Employee-owned engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company, Black & Veatch, explained that as Hong Kong increases the recycling rate of yard waste and wood waste to promote sustainability, it is embarking on a semi-research project to facilitate territory-wide recycling of woody waste material.
The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has appointed Black & Veatch to be the Owner’s Engineer of Hong Kong’s first pilot plant for woody waste recycling. The pilot plant will have a capacity of 24 tonnes-per-day and will be constructed in EcoPark, Tuen Mun.
Reducing waste is one of Hong Kong’s strategies to optimise resources and reduce landfill disposal, while supporting sustainability. Woody waste recycling is a core element of the city’s biowaste management strategy to divert valuable biomass resource from the landfills.
“Black & Veatch 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,” says Andy Kwok, Managing Director, Black & Veatch Asia North.
“The unique aspect of this pilot project is its focus on the production of biochar-type products, which are expected to find sustainable outlets in the Hong Kong market,” says James Chan, Project Director, Black & Veatch Hong Kong.
Biochar is similar to charcoal and made by burning biomass in a process called pyrolysis. Biochar improves soil fertility and captures and stores carbon dioxide safely. In addition, the pilot plant project will explore if biochar can be produced to meet higher quality standards for other beneficial uses. For Hong Kong’s woody waste recycling plant, the potential feedstock includes used pallets, yard wastes as well as spent bamboo scaffolds.
Black & Veatch Hong Kong is tasked with reviewing the technology, market, environmental and regulatory aspects of the project’s proposed biochar plant. It is responsible for preparing a reference design, assisting in procurement, supervising construction and commissioning, and overseeing the pilot testing.
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