The Anonymous Widower

Why Can’t More Bags Be Like This?

I recently had my shoes fixed in Timpsons.

This was the bag that the company gave me with the shoes

Surely, paper bags score highly in many ways; practicality, affordability, recyclability and as advertising.

Why don’t we see bags like these more often?

June 20, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , | 2 Comments

New HS2 Pilot Project Swaps Steel For Retired Wind Turbine Blades To Reinforce Concrete

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from High Speed Two.

These are the first three paragraphs.

Worn-out wind turbine blades destined for the incinerator will instead be used to create carbon-friendly reinforced concrete on Britain’s new high speed rail network, HS2 Ltd has said today (12.03.21).

The innovative project will swap steel rebar, traditionally used to reinforce concrete, with sections of glass fibre reinforced polymer turbine blades that have reached the end of their operational lives generating low carbon electricity.

By 2023, around 15,000 turbine blades will have been decommissioned across the UK and EU. Until now, expired blades have either been ground down to be used as building materials or sent to energy-from-waste incinerators.

Replacing reinforcing steel with sections of retired wind turbine blades is claimed to cut up to 90 % of the carbon generated by steel reinforcement.

It would appear to me, that this is a worthwhile process.

  • In 2018, 295,000 metric tons of steel reinforcing bars were produced in the UK.
  • Retired blades don’t end up in landfill or incinerators.
  • Could we export them as eco-friendly reinforcing bars, to countries with smaller wind industries.

As we have more wind farms, than most other countries, we will probably have more blades to recycle, so perhaps we should research other secondary uses for these blades.

March 12, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Aberdeen Unveils UK’s First Green Hydrogen Waste Truck

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on renews.biz.

These are the first three paragraphs.

The UK’s first green hydrogen-fuelled waste collection vehicle has been unveiled in Aberdeen.

While typical waste trucks are powered by diesel and petrol, the new vehicle will use green hydrogen from existing refuelling infrastructure in Aberdeen.

The truck will start collecting waste and recycling around the city from early March and will be the first hydrogen-powered waste truck to become operational in the UK.

I feel, that this is one of the obvious applications for hydrogen trucks.

  • They return to the same depot at the end of the day and if the hydrogen refuelling station is nearby or at the depot, refuelling would be no more hassle than with diesel.
  • The trucks are probably too large for battery power.
  • They tend to work a lot in areas, where there are a lot of people about, like residential streets and shopping centres.
  • Workers will be exposed to less pollution, as they bring bins to the trucks.

Aberdeen Council have provided this video.

I can see lots of Councils at least thinking of following Aberdeen’s example, when they renew their refuse trucks.

Incidentally, I may be only 74, but I can still remember the horse-drawn waste carts that Wood Green Council used to use in the 1950s. They were used around Wood Green town centre, where trailers were parked to receive rubbish from shops and businesses. Horses were used to move them about and to the depot. In the end they horses were replaced by Scammel Mechanical Horses.

February 18, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Mass One Of The Hottest Issues In Battery Recycling

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Recycling Magazine.

It gives a good description of black mass.

February 6, 2022 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Glencore & Strategic Partner Britishvolt Strengthen Relationship And Agree To Build Battery Recycling Ecosystem In The UK

The title of this post is the same as that of this press release from Glencore.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Glencore is proud to have entered an industry-leading battery recycling joint venture with strategic partner and battery pioneer Britishvolt, the UK’s foremost investor in battery cell technologies and R&D.

The joint venture will develop a world-leading ecosystem for battery recycling in the UK. This ecosystem will be anchored at a new recycling plant located at the Britannia Refined Metals operation (BRM-located in Northfleet), a Glencore company. BRM will continue with its current production and trading operations.

These appear to be some of Glencore’s objectives for the project.

  • They intend to recycle a minimum of 10,000 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries per year, including but not limited to valuable battery manufacturing scrap, portable electronics batteries and full EV packs.
  •  They intend to recycle Britishvolt’s scrap.
  • They intend to be up and running by mid-2023.
  • They intend to be 100 % powered by renewable energy in the longer term.

It all seems admirable.

These are my thoughts.

Britannia Refined Metals

This Google Map shows the Britannia Refined Metals site at Northfleet.

Note.

  1. Britannia Refined Metals is indicated by the red arrow.
  2. The Port of Tilbury is on the other side of the Thames.

This second Google Map shows the site in more detail.

Note.

  1. It is not a very large site.
  2. There doesn’t appear to be much space for expansion.
  3. They appear to have a wharf on the river.

I’ve found this company video from the 1980s on the Internet.

They do seem to have developed a sophisticated process for recycling lead-acid batteries.

Renewable Energy

There are these offshore wind farms in the Thames Estuary.

Two of these could be extended.

I am sure that there could be more space in the Thames Estuary for more wind power.

Recycling Batteries

I have found this article on the BBC, which is entitled As The World looks To Electrify Vehicles And Store Renewable Power, One Giant Challenge Looms: What Will Happen To All The Old Lithium Batteries?.

This is the third paragraph.

While this may sound like the ideal path to sustainable power and road travel, there’s one big problem. Currently, lithium (Li) ion batteries are those typically used in EVs and the megabatteries used to store energy from renewables, and Li batteries are hard to recycle.

The article talks about possible solutions.

  • Don’t treat the batteries as disposable.
  • Increasing the number of batteries recycled from the measly five percent.
  • Automate the recycling process, which currently is labour intensive.
  • Give the cathode, anode and other parts a second life in new batteries, by refurbishment.
  • Batteries that degrade on command.

But the idea, I like is described in this paragraph from the article.

The next step for scientists pushing direct recycling of Li batteries forward is working with battery manufacturers and recycling plants to streamline the process from build to breakdown.

In context with the tie-up between Glencore and Britishvolt, you can imagine engineers from both companies, getting together to improve the design of the battery, so that manufacturing and recycling of batteries are two mutually efficient and complimentary processes.

I can also see some very sophisticated logistics systems being developed to return batteries to an approved recycler, who may be in another country.

But then we are dealing with something that could have a substantial value.

Deals Between Battery Manufacturers And Recyclers

I can see more deals like this between battery manufacturers and recyclers.

  • It could reduce the cost of batteries.
  • It could impress governments seeking to reduce the about of batteries going into landfill.
  • It would reduce the amount of new metals to be mined.

It may even help, in the protection of intellectual property rights, that are concerned with battery manufacture and recycling.

A Second Similar Glencore Deal

There is also a second deal about battery recycling mentioned in a press release on the Glencore web site, which is entitled Glencore & Managem Set Up Partnership For Moroccan Production Of Cobalt From Recycled Battery Materials.

  • The press release was issued only a few days before the one announcing the deal with Britishvolt.
  • It is for 12,000 tonnes of recycling.
  • The press release mentions renewable power.

I do wonder, if Glencore or one of their companies has developed a new process.

February 6, 2022 Posted by | Energy Storage, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Diamond Light Source And PETase

When I was writing Diamond Synchrotron Sparkles And Shows Its Value To UK Economy, I came across a reference to PETase, in an article in Chemistry World, where this was said about the Diamond Light Source.

‘It is the facilities in the UK that really make the difference and make us a world leader,’ comments John McGeehan, professor of structural biology at the University of Portsmouth.

His team has used Diamond to study the bacterial enzyme PETase, which digests plastic. ‘Diamond’s I23 [long-wave macromolecular crystallography] beamline is unique in the world. It allowed us to solve the 3D structure of the PET-degrading enzyme, first found in plastic dumps in Japan in 2016. Three years ago it was the highest resolution image of the enzyme measured and remains so today. Having this information allows us to understand how the enzyme works, and how to make it work faster and better.’

As a result, the team has been able to visualise the active site of the enzyme and how it consumes plastic. The researchers discovered that the active site was slightly wider than cutinase, a similar enzyme that bacteria use to break down natural plant polyesters. ‘The technology leading from this research means plastic waste can be broken down and put back together into bottles (infinite recycling), or can be made into higher value products such as resins for wind turbine blades,’ says McGeehan. Patents are pending.

Note, that PET is polyethylene terephthalate, which is a very common plastic used to make fabric (Terylene/Dacron) and packaging.

Now that is what I call recycling!

October 24, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wiltshire’s Recycled Railway Sleepers A UK First

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first paragraph.

Railway sleepers made of recycled bottles, food packaging and unwanted plastics have been installed on a mainline railway for the first time.

This paragraph describes their durability.

The new railway sleepers are designed to be used for 50 years as they do not split, rot or degrade, and can resist water, oil, chemicals and fungi.

The new sleepers would appear to be an advance on wood and concrete in certain applications.

Conclusion

This seems to be a good example of creative recycling.

July 8, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

New Facility In Scotland To Turn Waste Plastic Into Hydrogen

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Hydrogen Fuel News.

This is the first paragraph.

Peel NRE, a part of Peel Land & Property, has unveiled its plans for a second waste plastic to hydrogen facility. This one will be installed on the River Clyde’s north bank at the Rothesay Dock in West Dunbartonshire.

A few relevant points from the article.

  • The facility will cost £20 million.
  • Input will be non-recyclable plastics, that otherwise would go to landfill.
  • There will be a hydrogen filling station at the site.
  • The facility can handle 13500 tonnes of plastic per year
  • The facility will use technology developed by the Powerhouse Energy Group.

It sounds like, we need more of these plastic to hydrogen facilities!

 

June 4, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Edmonton Incinerator

Although it is officially known these days as the Edmonton EcoPark, as a North Londoner, I will always know it as the Edmonton Incinerator.

I took these pictures with my drone.

These are a few facts from Wikipedia about the waste-to-energy plant.

  • It was commissioned by the Greater London Council in 1971.
  • It burns waste from the seven North-East London boroughs.
  • It generates 55 MW of electricity.

It certainly dominates the landscape alongside the North Circular Road.

But.

It is probably not amongst the greenest of incinerators.

It is probably very much a design of the 1960s.

It is approaching fifty years old.

But it appears that things could be improving.

  • There is a large composting and recycling facility being built on the site on the site.
  • Plans exist to bring in the rubbish by barge.

This Google Map shows the site.

Note.

  1. The North Circular Road runs across the bottom of the map.
  2. All of the roads obliterated the famous Cooks Ferry Inn, where I saw the Animals play in the 1960s.
  3. The River Lee Navigation runs past the incinerator.
  4. Pymme’s Brook runs on the other side.

It looks from the map, that another reservoir is being built to the East of the canal.

The Guy Who Built The Edmonton Incinerator

I used to work with the guy, who was one of those in charge of the building of the incinerator, who when I met him, was head of the Greater London Council’s Construction Branch, who were using my project management software.

I can’t remember Mr. Samuels first name, even if I ever knew it.

  • He was an Austrian Jew, who had trained as an engineer, who arrived in the UK sometime in the 1930s.
  • He taught himself English in six weeks and got a job at Lucas.
  • At the start of World War II, he volunteered and joined the Royal Engineers.
  • He spent the whole war in bomb disposal.
  • After the war he became an observer at the Nuremberg Trials.

After all he’d been through, he told me, the worst time of his life, was those years in the early seventies when I knew him, as his wife was dying of cancer.

But he taught me a lot about project management and the real horror of war.

He never told me, how many of his relatives survived the Nazis.

What Will Happen To The Edmonton Incinerator?

This year it will be fifty years since the Edmonton Incinerator was commissioned. It must be coming to the end of its life.

I can’t find any plans, but endless groups, who want it closed rather than rebuilt.

This article in the Hackney Gazette, which is entitled Campaigners Urge North London Incinerator Bidders To Pull Out, is typical.

I am very pro recycling, but then others aren’t as these pictures show.

So if some won’t recycle properly, it will all have to go to landfill.

An Odd Tale About Recycling

I applied to be a member of the Independent Monitoring Board of a prison near, where I used to live.

I had a very interesting tour of the prison, where I met several of the inmates.

One thing surprised me.

The prison had a very comprehensive internal recycling system, whereby everything was fully sorted.

One course of training, that was offered to prisoners was how to sort and process all of the rubbish. According to the guy running the course, it was one of the most popular in the prison.

Possibly, because I was told, it prepared prisoners for a job, where there were lots of vacancies.

I wonder if the new £100million recycling centre at Edmonton will use labour trained in the Prison Service?

 

April 14, 2021 Posted by | Energy, World | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Recycling In Islington

I took these pictures by the bus stop round the corner from my house.

It is often as bad as this and it is regularly cleaned up by the street cleaners.

There are people for whatever reason, put their rubbish by the litter and then the foxes sort through it looking for scraps of food.

Someone said on the radio, that it is caused by illegal sub-lets, as these tenants are told not to use the normal rubbish system, as it draws attention.

So their idea of recycling, is to get others to sort it!

March 16, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment