“Waste-to-wheels” projects win £25m from UK government


Three firms will share in a £25m prize from the Department of Transport, aimed at helping develop greener fuel technology and boosting local industry.
The award will be split three ways, with £11m going to both Edinburgh based Celtic Renewables and Swindon located Advanced Plasma Power. A further £3m will go to Nova Pangea Technologies, based in Tees Valley.

Biofuels from whiskey
Celtic Renewables will use the award to fund a new plant to make biofuels from Scotch whisky by-products, with plans to open a further 3 commercial plants across Scotland in the future. The firm produces biobutanol from pot ale and draff, two key by-products from the production of malt whiskey. This is a biofuel that can be used to fuel specially designed cars and lorries.

…And from household waste
Advanced Plasma Power produces biofuels from household waste. It will use the £11m prize to develop a plant which – apparently for the first time ever – will process waste to create biomethane. The biomethane will then be used as a fuel for a local haulage fleet, cutting emissions by up to 96%.
The plant will take residual waste – “the UK’s largest sustainable source of biomass” – and convert it into compressed biomethane, using APP’s pioneering Gasplasma® technology and will produce enough fuel for 75 heavy goods vehicles.
APP will share the award with its partners National Grid, clean energy firm Progressive Energy, and CNG Services, a company which provides gas for use in vehicles, as part of a Department for Transport (DfT) programme to develop and commercialise the technologies required to decarbonise the transport sector.
The funding will be used to construct a plant employing APP’s proprietary Gasplasma process, said to be an innovative combination of gasification and plasma treatment.
Rolf Stein, CEO of Advanced Plasma Power, said: “Our state-of-the-art process can unlock the enormous value of residual waste as a resource and provides a cost-effective means of converting such waste to fuels such as bio-methane. Our expectation is that this plant will lead the way to a new generation of ultimate recycling facilities both in the UK and around the world.”
Chris Manson-Whitton, Director of Progressive Energy, said: “We are tremendously excited about this true waste-to-wheels project which exemplifies the circular economy. The award by the DfT is testament to the vision and dedication of the consortium. It is a springboard to exploiting our indigenous residual waste resource to provide a secure and low cost transport fuel for our truck and bus fleets.”

…And from forestry by-products
A £3m prize also went to Nova Pangaea Technologies, a Tees Valley company that uses waste from forestry for green fuel production.