King’s Lynn firm’s export order could open doors to more deals with New Zealand Gurney Environment North Lynn Industrial Estate, Norfolk, United Kingdom.
Gurney Environmental, on North Lynn Industrial Estate – within Nelson’s county – is exporting a wastewater treatment upgrade system to the City of Nelson in New Zealand.
Gurney’s Accel-o-Fac equipment begins its 50-day trip by sea this week to a wastewater treatment plant owned and operated by the city of Nelson council. The first phase of the order includes a supply of nine wind-powered aerators to replace existing electric aerators, which are costly to run.
One of Gurney’s engineers plus the company’s managing director, John Gillett, will be travelling to New Zealand towards the end of March to supervise the installation of the system.
Said Mr Gillett: “Whilst we are no newcomers to exporting this is the first time we have exported to New Zealand and the order follows months of consultation work with the City Council.
“I am told that a number of other water utilities in New Zealand are keeping a close eye on the project and the opportunity for further export work in New Zealand is very real.
“We are a proud exporter of sustainable water treatment solutions and have successfully exported to a number of countries around the globe including South America, Australia and the Caribbean. Our wastewater treatment systems are designed and manufactured here at our King’s Lynn base and utilise the wealth of manufacturing expertise available in the town.”
His colleague, Mr Graham Woodcock, added: “Our equipment is made by a variety of companies in Lynn, which has a rich heritage of engineering and manufacturing.
” Gurney Environmental was established in 2007 and provides water and wastewater treatment solutions to water utility companies, municipal and private wastewater treatment operators.
The company can name most of the UK’s water utilities as clients and its water and wastewater treatment solutions are recognised by a growing number of international clients. In West Norfolk it has carried out wastewater projects at the Sandringham and Holkham estates.
Waste-to-energy showcase for reluctant New Zealand dairy sector
A 1,100-cow dairy in southern California became the first-ever operation in the world known to produce no-sulfur renewable diesel products from manure on a livestock facility in late April.
The milestone is the culmination of three years of collaboration between Scott Brothers Dairy in San Jacinto, California, and Ag Waste Solutions (AWS), a privately held company that designed the farm’s manure processing system.
“To make it to the top of the hill is a euphoric moment,” dairyman Bruce Scott says.
Steve McCorkle, founder and CEO of AWS, announced the partnership’s achievement on Facebook on April 27, 2015. The company claims its technology is the “future of sustainable farming.”
“We have proven that we can complete the circle of energy for individual farms while creating profit centers from manure, enabling farmers to exceed regulatory requirements and truly control their own destiny,” McCorkle said in a statement.
Scott says he is most proud to have produced a “deliverable” for the California Energy Commission, which helped fund the project. As far as he understands, the commission has no other no-sulfur diesel projects dealing with this type of waste stream, so he is pleased to have “crossed the finish line” by submitting a final report. The next step for the system is to prove it can operate continuously and thus be a commercially viable option for other agricultural operations.
“I didn’t expect to win over favor on this project quickly. But I’ve firmly believed in the direction of this project,” Scott says. “The tunnel may have gotten longer, but the light at the end of it has always stayed visible in my mind. I still believe it’s the most viable technology to get rid of a waste stream and produce something that’s value-added at the same time.”
Processing manure into renewable diesel products is just one of the system’s manure processing capabilities.
The dairy’s multi-stage system first separates high-BTU manure solids from the dairy’s liquid manure effluent. McCorkle says the first stage removes 98 percent of the total suspended solids and 40 percent of the dissolved solids, making good irrigation water for most farms.
The extracted water is further purified at Scott Brothers Dairy to remove the other 2 percent of suspended solids and the remaining dissolved solids, making the water potable. (This step was to satisfy manure application requirements that were specific to the dairy’s regional regulatory agency. See this Progressive Dairyman Feb. 7, 2014 article for more background about dairy’s unique permitting situation.)
The dairy’s manure solids are then fed to a pyrolysis gasifier. The gas production module then thermochemically decomposes the manure solids in the absence of air to produce syngas. The gas is then scrubbed of impurities and compressed for storage.
Using a Fischer-Tropsch process, the hydrogen and carbon in the gas is then converted in the system’s final stage into no-sulfur renewable diesel products. The Fischer-Tropsch process had been used to convert other feedstocks to renewable diesel but until recently was never proven to work with manure, let alone on a farm.
Perhaps more importantly than producing diesel, the process also produces a refined wax product in a controllable diesel-to-wax ratio. McCorkle says the wax product’s market value is three times that of the renewable diesel and can be further processed or blended off-site with other petroleum products, such as jet fuel or kerosene.
“We exceeded our own expectations on the first pass,” McCorkle says. “We were able to control the types and factions of liquids and waxes created. And we were able to attain the optimal ratio of liquids and waxes. This satisfies our business model of making enough diesel fuel for farm use and selling the wax products off-farm to create additional profit centers from manure.”
The system on Scott Brothers Dairy that produces renewable diesel products was built at pilot-project scale, meaning it is not commercially sized nor automated enough in order to operate 24-7 with minimal manpower. If the dairy had an adequately sized liquid fuels production module that ran continuously, it could produce at least 1 gallon of diesel fuel from three cows’ manure for a day. Right now the system can convert only one-eighth of the dairy’s gasified manure per day and has not yet been automated to run continuously.
The first production run of renewable diesel products was evaluated in an on-site lab as well as sent to an external lab for validation.. Future production runs will be tested to validate the fuel is consistently comparable, or superior, to other diesel fuels. Initial tests have shown the fuel has very similar characteristics to pump diesel but without detectable levels of sulfur. Even ultra low-sulfur pump diesel contains up to 15 ppm of sulfur.
When asked if it passed the sniff test and whether he would put it in his own tractor, Scott says: “No question about it.”
McCorkle suggests the next steps toward a commercially viable, 24-7 system require more funding to upsize the liquid fuels production module in order to match the size of the rest of the system and to demonstrate that the system can run continuously and more automatically with predictable results and with minimal personnel.
McCorkle is optimistic both goals can be achieved. For now, his countenance glows over the petrochemical milestone he and the dairy have achieved almost entirely by themselves.
“We didn’t achieve these results in a large, complex refinery with tens of engineers, chemists and scientists. We achieved these results with only a handful of people working in a remote farm environment,” McCorkle says.
The Government is proposing to ban personal care products containing plastic microbeads, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.
“We are proposing a ban on the sale and manufacture of personal care products in New Zealand containing microbeads because of the long-term risk they pose to our aquatic and marine environments,” Dr Smith said.
“The problem with plastic microbeads is that they are too small to retrieve or recycle, they do not biodegrade, and that they are mistaken by marine life as food causing long-term damage to aquatic animals like fish and mussels. The use of plastic microbeads in personal care products like facial cleansers and toothpaste makes no sense when there are biodegradable alternatives like apricot kernels and ground nuts products that achieve the same results.”
There are about 100 varieties of personal care products in New Zealand containing plastic microbeads with the vast bulk imported. These include products such as deodorant, shampoo, hair conditioner, shower gel, lipstick, hair colouring, shaving cream, sunscreen, insect repellent, anti-wrinkle cream, moisturisers, hair spray, facial masks, baby care products, eyeshadow and mascara. Globally it is estimated that there is over 10,000 tonnes a year of plastic microbeads used. Some manufacturers have already agreed to phase out plastic microbead ingredients because of environmental concerns.
“This initiative is part of a global push to reduce the amount of plastic culminating in the oceans, with estimates indicating there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. The issue was discussed and agreed to as a priority at the OECD in September and the Trans-Tasman Environment Ministers meeting in November last year. The proposed New Zealand ban parallels similar initiatives being taken in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union and Australia to ban or phase out the use of plastic microbeads in personal care products.
“New Zealand is a small consumer of plastic microbead products by international comparison but this initiative is important for maintaining New Zealand’s good name in marine stewardship. We have responsibility for one of the largest areas of ocean, we have one of the best fishery management systems, we are leading with conservation measures like the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area and this initiative on microbeads will enhance our clean, green reputation.”
The consultation document, Managing microbeads in personal care products, is open for consultation from today until the 28 February 2017. The proposed ban under the Waste Minimisation Act is to take effect on 1 July 2018.
Though still in the prototype stage, EMPA is currently looking for commercial partners to assist in creating a compact version of the system for household domestic use(Credit: EMPA)
Making the move away from using fossil fuels for heating is a necessary part of creating a sustainable future, but it's often a difficult ask for many people when turning up a thermostat on a gas or electric heater provides instant, trouble-free warmth. If people are to be convinced to switch to more renewable sources, it makes sense that there need to be easy-to-use systems available to encourage them to do so. A group of Swiss researchers claim to have come up with a process that stores heat captured during summer for easy, flick-of-a-switch use in winter, with the added benefit that the captured energy can be physically transported anywhere it may be needed.
Created by researchers working at EMPA (Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs-und ForschungsAnstalt or, in English, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research), the new system uses concentrated sodium hydroxide (NaOH) as the thermal storage medium, and a collection of largely off-the-shelf components to capture, convert, and release heat energy on demand.
To achieve this, the researchers rely on the fact that when water is poured onto dry sodium hydroxide an exothermic reaction ensues, where the chemical energy contained in the NaOH is released as heat. As NaOH is also extremely hygroscopic (that is, having a great attraction for dragging in and holding water molecules from the surrounding environment), more heat is produced from water condensing from vapor in the air and the sodium hydroxide solution is heated even further. In this way, large amounts of heat may be liberated from NaOH simply by the addition of water.
Conversely, if heat energy (collected from the sun, for example) is fed into a solution of sodium hydroxide diluted with water, the moisture readily evaporates and the NaOH solution becomes more concentrated and, therefore, effectively stores the supplied energy. This concentrated mixture may then be kept stored for many months (even years), until the heat is once again liberated when the NaOH is exposed to water again. The solution can also be easily transported in tanks to other areas where heat energy is needed.
In practice, the storage medium is a viscous liquid composed of a 50 percent NaOH solution that is made to trickle along in a spiral pipe (created from heat exchangers normally found in instantaneous water heaters), where it soaks up water vapor along the way and then conveys the generated heat into the pipe. The heat is then free to radiate, convect, and conduct into the area requiring warmth.
During this process, the sodium hydroxide solution cascades down the outside of the heat exchanger spiral, where it is diluted to around 30 percent in the steamy atmosphere of the inside of the system, and the water temperature within the pipe rises to around 50° C (122° F). Which, in a happy coincidence, makes it ideal for under floor heating.
The reverse of this process – passing heat through the medium to store energy – has also been demonstrated in the system. Specifically, the moisture from the NaOH solution evaporates when heat is applied, which is then siphoned off and condensed. The solution that exits the heat exchanger is now back up to 50 percent strength, and "charged" with heat energy. The researchers suggest that the heat for this step could be renewably produced using solar collectors (similar to those used in solar-powered air conditioning systems).
The heated water generated in the process of condensation is then transferred to a geothermal probe (generally loops of pipes embedded vertically in the ground) for storage and retrieval. After the stored condensation's temperature has dropped to somewhere between 5 and 10° C (41 to 50° F) it is returned to the apparatus to drain the store.
Though still in the prototype stage, EMPA is currently looking for commercial partners to assist in creating a compact version of the system for household domestic use.
The EMPA heat storage device is one of three competing systems in the COMTES project, which has the goal to develop and demonstrate compact seasonal storage of solar thermal energy.
| A Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA) release | January 12, 2017 |
Japan has been notable for its avant-gardism, its leadership, and its competitiveness in the area of green technology and clean energy, considerably in terms of its investment in research and development for Smart and Renewable Energy efficiency technologies. In addition, Japan also tends to be the world’s second-largest investor in renewable energy, reaching a threshold of 23 GW of installed renewable energy sources (including 9 GW of hydro power and 5.6 GW of solar power).
World Smart Energy Week 2017, is organized by Reed Exhibitions Japan bringing 1,570 exhibitors including 9 renewable energy shows- FC EXPO 2017 -13th Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Expo, PV EXPO 2017-10th Int’l Photovoltaic Power Generation Expo, PV SYSTEM EXPO- 8th Int’l Photovoltaic Power Generation Expo, BATTERY JAPAN- 8th Int’l Rechargeable Battery Expo, 7th INT’L SMART GRID EXPO, WIND EXPO 2017-5th Int’l Wind Energy Expo & Conference, 3rd ENERGY MARKET LIBERALISATION EXPO, 2nd INT'L BIOMASS EXPO and 1st THERMAL POWER EXPO-1st Next-generation Thermal Power Generation Expo.
70,000 professionals from the sector are expected to visit, with simultaneous BtoB conferences and seminars are being held on major themes comprising expert panelists. World Smart Energy Week 2017 is welcoming internationally renowned green energy specialists, and influential figures from the business milieu to engage with the business opportunities.
There are plenty of business opportunities to be seized for Non-Japanese companies in Japan under the clean and green energy sector Banner. All professionals and companies having products in the following domains are welcome participate and visit the expo. to Electricity, energy efficiency; Natural gas,Petroleum, Petrochemicals, Solar energy (cells, modules, panels)
Storage technology/products, Analytical technology/products, Hydrogen and fuel cell technology
Photovoltaic system integration/installation technology, Technology relating to smart grid systems
Eco-construction products,Insulation, refrigeration, climate control, heating systems, Automation systems, Cogeneration systems and all Products and services consisting of energy efficiency.
Japan is a country with high purchasing power, and exploring avenues to partner with Global companies on many dimensions. As such, quality and relevance are equally important along with pricing factors, which, for example, allows Global companies to explore business and trading options with Japanese counterpart companies.
World Smart Energy Week 2017, is held during March 1st to 3rd 2017 at Tokyo Big sight; invites Global green technology sector companies to exhibit and showcase the technologies/products there, and as well invites professionals operating in the sector and seeking to learn more about the most recent advances.
Kopupaka Reserve in Auckland, New Zealand designed by Isthmus has been named World Landscape of the Year 2016 at the World Architecture Festival this year. The project is a hybrid park, where a storm water reserve has been combined with an urban park, playground and skate park, all made possible by dovetailing the masterplanning of the streets with the green infrastructure of the 22-hectare reserve.
Judges praised the project as ”a successful translation of Maori traditions that succeeded in being both poetic and imaginative in its creation of a landscape that captures the soul and nature of the area.”
”Inspired by woven baskets for catching eel, Isthmus has developed an innovative river-wall system of interlocking timbers. Simple yet sophisticated engineering allows the baskets to retain silt and create habitats which will shift and change over time,” jury said.
David Irwin, Founding Directore, Landscape Architect, and Grant Bailey, Director, Landscape Architect, attended to present the scheme to the WAF’s international jury. The finalists were selected from 58 countries.
Companies are increasingly looking for circular-economy approaches to design — and use — durable products that can be reused or recycled at end of life.
Noble Environmental Technologies says its technology is helping customers do just that: recycle their waste streams into new building materials for reuse. And the company says it can partner with virtually any business to help it close the loop while reduce its manufacturing costs and waste produced, reports Environmental Leader.
Starbucks, for example, could recycle coffee grounds and commercial waste and convert it into materials used to build stores, furniture and packaging, the company says. And Walmart could recycle all of its retail store paper and cardboard waste and convert it into home décor, furniture products, retail shelving and displays, officials say.
Noble Environmental says its building material product, called Ecor, makes these scenarios possible and profitable. It was a finalist at the annual World Economic Forum conference at Davos, recognized for enabling the circular economy and a Dell Circular Economy People’s Choice Award nominee. The company says Ecor is the future of green building and sustainable design.
Ecor, developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is made from 100 percent recycled material. It’s made from fiber-based waste — office paper, cardboard, recycled denim and other fabrics, hemp, jute, sugar cane bagasse, corn husks, wood dust and trimmings, among others — and can be engineered into a variety of shapes for different applications. The company describes it as a sustainable alternative to wood, composites, aluminum and plastic. The product itself is also 100 percent recyclable.
“We call it a fiber alloy,” Noble Environmental’s Jay Potter said in an interview. “The fiber alloy is like your fingerprint. Every single company we encounter has a waste stream, and that waste stream is unique to them. And every company has a need for building materials, for their own use or making into products such as furniture or something else. Whether its in their building or products, we can design a unique fiber alloy around their needs.”
Panels are priced between $3 and $24 per square foot.
Google, Whole Foods and Toms Shoes are among the companies using Ecor — Whole Food has used Ecor for signage, Google used Ecor for wavy interior panels and Toms’ for shoe hangers. The company says it will soon announce a new customer, “a leading global brewer,” that will convert its spent brewers grains, paper and cardboard waste into a range of Ecor materials, which will then be used by the brewer and its vendors to produce their retail graphics, point-of-purchase displays, commercial packaging and perhaps even the six-beer bottle boxes.
“The brewery has to replace 15,000 uniforms a year, and 85 percent of those are 100 percent cotton — just wonderful fiber,” Potter said. “Unlike a pair of jeans, which someone might wear again, nobody wants a soiled uniform. It has very little opportunity for reuse. Same thing with the brewery’s off-labels. They might have little pieces of glass in it, or some glues that recyclers can’t deal with. We take any fiber that we can cobble together to make an alloy.”
The company says in addition to helping businesses reduce or eliminate their waste, using Ecor also provides a competitive advantage. The product is lighter, which means it costs less to transport. It’s also 30 percent denser than medium density fiberboard, which means it is more durable and will last longer.
Ecor contains no toxic adhesives, additives, formaldehyde, or off-gassing and has virtually zero airborne volatile organic compounds.
Potter says it also costs less than it’s conventional counterparts. “There’s a big MDF (medium density fiberboard) project in Northern California that’s going to cost $300 million — we could build that same factory for probably $75 million.”
Lux Research analyst Jerrold Wang told Environmental Leader that Ecor is a good example of a circular economy approach.
“The use of waste material not only achieves sustainability but also enables low raw material cost or even negative cost,” he said.
But Lux Research doesn’t consider it an alternative to wood, composites, aluminum and plastic
A new trading platform to assist buyers of timber in sourcing legal or certified products from all over the world has been launched.
BVRio Environmental Exchange has launched today the Responsible Timber Exchange to facilitate the screening of timber products and their supply chains.
The index, which features a due diligence system, aims to facilitate the procurement of responsible timber products and increase liquidity, supply and demand for this market segment while promoting transparency, legality and sustainability.
The platform will also feature optional services such as grading and quality control, field audits and due diligence, receivables finance, insurance and logistics.
BVRio said it believed the tool would be particularly useful to buyers and traders operating in Europe and the US, where they have to ensure compliance with the EU Timber Regulation and the US Lacey Act, reducing their exposure to the illegal timber trade.
The system was originally designed to screen Brazilian timber but the UK government has helped adapt it to screen responsible timber from West Africa, starting with Ghana, and Peru.
It is ready to screen responsible timber products from the Brazilian Amazon, Indonesia (based on the newly issued FLEGT licenses), as well as FSC and PEFC certified products from around the world.
BVRio has highlighted the high risk of timber illegality in Brazil, where it is estimated that more than 50% of timber comes from illegal sources.
After a career in the energy sector and nearly 10 years leading the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, you'd think I'd be able to fix a few things before retiring.
Unfortunately, there's still the small matter of international climate change - the most important energy-related issue facing us today.
In fact, the symptoms have become steadily worse with 2016 set to be the hottest year on record. Around the world a concerted and serious effort is needed to tackle climate change and New Zealand has a role to play. I am excited about the opportunities in front of us.
For most of my career, the energy-related issue we worried about most was whether we had enough supply to meet our growing needs.
By 'energy' we generally meant electricity, which has always come mostly from renewable sources. We rested happily on those laurels; meanwhile our industry and transport sectors ran on coal and oil.
Two things happened at around the time I joined EECA as Chief Executive in 2007. The volatility of oil became painfully apparent when petrol prices shot past the $2/litre mark; and evidence linking climate change with the burning of fossil fuels became more widely accepted.
EECA, with its mandate to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy, has a role to play in both these issues.
Making more of our abundant renewable electricity will not only reduce our dependence on imported oil, it will also help us transition to a low emissions economy.
It seems like a big mountain to climb - but so was making New Zealanders realise their homes didn't have to be cold, damp and drafty.