The future is about designing the right fuel

Geminor’s Country Manager in Norway, Kjetil Hausken, is dealing with a Scandinavian market in constant development. – Detailed designing of secondary fuels will be more important in the future, Hausken argues.

Kjetil Hausken was recently appointed Country Manager for Geminor in Norway, making him in charge of the company’s resource management business in the country. Hausken describes a growing national market with a special interest in waste wood and plastics.

– Material recycling of plastic and waste wood is a major focus in the industry at the moment. The latest tenders include official demands for material recycling, which can be as much as 60 percent when it comes to waste wood.

– The EU has a target of 50 percent material recycling of household waste, and 70 percent for building and demolition waste by 2020. Waste wood is a large and growing fraction of the materials that are being recycled in Norway. Simultaneously, the end users set requirements when purchasing their products. For example, IKEA now demands that the chipboards used to produce furniture have to contain a certain percentage of recovered waste wood, Hausken says.

Plastic a growing challenge                                                                                                           Stricter requirements in Asia forces Norway and Europe to take action regarding plastics, the Norwegian CM explains.

– These requirements mean that more plastic remains in the European market, making prices fall dramatically due to lack of capacity and treatment solutions. In addition, the need for clean and pure materials makes plastic hard to recover. Geminor is presently cooperating with Quantafuel, a company involved in making plastics into liquid fuels. If the EU approves the fuels based on plastic as material recycling, the market would probably utilize the plastic we generate in a more efficient way, Hausken says.

Better sorting The sorting and treatment of waste is gradually becoming better in Norway. Most of the waste is exported and burned as fuel for energy recovery in Sweden, and most of the waste for material recycling is transported further south in Europe.The development is positive, but Hausken also sees the implications better sorting of waste has for the industry.

 – In relation to the growing demands and regulations of waste treatment and material recycling, more resources are being put into the sorting of waste. With more sorting, the energy content of the waste left for energy recovery increases. This can create major problems for an entire industry. The general energy-from-waste (EfW) plants that generate heat and electricity require an energy content between 11-13 MJ. Better sorted waste becomes drier, making the calorific value as high as 15 MJ and upwards. This creates operational problems for many of Europe’s incinerators, says Hausken.