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Accompanying measure on critical technology selection and conference for renewable energy recovery from biomass generated within the european leather sector - (MOND)


The efficiency with which tanneries use energy is open to considerable variation. Opportunities to assess such energy efficiency are rare. This investigation has assessed tannery energy use and target areas for improvement. A review of production energy consumption from targeted tanneries chosen by partners as being indicative of the EU sector, with waste production has been carried out. The relative quantity of waste produced, with an evaluation of the energy value of that waste allowed the consortium to ascribe an energy disposed and potentially available figure. This information was utilised along with the technology evaluation matrix to illustrate to the target sector the potential benefits of the application of gasification to their process.
A critical element of the project is in the Quantifiable criterion for selection of appropriate technologies. This has taken the form of a numerical assessment of technology application, based upon a decision MATRIX. The matrix has determined the selected technologies for subsequent approved implementation. Standards, such as cost/tonne or emissions/tonne processed, have been quantified on a score of 1-10 for each of the 4 main criterion (as per ENERGIE programme and key action strategic indicators). The results were presented in matrix format. Each parameter has been assessed on a minimum threshold criterion, where failure to achieve any one of the minimum scores eliminated the technology from application within the sector. In this way only those technologies suitable in all regards were recommended for implementation and uptake. The matrix did however take into account development and progress of a technology and provide for anticipated benefit and threshold compliance. This gave rise to a ranking system for applicability to the technology within the target sector and allowing for a grading of Best to Worst. A minimum of 6 applicable and appropriate technology suppliers will be derived. This information has also be used to tailor technology applicability to a particular leather sector application across the variations within the leather sector, either geographically, by gasification process type, according to legislative requirements, or via nationally specific demands.
The most fundamental barrier to the implementation of renewable energy sources within the EU leather sector is the lack of freely available technical knowledge on how energy recovery and reuse can be achieved. The database aims to provide more readily available access to that knowledge. Currently although technologies for renewable sources or biomass are available, few are applicable within the leather sector because of the peculiarities of the biomass itself. The majority of the biomass (waste) from the sector is collagen (hide) based. However, it has been clearly demonstrated that only pyrolytic, liquefaction or autothermic gasification, incorporating significant reduction zones can accommodate such a waste stream. For the treatment of chromium containing waste in the leather industry; gasification was selected in preference to pyrolysis principally because of the potential to recycle chromium from the inert product ash resulting from the process. This significantly limits the number of thermal technologies that would be suitable for implementation. Furthermore strict pre-selection procedures were used in order to limit the database contents to only those manufacturers that provided systems most appropriate for application to the gasification of solid tannery waste. In narrowing the field of search the database has been simplified and made much more practical. Benefits to manufacturers included subsequent exposure to a new technology market opportunity within the EU target sector. European tanners also have a demand to reduce operational costs in the light of international competition and as such will express strong demand for a proven gasification process; EU technology providers could fill this market gap to the advantage of both parties. The database is to be disseminated among those interested throughout the target sector in order to facilitate the development of gasification within the leather industry.
The overcoming of non technical barriers is a major step forwards in applying any technology. Non technical barriers exist such as perception of odour, noise, pollution generation, public opinion, aesthetics, legal drivers and emission regulations. Assessments have been made of member states in the first instance, followed by EEA states, to assess the legislative positions and general perception of thermal technology applications within each country. As opinions vary widely across the EU this as helped to establish the location of the key centres that should be targeted for implementation. The results of this study have been matched with the technical database information, to ensure that the non technical barries have not only been identified, but that the technical means to overcome them are in place. Part of carrying out these assessments has been to travel to meet representatives of leather industry / waste regulators / legislative enforcement agencies in EU Member States and some EU Associated States such as Slovakia and Norway.

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