One for the future – Recycling space junk

Apparently there are about 22,000 large objects orbiting the Earth, including working and broken satellites and bits of old rocket from past space expeditions. Even worse, if you include all the equipment dropped by astronauts while floating in space and the debris from colliding satellites down to around 1cm in size, there are about one million bits of space junk in Earth’s orbit.

Jez Turner, a Teaching Associate in Foundation Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Nottingham in the UK, writing in The Conversation, informs us that a long-term solution is being proposed by The Gateway Earth Development Group. The Group is a collection of academics from universities around the world who propose turning this potential catastrophe into a resource. By 2050, Gateway Earth – a fully operational space station with a facility to recycle old satellites and other junk – could be up and running. This would reduce the potential for costly collisions between functioning satellites and debris (which could threaten communications, air navigation, meteorology etc.), as well as potentially providing a revenue stream for recycled materials and components.

Technology to clear up the estimated 7,000 tonnes of ‘junk’ currently in orbit is under development. One programme is the EU-sponsored RemoveDEBRIS; which is aimed at performing key Active Debris Removal (ADR) technology demonstrations to find the best way to capture the space debris orbiting Earth. The consortium working on the programme includes the University of Surrey, Stellenbosch University, Airbus Defence and Space, Airbus Safran Launchers, SSTL, ISIS (Netherlands), CSEM (Switzerland) and Inria (France).

With the profusion of satellites being launched, Jez argues the need for a space equivalent of the plastics wake-up call that people received from Blue Planet 2. There is still time, but plans for cleaning up Earth’s orbit need to be acted on now.

AcuComm’s Daily Full Access Project – Argentina Biogas Plant

Construction of a 2.4 MW biogas plant

BTS Biogas is in the process of constructing a new biogas plant in Pergamino and has reported that electro-mechanical installation is expected to begin in February.

The facility will process 50,000 tonnes of agricultural by-products and plant/animal biomass to produce biogas, which will later be used to generate electricity. Fertiliser will also be produced as a by-product for local farms.

It is scheduled to be operational by September/October 2019.

See the full details from this project.

AcuComm’s Daily Full Access Project – Saudi Arabia Biodiesel Plant

Construction of a US$15 million biodiesel plant

Work is expected to begin early this year on a new biodiesel plant King Abdullah Economic City.

The facility will process edible oil and other raw materials to produce 45,000 of biodiesel per annum., which will be exported to Europe and other markets.

Operations are expected to commence in the second quarter of 2020.

See the latest from this project.

AcuComm’s Daily Full Access Project – US RDF Facility

Redevelopment of solid waste campus including RDF facility

The City of Red Wing, MN, is investing US$12.54 million to improve its solid waste campus operations. Works will cover the development of an integrated solid waste management system, including a refuse-derived fuel (RDF) facility and an incinerator building.

Continue reading AcuComm’s Daily Full Access Project – US RDF Facility

#Editor’sPick – Waste-to-Energy Facilities

US – Resource Recovery & Bioenergy Facility

Development of a water resource recovery facility

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) is undertaking a project to convert wastewater biosolids into biogas in Piscataway, MD, which will be used to help power the facility and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15%.

A design-build team made up of PC Construction, Stantec, and Hazen and Sawyer will be undertaking the first phase of the project, including the demolition of existing facilities and relocation of site utilities.

Find out more about this project.

Ethiopia – WtE Plant

Construction of a waste-to-energy plant

Sub-Saharan Africa’s first waste-to-energy (WtE) plant has officially been inaugurated in Addis Ababa. It is located adjacent to the Reppie Landfill, which will provide feedstock as a source of renewable energy for the national power grid.

The facility is using state-of-the-art technology from DP Cleantech and equipment from China Everbright International.

Access the full details of this project.

AcuComm’s Daily Full Access Project – South Africa Biomass Plant

Construction of a 25 MW biomass plant

Work has commenced on the site of a new biomass plant in Ngodwana, Mpumalanga, which will process biomass waste from plantations and waste materials from the mill production process.

Continue reading AcuComm’s Daily Full Access Project – South Africa Biomass Plant

Global Waste Investment Fact File: Canada

In the latest edition of the Global Waste Investment Fact File 2018, we’re putting the spotlight on Canada. As of February 2018, AcuComm was listing 223 projects in the country. These had a total value of US$13,275 million or US$60 million each.


Key points from this Fact File

  • Biofuel is the leading project type, accounting for US$4,042 million or 30% of the total. This is followed by incineration (with energy recovery), accounting for US$2,865 million or 22% of the total.
  • The total estimated capacity for these projects is 34.8 million tonnes. This is equal to 155,859 tonnes per project on average and 138% of Canada’s estimated annual waste generation.
  • Waste investments totalling US$7,652 million are expected to become operational over the next few years. This is currently expected to peak in 2021 at US$3,340 million.
Download this Fact File.

Explore the full list of projects in Canada.

AcuComm’s Daily Full Access Project – UK Materials Recovery Facility

According to Fortress Recycling and Resource Management, their new materials recovery facility (MRF) in Warwick has processed over 6,000 tonnes of waste in its first three months of operation.

Continue reading AcuComm’s Daily Full Access Project – UK Materials Recovery Facility

Global Waste Investment Fact File 2018 – Greece

AcuComm’s Chief Data Analyst, Andy Crofts, gives us a round-up of this week’s chosen country focus for the Global Waste Investment Fact File.


Next up in our series of Global Waste Investment Fact Files is the Greece edition. As of February 2018, AcuComm was listing 17 projects in the country. These have a total value of US$704 million or US$41 million each.

Continue reading Global Waste Investment Fact File 2018 – Greece

#Editors’Pick – Ethanol & biogas plants


AcuComm’s Senior Editor and Research Consultant, Ros Smallman, gives us a rundown of some of the top projects covered in the past week.

Brazil: Construction of an ethanol plant

Cerradinho Bioenergia is planning to develop a new corn ethanol production plant in Chapadão do Céu. Once complete, the facility will allow the company to diversify its source of raw materials to produce biofuel and animal feed products, including oil and dried distillers grains with solubles.

Continue reading #Editors’Pick – Ethanol & biogas plants