Waste management is a global problem, particularly that of non-recyclable materials. Urban communities, industrial plants and agricultural sites dispose of their waste at high cost and with solutions that are hardly ever friendly to the environment. Waste transportation is top of the line on the list of costs and has a great impact on greenhouse emissions.
Ixellion believes that waste management is a priority that must be tackled leveraging the most advanced technology while respecting the environment. For this reason, in 2018 Ixellion bought Ki Energy, an innovative start-up envisioning the future of energy and waste made of small plants, close to waste producers, serving a community of energy consumers.
Ki Energy’s technological know-how enables the miniaturization of Fluidized Bed Combustors and can operate them with different kinds of fuel thanks to customized protocols, allowing the treatment of every fuel type according to its chemical characteristics and humidity level.
Fluidized Bed Combustion is a chemical process that can guarantee the cleanest emissions, thanks to an optimal management of the burning temperature and to a no-flame combustion. In addition, this vertical process has different areas of temperature where each of the pollutants (NOx, PM10 etc.) can be managed in an optimized way. The addition of chemicals is also used to control emissions, while mixing other materials -– such as dolomite and olivine -– allows the reduction of Nitrogen Oxides below 150 mg/Nm3. Bag filters capture the solids at the end of the process.
The combustor is equipped with sensors that guarantee the emissions are always outperforming the strictest legal requirements, in any legislation. Since a fluidized bed is inherently the cleanest combustion system, emissions can be adapted to any national emission standard with a lower investment and lower maintenance costs compared to other devices.
Ki Energy’s plants can treat different types of waste, such as animal manure, sewage sludges, urban waste, bituminous sands, tires, agricultural waste, butchery remains, pharmaceutical sludge, mattresses, wood chips, green cuttings, leachate, hospital waste, paper mill pulper, etc. A Ki Energy plant is ideally built close to or within the premises of each waste-intense activity and can be coupled with solar or wind power systems to balance day and night energy demand.
Ki Energy’s business model is to use its proprietary technology to install waste-to-energy plants close to waste producers and to sell them waste disposal and energy production services. KI Energy’s team installed eight “proof of concept” plants, currently operating in Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Brazil, that are already delivering excellent performances in terms of costs and profitability.
While developing a circular economy of carbon, Ixellion is planning to use Ki Energy’s technology for the recycling of carbon composite.