Global software and technology firm, Emerson, is helping the Swedish cleantech company HaloSep to optimise their unique process that turns hazardous incinerator flue gas residue from waste-to-energy plants into usable materials. Emerson’s control technology and software is being deployed at HaloSep’s plant for optimisation, research and technology (PORT) in Gothenburg, Sweden, to manage an innovative chemical separation process that recovers valuable salt, metals and minerals from fly ash. 

Greater circularity

Recovering materials from difficult waste streams is an important contribution to greater circularity. There are over 2 600 waste-to-energy plants worldwide, with a disposal capacity of approximately 460 million tons of municipal waste annually. About 2-5% of the incinerated waste becomes flue gas residue known as fly ash, which is a hazardous material containing contaminants such as heavy metals, chlorides and sulphates. Millions of tons of fly ash are currently transported to landfills by truck, rail or sea, which is both costly and unsustainable.

“Due to the irregular nature of household waste, fly ash produced from incineration has varying properties requiring different separation processes. Our PORT plant will analyse fly ash samples from around the world, test specific separation processes and demonstrate circular economy benefits to potential customers,” explains HaloSep president, Staffan Svensson. 

Unique sequences

“Emerson’s technology and expert advice on implementing automation throughout the plant has played a vital role in optimising these processes which, when deployed, will help increase the sustainability of the waste-to-energy industry.” Emerson designed and implemented a scalable control system architecture at the PORT facility and worked closely with HaloSep to develop unique separation sequences to efficiently recycle fly ash with variable compositions. 

Emerson’s DeltaV distributed control system ensures the safe and efficient operation of the separation processes. In addition, DeltaV Live software provides high-performance human machine interfaces for operators, with key performance indicator-led dashboards providing intuitive reporting and management and supporting optimised decision-making and operational performance.

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