Plastics in Packaging
The Plastipak-owned Clean Tech PET recycling plant in Lincolnshire, UK, has reduced its carbon footprint after teaming up with a neighbouring anaerobic digestion (AD) processor.
The Clean Tech plant in Hemswell is now receiving electricity from BioteCH4, which recycles more than 90,000 tonnes of food waste a year.
With the two plants separated by a road, the electricity generated through the combined heat and power (CHP) process at BioteCH4 is connected directly to Clean Tech to power its recycling operation.
AD is a biological process involving the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of air in large, sealed and insulated vessels with controlled heating and mixing.
Food waste is processed into a liquid slurry, and pumped into the AD plant where bacteria feed on it to produce biogas. This biogas is captured and used as fuel in CHP engines to produce electricity in the case of Clean Tech, or sent through a gas filter and sent directly to the gas grid.
The remaining digestate is used as a high nutrient biofertiliser on farmland, replacing fossil-fuel derived fertilisers. Plastipak suggested that this ensures a complete loop of carbon and energy capture.