• Gasification is not a new technology – it’s been around for over a hundred years in various guises. Many businesses have tried to use it in the waste management arena, but for a variety of reasons has met with limited success
  • Most gasifiers (including pyrolysis and hydrolysis technologies) are large-scale centralised projects targeted at the disposal of high volumes of refuse derived fuels (RDF). We are addressing small-scale, distributed applications (less than 10 tons/day) where the goal has been to develop a system which is (a) self-sufficient – i.e. doesn’t need significant or continuous external energy such as diesel/electricity and (b) releases net positive energy output.
  • At under 10 tons/day the AGS System does not require expensive continuous emissions monitoring in the EU and is more likely to gain planning consent without hassle.
  • Our customers have simple needs: to dispose of a difficult waste stream at least cost. The beauty of the AGS System is its simplicity – we only try to dispose of the waste and generate net energy in the form of heat (which can be converted to power or cooling where the end-user does not require heat). Many other systems, especially the larger ones, try to harvest the syngas which is usually expensive/uneconomic.
  • The AGS System is relatively maintenance free. Once the AGS System achieves its optimum operating temperature, it will be left to run 24/7 indefinitely, except for routine annual maintenance.
  • The patent application lists a number of unique claims for the AGS System.
  • One notable advantage is that our System is able to cope with a wide range of waste streams. Even our closest competitors are limited in the moisture content of the waste stream it can deal with, despite the fact that it is almost twice the price.
  • The AGS System is unique in the way it generates and manages the energy in the process. Because we are not attempting to harvest the syngas for use in conventional generators or turbines, the process is far simpler with fewer components, and therefore has less to go wrong, and is more energy efficient.
  • In the EU, waste disposal, and particularly hazardous waste disposal, is strictly regulated. By staying under the 10 tons/day threshold, we are not required to apply continuous emissions monitoring. Planning /permitting is ‘delegated’ to the local authority and not subject to approval by the Environment Agency. This is both less costly and less time consuming. One owner/operator who has acquired an AGS System has obtained planning consent for a site in Dorset, UK; now approved, we will have a precedent, which should make gaining future approvals easier.

Permitting requirements vary from country to country / location to location. In the UK …

  • We aim to dispose of difficult, small-scale (less than 10 tons/day), organic waste streams and produce excess energy (heating, cooling or power) that can be used on site.
  • Our waste-to-energy system consists of 5 components: a shredder/feeder, a proprietary gasifier, a heat exchanger, a filtration unit and an output device. The AGS System and several processes within it have been patented.
  • There are very few (if any) direct competitors that have a similar system to ours. By consuming all the synthetic gases generated in the process we avoid the need for additional equipment and processes to cool, refine and store the syngas that is generated. This avoids the expensive capital costs for the equipment and the inevitable inefficiencies that these processes incur.
  • Our competitors seem to fall into three camps:
    • Those who dispose of waste by throwing energy at the problem. This is expensive because it incurs substantial running costs (usually they don’t say how much) and recovers no additional energy.
    • Those who are more sophisticated and have a similar approach to ours, but whose offering is more limited and/or more expensive (e.g. Pyrolysis plants which incur higher capital cost and cannot deal with the variability of waste stream, especially at higher moisture content.)
    • Those who try to harvest the syngas for sale. This latter approach is generally unsuccessful because the process of harvesting the syngas is expensive in terms of cooling the gas (lost energy), in polishing (scrubbing/refining) it and storage (bottling) & distribution; all requiring additional expensive capital equipment
  • If a system requires fuel to run (conventional incinerator or similar technologies) then it is not competing in the same space as we are. It is neither a truly ‘clean’ means of disposal of challenging hazardous waste with virtually zero hydrocarbon fuel consumption nor is it a provider of net positive sustainable renewable energy. Nor could it operate independently in remote off-grid locations.
  • The US Department of Defense trialled a very similar technology in Hawaii in 2016-17 for forward military bases. It was not self-sustaining, let alone net energy positive.
  • The benefit of our approach is its simplicity.  Our system is self-sustaining (doesn’t need additional energy to maintain the autothermic process) for most waste streams, and delivers useful energy as a by-product. Many have tried, most have failed.
  • Each one of these technologies has failed to achieve the disposal of difficult waste streams safely and economically for one or more of the following reasons:
    • too big
    • too expensive
    • negative efficiency (needs more power to run it than it produces)/requires fuel (diesel / gas) to sustain the process (= not self-sufficient)
    • can’t operate off-grid
    • can’t achieve the HTI treatment thermal parameters for disposing of hazardous waste (>850C for >2.0 seconds residence time)
    • can’t meet the emissions standards (EU=IES / USA=EPA)
    • can’t operate continuously (batch process)
    • insufficient reliability – works well in the lab or controlled environment but fails with real world, waste operators
    • too complicated; too many stages and components in the process (hence high cost)
  • Not one of the technologies we have investigated over the years has achieved all of the desirable parameters other than the AGS System.

Our system targets two outcomes:

  • complete destruction of the organic content which means that only the inert, inorganic content is left. The ash content will depend on the inorganic content in the material. In the biomass materials we have processed to date we get residual ash content of circa 1-2% by volume and 5-7% by mass.
  • Generation of biochar which means that between 15 and 25% of the input material is recovered as char with improved calorific value compared to the inputs. Depending on the origins of the inputs the char has a residual value as a fossil fuel alternative or, if the input material is ‘clean’ biomass then the char can be used for a range of applications including:
    • Soil improvement
    • Carbon sequestration
    • Animal feed additives

We believe it is the most efficient process on the market: we do not attempt to harvest the syngas generated but combust it completely and immediately. This means we don’t suffer any of the conversion efficiency losses incurred by cooling, refining or storage of syngas for use as a fossil fuel replacement (it also means fewer items of capital equipment in the process = less capital cost = less to maintain or go wrong)

We prefer best value rather than ‘low cost’, so we don’t consider our systems cheap.

We serve a niche sector that is not currently being technically or commercially catered for in any effective manner. We are aware of several systems that are about to enter the market: some are conventional incineration; others are gas harvester style devices (expensive/not very practical) and some are pyrolysis plants that are expensive and not that small.

The AGS System is an innovative development that recognises the prior art of the Brookes Patent, a gasifier patented by David Brookes in the 2012. In August 2019, the Inventor/Licensor AGS Energy (Ireland) Limited filed a separate and distinct patent application for a combined waste-to-energy system including several unique enhancements.

In September 2021, the UK patent was granted.

At under 10 tons/day we fall beneath the Waste Incineration Directive and Industrial Emissions Directive threshold for continuous emissions monitoring. In the first year it will necessary for the owner/operator to conduct two 6 monthly emissions tests for a full suite of flu gas composition data with an approximate cost of £4,000 each. Thereafter, the owner/operator is required to have a test every 12 months providing the emissions are compliant.

The 6-auger system can be housed on two 20-foot containers foot-print skids making the system essentially ‘plug & play’ requiring only a level hard standing for installation. No need for expensive new buildings or significant preparatory or civil works.

Yes. We believe we are the only technology that can deal with such a wide range of variability and high moisture content.

The Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) optimises the system’s performance to the waste stream being treated in real time.

  • Low operating, servicing and maintenance requirements / costs. Options for multiple levels of servicing and maintenance contracts – entry level up to ‘we will arrive, exchange any defective component in the system, take it away, repair it and swap it back’.
  • Full remote control, monitoring, and self-diagnostics / alarms with 4/5G communications.
  • Relatively very few components = less to go wrong.
  • Can be operated off-grid (option package) – ideal for NGO / disaster relief / US Department of Defence applications.