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Technology that Converts Household Waste into Green Gas to Heat UK Homes Wins Big at IChemE Awards

01 November 2018   (0 Comments)

A new technology that converts solid household waste into a sustainable bio-energy has won the top prize at the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Global Awards 2018, tonight in Manchester, UK. 

Converting Waste to BioSNG, the innovation by Advanced Plasma Power, University College London, Cadent Gas and Progressive Energy, all based in the UK, uses a unique gasification and catalytic process to turn household waste into Bio Synthetic Natural Gas (BioSNG); a low-carbon, renewable gas. The team have launched the world's first commercial demonstration plant to produce the gas; used to heat homes across the UK and power heavy-duty vehicles and buses.  

The joint entry triumphed earlier in the night, winning the Energy Award and Sustainability Award. It went on to be crowned the overall winner and was presented with IChemE’s coveted Outstanding Achievement Award, sponsored by ExxonMobil.

More than 100 entries made it to the final of the Awards this year, which were held in association with Johnson Matthey. 

Woodside Energy was crowned the winner of the Process Safety Award for its data-driven decision-making robot, Watson. Watson can search through more than 500,000 historical data records within hours instead of days, boosting Woodside’s accuracy of risk assessment and hazard identification. 

Two new Awards were presented this year; the Diversity & Inclusion Award and the Pharma Award. 

The Environment Agency have created an inclusive workplace that values and embraces difference; allowing employees to bring their whole self to work, progress their career, and feel their uniqueness is valued. It scooped the Diversity & Inclusion Award. 

GSK, PM Group, Suncombe and ITT won the Pharma Award for designing a fully automated sterile filtration unit. It has eliminated the risk of contamination, which can happen before or after sterilisation within a manual process.

Young chemical engineer Donal Finegan of DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory, US, has become renowned in the international battery community for his rigorous investigations into battery failure. His insights have driven the design of the latest Li-ion batteries and used in NASA's manned space applications. Tonight, he won the Young Researcher Award.

The Water Award went to University of Malaya and Berqat Mechanic Engineering, for their solar-power enabled self-cleaning filtration system. The novel technology cleans water from rivers, underground and springs without using chemicals. The process is currently providing cheap, clean water to remote villages in Malaysia.

Green technology companies Enerkem, in Canada, and Green Lizard Technologies, UK, won the Biotechnology Award and Business Start-Up Award respectively. Furthermore, Stora Enso in Finland was presented with the Innovative Product Award for creating a new bio-based, sustainable material to replace fossil-fuels; used in coatings and adhesives.

Sellafield Ltd triumphed in two Award categories. It won the Team Award with Progressive Alliance and AXIOM for developing a new facility that allows the safe, long-term storage of plutonium. The Young Industrialist Award went to Rojiar Ferschy, who is currently developing solutions to support Sellafield’s plant operations responding to global nuclear challenges. She is a passionate advocate of chemical engineering and volunteers her free time to mentoring aspiring engineers and teaching English to Kurdish refugees at camps in Iran and Turkey.

Rolls-Royce walked away with the Industry Project Award for successfully constructing a new, complex manufacturing facility. The Food & Drink Award went to Monash University in Australia for its spray-drying technology for the dairy industry. The first of its kind, it has improved energy efficiency and reduced waste for its commercial partners who produce around 70% of Australia’s milk.

Johnson Matthey, US, won the Oil & Gas Award for its project CATACEL SSR: Structured Steam Reforming Catalyst. Meanwhile, the Research Project Award went to Imperial College London, UK for its Next-Generation Hybrid Solar Systems. Energus was crowned the winner of the Training and Development Award for its nucleargraduates programme, which is successfully and cost-effectively attracting and training new, young engineering talent the nuclear sector.

IChemE President Ken Rivers said:

“The IChemE Global Awards are a clear demonstration of the contribution chemical engineers are making worldwide for the benefit of society. Every finalist is living proof that chemical engineering matters.  

“Thank you to our judging panel, which every year has the significant task of reviewing each entry - and they do so on a completely voluntary basis. For our winners, this peer-review is what makes an IChemE Award so special. 

“As President of the Institution, I’m so proud to have seen first-hand the fantastic work that our professional chemical engineering community are doing. Congratulations to all our deserving winners.”

The annual IChemE Global Awards celebrates the achievements and innovations of chemical engineers around the world. The 2018 Awards were hosted by comedian Alun Cochrane at The Principal, Manchester, UK on 1 November 2018.

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