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Pyrolysis Technology - An Introduction.

November 11, 2009 by admin

General -

EPi  - Environmental Power International Ltd.

EPi - Electronic Introductory Brochure (UK) - Low Resolution.pdf
Data Sheet 1 - Gas - Low Resolution.pdf
Data Sheet 2 - Carbon Char - Low Resolution.pdf
Data Sheet 4 - Energy - Low Resolution.pdf 
Data Sheet 5 - Environmental Information - Low Resolution.pdf
Data Sheet 6 - Terra Preta - Low Resolution.pdf
Data Sheet 7 - Regulatory and Planning - Low Resolution.pdf
Data Sheet 8 - What is Pyrolysis - Low Resolution.pdf
Data Sheet 9 - What Materials Can We Process - Low Resolution.pdf

  Mark Collins-Thomas, Director EPi Pyrolysis (second from left)
introducing the Pyrolysis Process at the DIT Conference

Agrichar: Carbon-negative Biofuel and Charcoal that Restores Soil Fertility
The video clip at the bottom of the Agri-Char page is worth a visit.

Further Information taken from

Visit to EPi Pyrolysis,  8 September 2009
The Committee visited a test site in Mitcham.
"  Present: Murad Qureshi AM – Chair, Environment Committee
Darren Johnson AM - Deputy Chair, Environment Committee
Mike Tuffrey AM – Environment Committee
Gareth Bacon AM – Environment Committee
Alison Marcroft – Research and Support Officer, Labour group      
Stephen Greek – Research and Support Officer, Conservative group
Lisa-Jane Moor - Media Officer
Katy Shaw – Committee Team Leader
Mark Collins-Thomas, Director EPi Pyrolysis
Leon Mekitarian – Managing Director, Vertal


Pyrolysis is the application of heat to waste material in order to convert the hydrocarbon content of the waste into a high calorific value gas. The processes takes mixed waste which is shredded and following the removal of metals, glass and drying it is fed into the processor unit, where it is heated to very high temperatures (over circa 1,000 degrees centigrade) in an oxygen-free atmosphere. The conditions cause an accelerated decomposition of the organic material in the waste and lead it to release most of its energy in the form of a highly combustible gas. Pyrolysis / Gasification plants are often associated with the production of heavy oils and tars which condense out in the gas stream as it is cooled. EPi’s technology uniquely changes the process characteristics in order to convert the energy in the oil into even more gas, thereby increasing the opportunity for energy recovery still further. The gas is then cleaned to produce a high quality fuel gas ready for use in gas engines or to produce renewable electricity. Surplus heat from the gas engine can be used for combined heat and power. The long-term plan at Mitcham is to sell heat to other units (such as a 24 hour bakery) on the estate.

Any remaining energy is left behind as a carbon rich char - a coal-like substance, which can be burnt as fuel (like coal) or used in road building. The char could also be used as a soil conditioner and it was hoped that it would qualify for carbon credits. EPi was in discussions with the Forestry Commission about using the char to clean up contaminated land.

  As the waste is not burnt, more energy is captured than the incineration process, there are no harmful emissions and there is no smoke to be released through a flue. The process is odourless and virtually noiseless. The plant was smaller than a gasification facility and was more efficient and there were no emissions.

EPi is currently looking to establish a series of small modular pyrolysis units, each to operate on a different material stream, at various locations outside London.

The Committee visited a test site in Mitcham which is on an industrial estate. The site has a single processor unit, which can process 8,000 tonnes a year, and is expecting to expand this by four additional units to process 40,000 tonnes per year (which was the average waste requirement for a typical country town). This would produce enough electricity to power an estimated 7,000-10,000 homes. This size of plant would require around 12,500 sq ft of covered space and a smaller version would be developed for use near to public buildings such as sports centres.

As the units were small it was not envisaged that the company would become locked into long local authority contracts. At the moment the Mitcham plant took local waste including construction waste from a local transfer station.

The nature of the operation meant that recent planning applications for 40,000 tonne plants had been approved in 12 weeks. Some boroughs had indicated that the application would probably be considered under delegated powers.

EPi’s technology has a number of unique characteristics, which enable the regulatory authorities to take slightly different approach from that which is generally applied to other processes. The current regulatory position for EPi, is that permitting is regulated by the Local Authority Environmental Health Department. This approach restores control to the Local Authority and the communities they serve."

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