- Novozymes A/S, the largest supplier of enzymes in the world, has won a contract to supply thousands of tons of its product to the Dong Energy REnescience mixed waste biogas plant in the United Kingdom.
- The enzymes will be used to "wash" organic matter and create a slurry which can be converted to a gas for power generation or fuel.
- The $80 million facility is set to open in 2017 and will have an annual capacity of 120,000 metric tons. Dong also hopes to open new facilities in Denmark and the Netherlands.
Dong's technology is unique and so far has only been tested in a Copenhagen pilot project. The new REnescience facility will handle mixed waste from the equivalent of 110,000 homes in a multi-step process. It first sorts out recyclable materials such as bottles and cans and then sorts out other plastic that can be shipped to waste-to-energy facilities. The remaining organic material is mixed with the enzymes for renewable energy uses.
"This is a pioneering project that has tremendous potential if it really starts to get off the ground," said Thomas Schroder, vice president of commercial bioenergy at Novozymes. "It’s about understanding the value of recycled waste streams."
While the idea of mixed waste processing is sometimes unpopular among recycling supporters concerned with contamination, different methods of it have been gaining popularity in some U.S. states. BioHiTech Global, Inc. is currently building a mechanical biological treatment (MBT) facility in West Virginia to process mixed MSW, and Fiberight has a proposed a controversial MBT facility in Maine.