Solvay announces today that the construction of the Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) cogeneration plant at its industrial site in Bernburg, Germany, has been completed by the Tönsmeier Group and that the plant is now supplying energy for the production of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide in a test run. The new RDF cogeneration plant, which generates both electricity and steam, reinforces the competitive position of the site and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 63% (350,000 tons) per year. The plant is built and operated by Energie Anlage Bernburg GmbH.
The RDF plant valorizes recovered materials that comprise a non-recyclable, selected and controlled mixture of used plastics and wood from furniture and buildings, textiles, paper and cardboard. Using these materials avoids greenhouse gas emissions in two ways: firstly, they could otherwise have ended up in a landfill where they would partly undergo fermentation causing release of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, and secondly, by replacing fossil fuels like gas or coal.
The new cogeneration plant is based on innovative technology and consequently combines the most stringent energy efficiency and environmental performances. The new plant utilizes the sodium-bicarbonate based Neutrec® technology, developed by Solvay, for the cleaning of the plant’s gaseous emissions. A similar RDF project for the soda ash and PVC plant in Rheinberg, Germany is under study.
“This cogeneration fuelled by the non-recyclable high-energy part of used materials is exemplary of Solvay’s long-standing strategy of sustainable development. A first axis is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our plants by improving energy-efficiency and developing renewable energy solutions. A second is to secure our key supplies of energy with our own assets or by long-term industrial partnerships such as in Bernburg with the Tönsmeier Group”, says Jean-Michel Mesland, General Manager for Technology, Research and, Purchasing of Solvay.
Solvay’s industrial site in Bernburg started production in 1883. Solvay produces soda ash, sodium bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide on the site.
Energie Anlage Bernburg GmbH is a joint venture of Tönsmeier Group and Solvay, in which Solvay is minority shareholder.
Tönsmeier Group assures professional and state-of-the-art waste disposal services and offers its customers a complete range of modern waste disposal services. The company has 2,900 employees and a fleet of over more than 900 specialist vehicles.
SOLVAY is an international industrial Group active in Chemistry. It offers a broad range of products and solutions that contribute to improving quality of life. The Group is headquartered in Brussels and employs about 17,000 people in 40 countries. In 2009, its consolidated sales amounted to EUR 8.5 billion. Solvay is listed on the NYSE Euronext stock exchange in Brussels, Belgium (NYSE Euronext: SOLB.BE - Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLBt.BR). Details are available at www.solvay.com.