SITA begins SRF production at Birmingham plant
28 May 2013
Waste management firm SITA UK has begun producing solid recovered fuel (SRF) at its £7 million facility in Birmingham, which will be used to power cement producer CEMEX UK’s kiln at Rugby.
SRF is a more processed form of refused derived fuel and the SITA UK material will be supplied under a specific SRF specification to meet the needs of CEMEX.
SITA is to supply around 250,000 tonnes of waste derived fuel to the cement producer in a deal announced in April 2012 (see letsrecycle.com story).
The waste company will also be producing the material, known as Climafuel, at a site adjacent to the Rugby kiln. Construction work on the site for the SRF plant is due to begin this summer and is expected to be completed by the end 2014.
The Landor Street site in Birmingham where the SRF is being produced receives commercial waste from across the city and took in its first material at the end of March. Equipment at the facility is still being tested, but when fully operational the plant will process 22 tonnes of waste an hour.
Waste going into the plant is repeatedly sifted and shredded, with metals, plastics and paper taken out for recycling and anything with a high water or chlorine content, which would harm the cement-making process, also removed.
Ben Harding, general manager – material sourcing at SITA UK, said: “Traditionally a significant proportion of Birmingham’s commercial waste has gone to landfill, but space is running out and as an environmentally-conscious company we would rather see the waste put to good use.
“At the same time coal and other fossils fuels are becoming increasingly scarce so finding alternatives is crucial, particularly for energy-intensive processes such as cement making.
“Our partnership with CEMEX to supply the Rugby kiln with a specialist fuel made from waste that can’t reasonably be recycled is providing a cost-effective, greener and cleaner solution to two problems – reducing landfill and preserving fossil fuels.”
As it is produced, the material it is continuously analysed, using the latest infra-red technology, to make sure it meets the standards required by CEMEX.
Any material which doesn’t meet the CEMEX specification can be used as derived fuel (RDF), elsewhere so it is expected that little of the 100,000 tonnes of waste going into Landor Street each year will end up in landfill.
Ian Southcott from CEMEX said: “We have been successfully burning Climafuel at Rugby since 2007 and during that time we have been steadily increasing the proportion we use.
“At the moment, we source Climafuel from a number of plants around the UK and to be able to secure supplies locally genuinely provides a local solution to the local problem of how best to utilise the waste that the community generates.”