The unit, which is currently being installed at the Texon manufacturing plant at Skelton near Middlesbrough, uses an enhanced thermal technology process within an enclosed environment with no emissions to either air or water. It then converts waste into oil and gas which can be re-used to generate electricity and heat.
Despite the closed environment design, Thermitech still had to demonstrate and meet stringent environmental health standards to get the green light, set out by the national Environmental Agency and enforced by Local Authorities.
Any business which can affect the environment – for example by causing air pollution through release of smoke, dust or solvent fumes; or by creating water or land contamination – needs an Environmental Permit – part of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
The permit sets out limits on the pollution a business can make at specific premises and from any mobile plant and what they need to do prevent and control pollution.
An Environmental Protection Officer usually becomes involved in the lengthy process to check any control measures and working practices. If the council or Local Authority is satisfied that everything is in order, a permit is issued and the business can continue to use its existing systems.
Some of the most common businesses requiring an Environmental Permit include: petrol stations, waste oil and recovered oil burners, loading, unloading and use of bulk cement or the use of solvents (for example for surface cleaning, or vehicle respraying).
Thermitech Executive Chairman Gareth Jones, said: “We are delighted that the Pyrolysis unit passed all the necessary environmental standards in this first crucial installation. Each time a unit is installed in a new location we will have to apply for a permit from that particular Local Authority, but having gained our first permit it sends a clear signal that this technology meets all the relevant Environment Agency requirements.”