The Science Of ...

The Science of Waste-to-Energy: Producing 5% of Cape Town's gas

This week Bruce Whitfield looks at the Science of Waste-to-Energy with Egmont Ottermann CEO at New Horizons Energy.

Their plant in Cape Town was designed to be a true landfill alternative. They turn 500 tons of waste a day and turn it into bio-gas.

Cape Town produces 6-7000 tons of waste a day and the plant processes 10% of that total.

They work with Waste-Mart who collect the refuse and waste throughout Cape Town.

We take out all the stuff that does not go into a processor, like sofas and engine blocks...mattresses and computers. We have to separate the recyclables from the non-recyclables. That happens in a mechanical process.

Egmont Ottermann CEO at New Horizons Energy

The recyclables then go into a traditional municipal refuse facility. They get sent on to recycling companies.

The non-recyclables get put into a press.

I want you to imagine a garlic press. But not the size of a garlic press in your kitchen. This is slightly bigger and works at 280 bar ( 280 times the atmosphere) which is a lot of pressure.

Egmont Ottermann CEO at New Horizons Energy.

This press squeezes out all the organics that we can extract from this solid waste. It then goes into anaerobic digesters...it's a thick nice gooey juice. And the bugs love this juice. we produce a biogas which is a mixture of CO2 and methane. We split that and we produce liquefied CO2 at a food grade quality and produce biomethane which is compressed and used as a liquid petroleum gas - an LPG alternative.

Egmont Ottermann CEO at New Horizons Energy.

They produce 5% of Cape Town's gas requirement and they produce a good fertiliser.

Listen to the interview with Egmont Ottermann of New Horizons Energy below:


This article first appeared on 702 : The Science of Waste-to-Energy: Producing 5% of Cape Town's gas


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