Green electricity from previously worthless wastewater

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New technology with big potential will be presented at World Bioenergy in Jönköping, Sweden on 25–27 May. The new product is a container filled with technology which uses the heat from 55 °C water to generate electricity. The unit is called the Opcon Powerbox and was developed by the Swedish firm of Opcon.

The first commercial Opcon Powerbox was installed last year at two pulp mills in Sweden, StoraEnso’s mill at Skutskär and Munksjö’s Aspa mill. In operation, the technology more than delivers what its developer promises. “The mills generate electricity from wastewater and the process also helps to meet cooling needs,” explains Niklas Johansson, vice president Opcon. With the Opcon Powerbox, StoraEnso will produce more than 4 GWh of carbon dioxide-free electricity annually. Aspa Mill should be able to produce even more.

“We’re talking about as much electricity as from a wind power plant, but at a far lower investment cost,” Johansson says.

This is just the beginning of electricity generation with far greater potential. A pilot study has been done at a gas-fuelled, 105 MW power plant in Australia. With 12 Opcon Powerboxes installed, another 9 MW could be produced from the waste heat under current operating conditions.

The Opcon Powerbox is based on technology from Opcon’s subsidiary Svenska Rotor Maskiner, (developers of the screw compressor) and the Swedish firm of Ljungströms (air preheaters, etc.). The technology is fuel neutral and works with hot water or steam. The technology is highly interesting in combination with biofuel, because electricity generation that requires little investment makes green energy even more efficient and competitive.

In recent years Opcon has developed into a major Swedish player in the bioenergy field, with brands like Saxlund International and Svensk Rökgasenergi (SRE). The company is one of a number of manufacturers to present new technology at World Bioenergy 2010 in Jönköping, Sweden. As well as the trade fair, there will also be a world-class conference with field trips to nearby bioenergy facilities.

Captions:

The Opcon Powerbox is a container filled with technology which transforms wastewater heat into electricity.The Opcon Powerbox is a container filled with technology which transforms wastewater heat into electricity.

The forest industry produces huge amounts of hot wastewater which is not used profitably. StoraEnso in Skutskär, Sweden, is one of the first to transform this waste heat into green electricity. The technology will be presented at World Bioenergy 2010.The forest industry produces huge amounts of hot wastewater which is not used profitably. StoraEnso in Skutskär, Sweden, is one of the first to transform this waste heat into green electricity. The technology will be presented at World Bioenergy 2010.

High resolution pictures at www.worldbioenergy.com. Please click on “For Media” and “Press releases”.

Source: Elmia AB

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