core, the waste-to-energy process creates power from the incineration of safely combustible waste. For example, from food scraps, cardboard, cloth or paper. Nevertheless, you can also use the gases, referred to as landfill gases are made up of nearly 50 % methane. Methane is classed as a greenhouse gas, if this gas was to escape, it could add to already significant greenhouse gasses. If captured, however, it can also be utilised as an element of natural gas.

What is the waste-to-energy process?

Waste-to-energy processes can also be used to make liquid biofuel, this is occasionally referred to as agrofuel from biomass. The fuel made from this can be used like any other liquid fuel, although it may need special equipment to do so. Much like biodiesel, which can only power diesel engines that have been retooled to work with the fuel.

The Energy Desk can provide partial or complete funding for waste to the energy system, including all the equipment and infrastructure needed for a waste to energy plant.

We offer a free site energy check to assess what levels of funding your business qualifies for, including fully funded waste to energy plants. Here are just some of the waste to energy plants we offer to fund for:



Anaerobic Digestion

Bespoke PTR

Our technologies make fruitful investments whilst helping reduce carbon emissions both in the UK and internationally.

For further information about waste to energy systems please call us on 03330 151 221 or contact us today.

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Waste to Energy: How it Works