MIHG energy from waste plants provide a number of environmental benefits including:
generation of renewable energy products
carbon negative - with net negative greenhouse gas emissions
reduced waste to landfill
enabling more recycling by processing residual wastes
Biogenic material can be used to produce renewable energy such as electricity and hydrogen and makes up a significant fraction of many waste feedstocks. For general wastes the renewable energy fraction is around 70%.
Carbon Negative - with net negative greenhouse gas emissions
The MIHG process delivers net negative greenhouse gas emissions when used to process general wastes destined for landfill. The carbon negative emissions profile is partly due to the avoidance of methane emissions from landfills. The organic components of solid wastes sent to landfill are broken down by microorganisms releasing methane, a greenhouse gas more than 20 times stronger than CO2. Landfills release between 0.5 and 1 tonne-CO2eq/tonne-waste depending upon the feedstock composition and capture rates. Diverting these waste streams to MIHG energy recovery leads to net negative greenhouse gas emissions.
The graph below compares net GHG emissions for a variety of electricity generation technologies. The MIHG energy from waste technology can deliver net GHG emissions of -850 kgCO2eq/MWh, compared to zero for renewables and over 350 kgCO2eq/MWh for fossil fuels. Power generation from coal releases over 800 kgCO2eq/MWh!
When hydrogen is produced from the MIHG process using general wastes destined for landfill, the net GHG emissions will also be negative, leading to carbon negative, low-cost hydrogen production!
Reduced waste to landfill
The waste to be processed with the MIHG technology is destined for landfill. Installation of MIHG facilities reduces the need for landfilling and its associated environmental impacts such as air emissions, seepage, pests and odour.
Processing residual wastes
The MIHG technology can process residual wastes which are source separated such as MSW (red bin waste) or post-recycling streams from resource recovery facilities. Compared with traditional incineration, the MIHG technology targets much smaller projects and the modular nature enables investment to be scaled over time to match changes in the available waste streams. This flexibility, means that MIHG energy from waste facilities can complement recycling infrastructure such as material recovery facilities and support the transition to a circular economy.