Scientists have created a groundbreaking technology to capture carbon dioxide directly from landfill gas.
The team at Carbon8 Systems say that the process of accelerated carbonation can not only capture emissions from the breakdown of waste products, but can also absorb carbon dioxide from other sources, which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.
The methane emitted by the decomposing waste is burnt in a specially designed boiler to generate a CO2-rich gas stream that is used to treat ash generated by waste incineration.
After taking on its load of CO2 the ash is then ready for use as an aggregate material for construction or in the manufacture of concrete blocks.
Managing director Dr Paula Carey said: “Accelerated carbonation has a significant positive environmental impact in that it prevents a hazardous waste going to landfill, reduces the need for natural aggregate and captures carbon dioxide from the environment, helping to fight global warming.”
The Kent company, which provides solutions for the treatment of industrial wastes and contaminated soils, has recently licensed the technology for the treatment of incinerator ashes in the UK to a new company, Carbon8 Aggregates, which is currently securing funding for its first commercial plant.
It now plans to license the process internationally with assistance from the government’s UK Trade & Investment department.
Dr Carey said: “Carbon8’s technique not only renders polluted waste and soils inert, it is also low cost and extremely fast – taking just minutes, rather than the days or sometimes even weeks required by other methods.
“If widely adopted, these processes could be responsible for capturing more than one million tonnes of waste carbon dioxide and contributing to achieving the UK carbon emission reduction target.”