Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) System

What is Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF)?

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Solid Recovered Fuel – also known as SRF – is a fossil fuel replacement that has a calorific value of between 17 and 22 mega joules per kilogramme.


What are the benefits of Solid Recovered Fuel? 

Using solid recovered fuel instead of coal or petcoke helps to preserve natural resources and to reduce emissions. Solid recovered fuel is helping cement producers to achieve a fuel substitution rate of over 70 per cent, significantly reducing the impact that their operations have on the environment. Materials that would otherwise be landfilled are put to good use as a sustainable fuel and solid recovered fuel reduces the need to mine virgin coal deposits and import it into the UK. The environmental and economic benefits of using solid recovered fuel as a fossil fuel replacement are significant:

Reduced reliance on expensive, finite fossil fuels

Reduced carbon footprint and increased sustainability performance

Reduced environmental impact through lower emissions at the cement plant

Security of supply and quality of solid recovered fuel

High calorific value – one tonne of coal is equivalent to approximately one and a half tonnes of solid recovered fuel

Solid Recovered Fuel And the Circular Economy

  • The circular economy is collaboration between the manufacturing and service sectors for the collective benefit of the economy and environment.
  • Within the circular economy, the role of waste management is to collect, treat and return secondary resources and recovered energy back into the cycle of production and consumption. Producing solid recovered fuel demonstrates the circular economy in action.
  • Processing of residual waste to produce a fuel that can be used in manufacturing as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, reduces the need for primary resources, such as coal, and ensures waste is put to good use as a secondary resource.

How is Solid Recovered Fuel produced? 

  • The materials used to produce solid recovered fuel pass through a series of shredders, screens, air classifiers and magnets.
  • Inert materials, recyclable plastics and metals are extracted from the shredded material, leaving a mix of mainly non-recyclable paper, card, wood, textiles and plastic.
  • While a small proportion of these materials can be recycled, the preferred option where possible, the quality of these materials is compromised once they enter the residual waste stream and recovering energy from these materials is then the best environmental option.
  • Solid recovered fuel is shredded to between zero and 30 millimetres, and can be blended to meet the exact fuel specification requested by customers.
  • It can be delivered loose or baled-and-wrapped so it can be bulk-shipped or stored. Solid recovered fuel is a ‘zero to landfill’ fuel – even the ash that is produced, as a by-product of burning the fuel, is used in the cement production process to replace natural aggregate.


Source: Industry Today
How is Solid Recovered Fuel transported? 

Transporting solid recovered fuel is significantly less carbon intensive than transporting waste by road and disposing of it in landfill. As the solid recovered fuel is also being used in the direct displacement of fossil fuels, it is a much more environmentally friendly way of dealing with this material.

How is solid recovered fuel regulated? 

Solid recovered fuel has already been through rigorous emissions trials and assessments by the cement industry’s regulators in the UK and Europe. In the UK, the Environment Agency monitors both the fuel producers and fuel users to ensure it is fit for purpose. Any company wishing to supply solid recovered fuel to a facility abroad must obtain an export licence from the Environment Agency for each specific contract to ensure that the whole process from the material being used, to the transportation and the credentials of the end user – is environmentally sound.

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