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New wood waste pyrolysis facility planned for Hong Kong

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Global engineering company Black & Veatch (B&V) has been asked to review a proposed green waste pyrolysis project in Hong Kong.

The Environmental Protection Department of the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has appointed the firm to be the Owner’s Engineer of Hong Kong’s first pilot plant for woody waste recycling. The plant will have a capacity of 24 tonnes per day and will be constructed in EcoPark, Tuen Mun.

Reducing waste is one of the city’s strategies to optimise resources and cut down on landfill disposal, while supporting sustainability. According to B&V, woody waste recycling is a core element of the city’s bio-waste management strategy to divert valuable biomass resource from landfills.

Andy Kwok, managing director of Black & Veatch Asia North, said: “B&V is ready to support Hong Kong’s sustainability visions. We have worked with a large number of utilities and government agencies on waste-to-energy projects throughout the world, and many of them involve the conversion of biomass by means of pyrolysis or gasification to energy products.”

According to James Chan, B&V Hong Kong’s project director, a unique aspect of this pilot project is its focus on producing biochar-type products, which are “expected to find sustainable outlets” in the Hong Kong market.

Biochar is similar to charcoal and is produced by burning biomass through pyrolysis. Biochar helps to improve soil fertility and captures and stores carbon dioxide safely. The pilot plant will also explore if biochar can be produced to meet higher quality standards for other uses. Potential feedstock at the wood waste recycling facility include used pallets, yard wastes and spent bamboo scaffolds.

B&V will review the technology, market, environmental and regulatory aspects of the proposed facility. It is also responsible for preparing a reference design, assisting in procurement, supervising construction and commissioning and overseeing pilot testing.