Solid Recovered Fuel SRF is still classified as a waste material, not a product, despite the fact it is manufactured to a quality specification and is a resource from which energy can be recovered.
Impending landfill targets, the increasing depletion of fossil fuels and the need to improve the UK’s waste agenda, everything seems to point towards Solid Recovered Fuel SRF being an area of great potential. When used in replacement of traditional fuels, Solid Recovered Fuel SRF is carbon neutral.
Difference between RDF & SRF
Confusion still exists within the WtE industry as to the difference between Solid Recovered Fuel SRF and Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), but the two are not the same. Solid Recovered Fuel SRF is manufactured to a specification, whereas RDF is comparatively cruder. The specification is likely to vary depending on end-user requirements, but typically Solid Recovered Fuel SRF facilities will rigorously process pre-sorted C&I waste to a homogenous shredded particle size of less than 30mm, with a moisture content < 15% and calorific value of 18-22MJ/kg.
The European Committee for Standardisation has set out classes of Solid Recovered Fuel SRF specification under document CEN/TS 15359. Drawn up with the assistance of waste experts and Solid Recovered Fuel SRF users such as cement kiln operators, this document is designed to provide an efficient method for trading Solid Recovered Fuel SRF.
Currently there is no regulatory body to monitor and control marketplace quality for SRF so whilst SRF sounds like the perfect refined fuel, it is still considered a modified waste. Consequently every company that handles SRF needs a waste transfer license in order to comply with the Waste Incineration Directive, and as a result they can charge Solid Recovered Fuel SRF suppliers relatively high gate fees.
Implications of SRF being considered a Waste
SRF producers need to invest in sophisticated technologies in order to manufacture a higher quality fuel to a consistent specification. But whilst costly gate fees are imposed, this investment is just not commercially viable for many organisations.
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