Finland has limited traditions in the field of conventional waste incineration. Landfill has previously been the dominant waste disposal route. However, tightening landfill legislation has led to an increased need to install new capacity to utilise waste in energy production. A Finnish solution for this increased need for new capacity is the selection of different technologies, including mixed waste incineration and waste production followed by co-firing or gasification (with gas cleaning) of SRF (Solid Recovered Fuel).
VTT has been active in the development of efficient waste processing technologies in order to recover valuable raw materials from waste and produce classified recycled fuel fractions for heat, power and liquid fuel production. The recovered energy fraction, SRF (Solid Recovered Fuel), can be used as a fuel for a co-combustion power plant equipped with flue gas cleaning facilities based on the requirements of WID (Waste Incineration Directive). Another alternative is to gasify and clean the product gas in order to produce cleaned gas for energy purposes.
VTT has developed fluidised-bed gasification of SRF and several other waste fractions, and especially hot gas cleaning of product gas. VTT is also strongly involved in demonstration projects targeting demonstration of this type of advanced high efficiency Waste-to-Energy technology.
VTT is also engaged in development of various waste-to-ethanol concepts and some key technologies needed for such conversion processes. Besides this small-scale activity, VTT is also active in the development of processes converting waste-derived cellulose into ethanol. In such large-scale concepts, integrated production of heat and electricity, bioethanol and biogas is an economical and environmental necessity. In regard to bioethanol production from waste cellulose, VTT has top-level competences, especially in enzymatic hydrolysis and yeast-based fermentation processes.
VTT also has expertise in corrosion and material questions related to the co-combustion of SRF or other fuels containing halogens, alkali metals and other harmful components. In addition to energy production based on waste, VTT has expertise in further processing or disposing of solid residues from thermal conversion of waste.
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