Turning waste into Processed Engineered Fuel
- New South Wales
- Sustainable Cities
- Renewable energy
Making fuel from waste
Waste sector leaders Cleanaway and ResourceCo Group are transforming commercial and industrial waste into Processed Engineered Fuel (PEF) at the Wetherill Park resource recovery centre in Sydney.
PEF is used in cement kilns, reducing the reliance on coal and other fossil fuels. This fuel will initially be used locally and also exported as an alternative to coal and gas for cement kilns in Asia.
The highest priority in waste management is to reduce the amount of waste produced. With what remains, proven technologies can be used to repurpose it, including as alternative fuels.
By turning waste into PEF, the Wetherill Park resource recovery centre is showing how industrial processes can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. It can also reduce the amount of waste materials going into landfill, an important factor in cutting national greenhouse gas emissions.
The Wetherill Park plant is licensed to process 150,000 tonnes of waste a year, producing PEF and recovering other commodities such as metal, clean timber and inert materials.
Over the lifetime of the equipment, the plant is expected to abate over 8 million tonnes of carbon emissions.
Once at the plant, traditionally landfill-bound waste materials are sorted. Through a process of shredding, screening and separating, inert content with no energy value is extracted while the balance of the content is converted into a dry solid fuel product.
The landfill challenge
Australia produces about 23 million tonnes of landfill each year, causing a growing problem with potential air, water and land quality impacts and generating ongoing monitoring and remediation liabilities.
Reusing waste not only makes economic sense, it makes good environmental sense, through the reduction of landfill and landfill gases and, in the case of fuel production, the ability to replace fossil fuels.
The CEFC provided $30 million in debt finance to ResourceCo. The Wetherill Park plant opened in July 2018. The CEFC finance was repaid in July 2021.
New South Wales, Bioenergy, Sustainable Cities, Renewable energy