Many communities around the globe are using waste to power their homes. Instead of sending their trash to a landfill, it’s taken to a waste-to-energy facility where it is turned into electricity. As the waste releases energy, a byproduct called incinerator bottom ash (IBA) is created. This IBA contains precious and base metals which can be recovered and sold directly to refiners and recyclers.
How Does Trash Become Electricity?
Most of the municipal solid waste created in our daily lives has energy stored inside it. At a waste-to-energy facility, the product is incinerated, releasing this energy in the form of heat. The heat boils water, creating steam which turns a turbine and generates electricity.
Benefits Of Waste-To-Energy Facilities:
- Dependence on coal or other fossil fuels for energy is reduced
- Trash becomes a resource rather than taking up space in a landfill
- Valuable resources can be recovered from the ash
- Surplus heat is captured and used for district heating or cooling
- Recyclable and hazardous materials are removed prior to incineration
When waste is left in a landfill, methane is released into the atmosphere. Methane is 30 times more potent at trapping heat versus the CO2 created by waste-to-energy facilities. Waste-to-Energy facilities eliminate the methane that would be produced in a landfill, have low CO2 emissions, and are highly efficient at generating energy.
Incinerator Bottom Ash
The material that does not fully combust in a waste-to-energy facility is called incinerator bottom ash. Often, this IBA contains heavy and precious metals which can be recovered and recycled.
Sepro Urban Mining has developed a wet processing solution for fine IBA to recover these metals. Our Fine Slag Treatment Plant can be easily integrated into existing processes for fast IBA recovery solutions. Using a combination of screening equipment, magnetic separation, and gravity concentration, Sepro enables waste-to-energy facilities to maximize the recovery of valuable metals.