• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 3:56am

Incinerator would meet EU standards

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 February, 2014, 3:57am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 February, 2014, 3:57am

I refer to the letter from Martin Williams ("Au must come clean on new incinerator", January 30).

Contrary to what Mr Williams has suggested, it is a confirmed finding supported by evidence, not assertions, that modern incinerators like the new one proposed for Hong Kong can meet European Union standards.

According to the White Paper on Alternative Waste Conversion Technologies (January 2013) from the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) and other similar international reviews, grate-based combustion plants form the vast majority of 2,000 waste-to-energy plants in operation today, with a present throughput of more than 100 million tonnes of municipal solid waste each year. Many modern incinerators can also be found around Asia.

According to ISWA, modern incinerators in operation today are equipped with flue gas cleaning equipment and improved combustion controls and thus easily comply with the strictest emission requirements such as the EU standards. Grate-based technology is proven.

The recent Guidebook for the Application of Waste to Energy Technologies (July 2013) from Columbia University also shows similar findings

The performance results of modern incinerators are readily available on the internet. For example, the performance results of incineration plants in Taiwan can be viewed at their website (epa.gov.tw). The performance of modern incinerators in Europe can also be found on various websites.

It is incorrect for Mr Williams to say that the grate-based technology is outdated. Since the promulgation of the EU's Incineration Directive, there has been continuous improvement in the design of grate-based technology.

The fact is that the majority of thermal treatment facilities commissioned since 2009 have adopted grate-based technology. Many new plants currently under construction around the world also adopt grate-based technology.

At present there is no plasma arc gasification plant in commercial operation for large-scale treatment of municipal solid waste.

The plasma arc gasification plant in Teesside, England, which is being commissioned, would take several years of operation before its performance could be fully confirmed.

We would closely monitor its development and the progress of any other technologies in the future planning of waste treatment facilities for Hong Kong to meet longer-term needs.

Elvis W.K. Au, assistant director of environmental protection


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deaths from 33 different kinds of malignant tumours with proximity to incinerators in Europe
w/their legacy of toxic landfills needed for the 30% ash produced each day by weight.
Why can't an extra day be taken to visit the full sized 1,000 tpd working gasplasma plant when they intend to visit this flawed BRAND NEW incinerator in UK?
The delegation could fly ex Teesside airport to the next stop in Amsterdam www.durhamteesvalleyairport.com/flight-information/live-flight-info-arrivals-departures-boards
Yet ENB intends the delegation visits a gimmick ski-slope incinerator, opposed by Denmark's Environment Minister Ida Aukens, & which will not commission until 2017; when the lady Environment Minister Ida Aukens has now announced a paradigm policy shift towards recycling and away from incineration!
Denmark's current apathetic recycling rate is low 20% with no source separation.
The Danish Minister's paradigm shift is away from incineration & to embrace recycling
One must hope the joint ENB/Legco delegation listens to Minister Ida Aukens' advice instead of Au's retrograde blinkered legacy he seeks to inflict on Hong Kong:
Regardless of the technical aspects of either moving grate or plasma arc technologies, does it make sense to put all our eggs in one basket? Build several, smaller plants at existing landfill sites using the latest technology available at the time.
If you employ 2 good oxygen weighing 32 to bond with one carbon that weighs 12, you get a bad carbon dioxide weighing 48. The is actually an increase in weight, although released into our atmosphere instead of the residual weighing only 30% of the original wet MSW.
Average wet MSW has a moisture content between 40-50%. Let's take 45% as a mid point. On a dry basis, the solid weight reduction is actually from 55% down to 30%. Therefore it is only a 45.45% weight reduction instead of 70% as gloated, with total disregard of 182% increase by weight into the air (45.45% burnt x 48 CO2 weight / 12 C weight).
Regardless how you "clean" the flue gas, CO2 remains CO2 even after a good scrubbing. What did Obama say...? You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.
An ignorant amateur can Google as much as he wants, he is still an ignorant amateur.
And why can't you 'experts' take a day off and once in your life have a look at any incinerator from the inside - instead of Googling yourself to death?
What's this focus on 30% ash "by weight"? Are the HK Landfills too heavy? Or is it simply because 30% by weight sounds better to a zealot than 5% by volume?


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