New test and research facility launched by IRR Waste 2 Energy for hard to recycle materials

Hard Plastics

The company behind the UK’s only continuous pyrolysis plant has unveiled its new test and research facility that is already changing the face of recycling in terms of hard to recycle and hard to treat materials.

IRR Waste 2 Energy, and its new Renewables Forward division, is offering the test and research facility at its Worksop headquarters where the UK’s only continuous pyrolysis plant is in operation using ELTs (end of life tyres) as its fuel.

With full scientific testing available through partnerships with Material Processing Institute and University of Nottingham, businesses, local authorities and waste management companies are able to gain full understanding as to whether a particular  waste stream could be successful through the pyrolysis process.

“The test kiln has already proved successful to several customers who have been curious and excited to explore the benefits and added value revenue streams that pyrolysis can bring to hard to recycle and hard to treat materials,” said Graham White, Group Commercial Director, Carlton Forest Group. “This facility will highlight the opportunities available to the UK in how it deals with such materials and divert it from landfill or export, in line with Government objectives.”

The scope for materials that can be successfully tested is wide-reaching and a variety of materials have already been successfully trialled. The materials are tested in the facility and by products including gas, oil and char can be generated.

Each process is bespoke to each commission, and a full analytical report is given at the end of the process to allow full exploration of the impact that using pyrolysis as a recycling method can bring on that given material.

In partnership with the Materials Processing Institute, all char produced during the testing process will be fully analysed by the team at their state-of-the-art Material Characterisation Facility.

The Materials Processing Institute supports industry through the development and delivery of applied research and commercialisation of technology in the fields of advanced materials, industrial decarbonisation, the circular economy and digital technologies.

Andrew Buchanan, Group Manager – Circular Economy, at the Institute commented: “We are very pleased to be supporting IRR Waste 2 Energy as a testing partner to enable their research facility to fully explore a variety of materials and the subsequent use of the by-products produced. As this is the UK’s only continuous research facility, we are interested to see the benefits that can be enjoyed and the impact that it will have on the wider recycling infrastructure.”

In a further partnership with the University of Nottingham for additional testing George Marshall, Nottingham Analytical, School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham commented: “Nottingham Analytical is delighted to provide IRR Waste to Energy with analytical services rendered support. The analytical data we record for IRR may be used by IRR and their clients to inform on their research and development on new processes for difficult to recycle waste streams.”

“It is clear that we need to do something about the materials that are not currently recyclable and that sending them for export or incineration is no longer a responsible, viable or cost-effective option,” said Graham. “It’s vital that the UK becomes as self-sufficient as possible when it comes to the hard to recycle and hard to treat materials that it generates, and finding new, environmentally sustainable ways of dealing with it in a circular way is imperative.”

Martin is a journalist and PR executive of Commercial Waste Magazine. He has worked in the commercial waste and recycling industry for over a decade and is dedicated to raising public awareness in the amount of recyclable waste being sent to landfill every year.

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