Techno-economic and carbon footprint assessment of advanced waste-to-energy with carbon capture and storage for East Coast Cluster

Project: Research

Project Details


This UKCCSRC-funded project addresses the critical challenge of decarbonising industrial clusters in the UK by focusing on the East Coast Cluster and its commitment to enhancing hydrogen and carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) capacity as outlined in the UK Government's Ten Point Plan and Net Zero Strategy. These technologies are expected to play a pivotal role in achieving the country's net-zero targets.

The East Coast Cluster, identified as one of the Track-1 clusters, aims to deliver CCUS infrastructure capable of removing nearly 50% of the UK's industrial emissions. To achieve this ambitious target, the cluster's decarbonisation will need negative emission power and fuels that can be delivered, for example, via carbon capture and storage (CCS) retrofits to waste-to-energy (WtE) plants. It is crucial to note that on the national scale, WtE sector is projected to contribute up to 20 MtCO2e per annum in the UK by mid-2020, surpassing the emissions from industrial processes. Therefore, the need to develop low-carbon alternatives for WtE is imperative.

This proposal aims to perform a comprehensive techno-economic and carbon footprint assessment of an advanced WtE plant based on calcium looping combustion (CaLC). Our previous work has demonstrated that CaLC technology offers cost-effective CO2 capture compared to conventional amine scrubbing methods. By leveraging CaLC, we hypothesize that it is possible to improve the competitiveness of WtE in the energy and waste management sectors, while enabling affordable negative emission heat and power supply to industrial clusters.

The research plan consists of three work packages:

1. Process modelling and validation, where we will develop and validate models for different WtE designs, including a reference WtE plant, a post-combustion CaL retrofit, and an advanced WtE based on CaLC.

2. Feasibility assessment, which will involve comparing the techno-economic and environmental performance of the different design scenarios. We will evaluate the net power output, net thermal efficiency, and economic viability using the net present value approach and considering current market data.

3. Engagement, impact, and further development, which will include hosting an industrial workshop, preparing a technical report, and disseminating research findings through academic and industrial publications. This will enable us to build strong relationships with stakeholders in the East Coast Cluster, and beyond, and develop a demonstration and commercialization strategy for CaLC.

The anticipated outcomes of this research include a comprehensive techno-economic and carbon footprint assessment of the advanced WtE plant based on CaLC, an industrial roadmap for CaLC development, and a technical report highlighting the potential of WtE to provide negative emissions. Additionally, we aim to foster collaborations with the CCUS and WtE industries in the East Coast Cluster. By advancing the understanding and viability of advanced WtE with CCUS, this research contributes to the decarbonisation of industrial clusters and supports the UK's transition to a low-carbon economy in alignment with the Net Zero Strategy.
Effective start/end date1/10/2331/03/24




Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.