MSW Management

They Call It “Distributed Modular Gasification”

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Arturo-Santiago-Blog
Recently I’ve been seeing more and more stories on the news and websites and social media about how the world is drowning in plastic. I’m glad this is on the radar of an increasing number of media outlets so that they can spread the word and educate people on the reality of recycling and how it compares to their preconceived notions.

In the wake of the China Sword and realizations that plastic particles have infected our food chain, the waste and recycling industries face the daunting task of redefining how they do business.

Managing municipal solid waste is more than landfilling: publicity, education, engineering, long-term planning, and landfill gas waste-to-energy are specialties needed in today’s complex environment. We’ve created a handy infographic featuring 6 tips to improve landfill management and achieve excellence in operations.  6 Tips for Excellence in Landfill Operations. Download it now!

That means the re-examination of technologies that perhaps didn’t get the attention they deserved a couple of years ago, but are now being considered as having great potential. One might be what is called “Distributed Modular Gasification” or DMG. The technology turns unrecyclable plastic into hydrogen.  

PowerHouse Energy (PHE), a UK company, developed DMG which uses waste plastic, end-of-life tires, and other waste. It can efficiently and economically convert them into EcoSynthesis gas from which valuable products such as chemical precursors, hydrogen, electricity, and other industrial products may be derived. PHE says it’s one of the world’s first proven modular hydrogen from waste (HfW) processes. The DMG process can generate in excess of 1 ton of road-fuel quality hydrogen and more than 28 mega-watts per hour of exportable electricity per day. The PHE process produces low levels of safe residues and requires a small operating footprint, making it suitable for deployment at enterprise and community level.

The Toyota Tsusho Corporation is getting serious about the technology. It’s considering a partnership with PHE and the commercial deployment of DMG in Japan as PHE’s project development partner, Waste2Tricity Ltd (W2T), is currently negotiating a pipeline of projects in the UK.

Howard White, W2T’s executive deputy chairman, says, “We have been delighted by the level of interest shown in the PowerHouse DMG concept in the region and I will shortly be going to Japan for further discussions with Toyota Tsusho Corporation about how a partnership could be established to exploit this mould breaking technology, initially within Japan, with PHE supplying technical expertise and W2T leading the commercial deployment.”

Takashi Torigoe, General Manager Chemical Business Development Department Toyota Tsusho Corporation, comments, “We have been reviewing Power House Energy’s DMG technology over the last few months and take great interest in it. We are excited and looking forward to a potential partnership in Japan and possibly worldwide.”

Have you heard of Distributed Modular Gasification?

Have you seen it in action?

Do you think the world is ready for it?  MSW_bug_web

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Comments

  1. Hi Arturo,

    Yes I’ve heard of PHE DMG, in fact I’ve been following the company for about 7 years now and been invested for more than 4.

    Many investors were able to see the smaller 1 to 3 tonnes per day demonstrator/test unit in operation at The University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park just over a year ago and subsequently the syngas has been utilised via a gas gen-set to feed electricity into the Science Parks micro-grid.

    ‘Do you think the world is ready for it?’
    I think it has to be, anyone who thinks we can stop using plastics derived from fossil fuels needs to think again, plastic is not the enemy, the indiscriminate discarding of plastic is the problem.

    We need to understand how much energy is embedded in plastic, most plastics contain between 6 and 11.5MWh of energy per tonne, with PVC containing the least at 3.8MWh/t which is slightly less than wood/paper.

    Taking the data already divulged by the company thus far I recon they could be in line to produce up to 2 tonnes of road fuel quality hydrogen AND 48MWh of electricity per day from 25 tonnes of end of life plastic. No other waste to energy process is anywhere near that.

    A great deal has been said about the billions of dollars that it will cost to build a hydrogen refueling infrastructure and no one will buy hydrogen vehicles until the infrastructure is in place and so we have a stalemate.

    As you say DMG has a small footprint and no toxic emissions and so it can be located where the waste is generated which is also the same place that hydrogen is required for vehicles and electricity and heat is required for homes and factories.
    Because there are earnings from the waste gate fees and the sale of electricity (and heat) a DMG installation would be profitable without separating out and selling any hydrogen but then when the time is right the unit could be upgraded to separate out and sell hydrogen for extra profit.
    Because of the multiple income streams the hydrogen from a DMG could be sold at the same price (or less) as petrol/diesel making it much easier for people to make the change.

    This process allows us to use plastic in a responsible way and then at the end of its life we can extract the maximum amount of energy from it in the cleanest possible way in the location where that energy is needed with the minimum of transportation of the waste or the energy.

    Also just to clarify, DMG can be used to gasify virtually any organic waste, including toxic waste.

    So yes, I think the world is ready for PHE DMG

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