Hygiene products to provide heat and power

A new system is being developed to turn hygiene products into energy.

Bioenergy Insight reports that feminine hygiene products, incontinence pads and millions of nappies currently sent to landfill by commercial organisations and public bodies could now be turned into clean energy by a new mechanical process called Lifecycle.

PHS Group, who have spent millions of pounds developing the new process, say the breakthrough ends a decade-long pursuit to efficiently recycle hygiene waste, which can take up to 500 years to decompose.
Businesses that send hygiene waste products to landfill face increasingly high costs for doing so because of rising landfill tax and processing costs associated with hitting UK environmental targets and dwindling landfill capacity.

The Lifecycle process combines mechanical separation with chemical treatment and converts highly absorbent hygiene products into refused derived fuel (RDF), which is then supplied to the alternative energy market both in the UK and in Europe.

RDF is typically burned in biomass plants to produce electricity and hot water either for municipal power systems, the National Grid or individual companies.

Justin Tydeman, CEO of PHS Group, said: “Hygiene products are an essential part of many of our everyday lives but disposing of them has always been an issue. We have spent almost a decade refining the LifeCycle process and we now have a viable option for diverting hygiene waste products away from landfill.”

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