Waste Expo Australia was held in Melbourne in conjunction with the All-Energy Australia Exhibition and Conference 2017 in Melbourne. The expo gave the opportunity to meet other professionals working in sustainability sector, see what new technologies are available and learn about the latest developments within the waste sector. The waste expo incorporated waste-to-energy and complementary fields around source-separated waste. Pictured above are composting biodegradable bags made with cornstarch and kitchen caddies for source-separated waste such as is planned for Lake Macquarie residents next year. The above are produced by a local Cardiff based company Source Separation Systems.
The latest developments in Plasma Gasification were presented including converting multiple waste streams (heterogeneous feedstocks) into synthesis gas (syngas) to be used with gas turbines, fuel cells and to create renewable hydrogen.
Interesting technologies on display included the portable screen for waste separation (see below). This technology attaches to the front of a front-end loader and allows solid waste and other streams to be sorted in-situ, without the need for transportation and expensive dedicated trommel screens.
The Wollert Landfill Project, North of Melbourne in Victoria is a trial project of ground mounted solar PV on a municipal landfill. Landfill sites are somewhat unique and have difficult challenges. They have limited secondary uses and often have landfill gas reclamation and electricity generation, together with an existing grid connection. Key aims of the project were to be able to deal with ground settlement and be able to maintain the landfill cap. 3 technologies for ground mounting solar were trialed. The single module ballast mounting implemented uses a plastic consul (tub) filled with ballast such as gravel. This does not penetrate the landfill cap, however the surface needs leveling with aggregate first, is close to the ground, and electrical cables are not accessible once installed. Overall it was found not suitable for large installations. The multi-module ballast also does not penetrate the cap and uses concrete blocks that place a heavy load on the cap. The micropile mounting (surefoot) is a concrete free system that uses angled steel piles that penetrate 500mm into the soil. The optimum tilt angle of 35 degrees can be achieved but was not very flexible.
Lessons learnt include: