Atlas Copco compressors help clean air at UK waste-to-energy facility

Atlas Copco compressors help clean air at UK waste-to-energy facility

FCC Environment is one of the first compressor customers to have the new filter range units installed.

January 20, 2014
REW Staff

FCC Environment, a U.K.-based recycling and waste management company, is using the latest energy-efficient compressor and filtration solutions from Stockholm, Sweden-based Atlas Copco to help turn waste into energy at its Nottingham waste processing site.

The energy from the company’s commercial and domestic waste processing facility in Nottingham produces heat and steam to generate power without using fossil fuels. Since the facility opened 39 years ago, it has reduced the amount of Nottinghamshire County’s waste going to landfill sites by 5 million metric tons.

According to Atlas Copco, the FCC facility needs quality compressed air for a number of process applications from emission monitoring equipment to the pulsing of filtration bags employed in the flue gas treatment stages of the operation. Air quality is extremely important, since any contaminants in the air supply would affect the instrumentation that is vital to flue gas monitoring and risk noncompliance with the company’s Environmental License stipulations.

This requirement for high-quality standards is the principal reason FCC says it turned to Atlas Copco to meet its compressed air needs. Equipment installed at the site includes two GA 90 screw compressors − one fixed speed and the other a VSD machine capable of matching output to user demand for optimum energy savings. The system was augmented with three vertical air receivers, and to ensure first class dry air at the point of use, three Atlas Copco BD desiccant dryers with a guaranteed dew point of -70 degrees C (-94 degrees F). These were then fitted and connected to Atlas Copco’s latest in particulate and coalescent filters. Environmental protection was also ensured with the installation’s EWD condensate management system that prevents drainage contamination.

When the Atlas Copco team surveyed the installation site they found a great deal of external pipework between the location of the compressors and the various points of use throughout the production facility so it was essential that pressure drop within the air net had to be kept to minimum. FCC was one of the first compressor customers to have Atlas Copco’s brand new filter range units installed. The design of these innovative filters means a pressure drop of only half of that associated with conventional coalescing or particulate filters is incurred. This translates into significant energy savings.

Alan Burkill, Atlas Copco Sales Engineer, the principal liaison on the FCC project outlines the core benefits to be derived from the compressed air system: “When we sat down to discuss potential requirements, life cycle costs and energy efficiency was at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Our proposal was a solution that delivered the lowest life cycle cost to our customer and energy-efficient filtration was an integral and indispensable part of the installation.”

FCC’s Eastcroft plant generates steam used by many public buildings in Nottingham such as the National Ice Centre. In addition, it provides heating and cooling for 5,000 families. Philip Eyre, FCC maintenance manager says the whole system is a perfect fit. “I have known Atlas Copco for over 23 years and have always had a good quality service from them in all respects. The quality of their products definitely fits with what FFC requires in this facility.”

For more information on Atlas Copco’s filtration solutions and how they are helping FCC Environment turn waste into energy check out this video.