UK: Converting Waste into Energy Enzymes in Waste Handling

Editor: Alexander Stark

Novozymeswill deliver enzymes for the Dong Energy's Renescience plant in Northwich in the North West of England. It will be the first full-scale bio plant in the world capable of handling household waste by means of enzymes.

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Enzymes from Novozymes will be used to convert houshold waste into biogas.
Enzymes from Novozymes will be used to convert houshold waste into biogas.
(Picture: Novozymes)

Northwich/UK – The plant in Northwich would ensure that as much of the waste as possible is recycled and converted into biogas, which can again be converted into power. Renescience can sort 15 tonnes of waste per hour or 120,000 tonnes per year. This corresponds to the waste from almost 110,000 UK homes.

Thomas Dalsgaard, Executive Vice President in Dong Energy, said: "The enzymes are an important part of the process where we convert waste into green energy and recyclable material. We're pleased to enter into a partnership with Novozymes on setting up this type of plant."

With the technology used in Northwich, ordinary unsorted household waste is mixed with water and enzymes in a large reactor. Then, the actual chemical process starts, and the enzymes dissolve all food waste, labels and similar types of organic waste and turns it into a liquid that can be used for biogas. AThe biogas will be used to generate around 5 MW of electricity which is enough to power around 9,500 typical households. The remaining part of the waste is plastic and metal.

The two companies have also agreed to further develop the enzymes for the technology together.

The plant in Northwich is expected to be operational in early 2017. Dong Energy will finance, build and operate the plant in the North West of England and will also look into the possibilities for building similar plants in other places around the world.