New contract asserts Carbon8’s position as the market leader in APCr recycling

Carbon8 Aggregates and Grundon Waste Management are delighted to announce a ten-year contract has been signed for the removal, treatment and recycling of Air Pollution Control residue (APCr) from Viridor’s ERFs in Exeter, Cardiff, Ardley and Peterborough.

Around 25,000 tonnes of APCr will be supplied from the four sites per year and the contract includes an option for a five-year extension at the discretion of those involved.

As a consequence, the Viridor Energy Recovery Facilities (ERFs) have taken a significant step closer to becoming a fully ‘zero waste to landfill’ solution, thanks to the innovative technology undertaken by Carbon8 Aggregates that treats APCr.

APCr is a by-product of the filtering process to clean exhaust gases before they exit the facility through the flue stacks. Traditionally, this material has to be disposed of in an appropriately licensed landfill site. Using its dedicated tanker fleet, Grundon Waste Management will remove the APCr and transport it to Carbon8 Aggregates. The residue will be treated with waste carbon dioxide (CO2) in specialist mixer vessels. The CO2 reacts with the lime content of the APCr to form a carbonated compound similar to limestone which chemically immobilises the heavy metals present in the APCr.

The treated residue is mixed with various binders and fillers prior to being pelletised with more CO2 to form a lightweight aggregate material ranging in size from 2mm – 20mm. The whole process means the resultant aggregate is carbon-negative, as the quantity of CO2 captured in the process is greater than the embodied CO2 in the cement and other materials and the power consumed in the production process, even accounting for transport impacts.

The Environment Agency considers the aggregate to be a product in its own right, having been assessed as an ‘end of waste’ material. In order to achieve this, the aggregate has met the three key criteria of being a distinct and marketable product, that it can be used in exactly the same way as virgin aggregates and can be used with no worse environmental impact than virgin aggregate.

This product has various applications, but is principally used in the production of building blocks. Given its innovation and carbon negative credentials, the aggregate has won numerous awards and has allowed Lignacite – one of Carbon8’s outlets for the aggregate – to develop the world’s first carbon-negative building block called the Carbon Buster.

Carbon8’s lightweight aggregate can be used in the manufacture of concrete building blocks

This exciting development will allow Viridor ERFs to continue in their pursuit of a zero-waste to landfill solution, and to ensure that output materials are fully recycled. The company is already committed to recycling the incinerator bottom ash from its ERFs. Viridor is proud to utilise this British success story, which has seen a university laboratory-based technology become a commercial reality.

Richard Skehens, Chairman of Carbon8 and former Chief Executive Officer of Grundon Waste Management commented: “We are delighted to have been awarded the contract with Viridor. The investment by Grundon into the Carbon8 Aggregates business recognised the huge potential for recycling APCr into aggregate, thereby providing a genuine zero-waste to landfill option. This contract asserts Carbon8’s position as the market leader in APCr recycling.”

Stuart Sim, Viridor EfW Director, announced: “We’re excited to be amongst the leaders within the industry making this happen. We’re committed to giving the world’s resources new life, and seeing our residues recycled and become carbon-negative products within the construction industry really demonstrates clear progress on resource efficiency in this important and growing part of our sector.”

During 2015, Carbon8 will be constructing a new £4 million APCr facility in Avonmouth to support this ten-year contract. The facility will be operational by the end of the year and is the first element of Carbon8’s exciting plans to build three further plants in the UK by December 2016.

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