References Environmental Assessment


Waste-to-energy plants convert waste into electricity and heat. A proportion of this waste is biogenic in origin (biological or organic). This means that a proportion of the generated energy is 'green'. Due to the Emission Trading System and the Green Electricity Certificates, determining the extent of the green energy proportion is financially appealing for waste-to-energy plants, for example. Therefore, ECN has developed 14Credits for waste-to-energy plants in the Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom. 14Credits is an accurate, reliable and cost-efficient method for determining the amount of green energy. A portion of the flue gas flow is drained and stored in a cartridge, which is replaced on a monthly basis. The measured CO2 is analysed to determine the proportion of C-14. This analysis is used to calculate what percentage of the generated CO2 and energy is green.

Download the 14Credits brochure for more information.

Dust Monitoring System

Some industrial processes, such as the storage and transfer of dry bulk goods, create (particulate) dust. Companies want to gain real-time insight into dust emissions in order to counteract these emissions and avoid causing problems for the environment. The challenge is to develop a system that is resistant to nature's influences, such as the weather and insects. ECN has developed a system for monitoring particulates for Rietlanden Terminals in Amsterdam. The system consists of a network of sensors placed around an industrial site. The measurement data is processed by special ECN software in combination with meteorological data. The manager of the industrial site can see the state of the dust concentrations directly in real time on a secure website. The direction the dust is coming from is also clearly shown. Furthermore, the measurement data can be used to determine the emission load over a given period.

Silicon Casting Machine

Wafers for solar cells are made by sawing silicon blocks into thin pieces (wafers). Sawing the blocks leads to a loss of material, however. This can be prevented by casting the wafers from liquid silicon. ECN has converted this idea into a working machine for RGS Development. Silicon is heated to 1410 degrees Celsius, cast and subsequently cooled. The cooling process must occur in a controlled manner in order to ensure that the silicon attains the right structure. Moreover, contamination of the material must be avoided. These problems are solved by the machine developed and built by ECN.

Tata Steel

Activities at Tata Steel’s IJmuiden plant may result in dust emissions. Tata Steel takes several measures to prevent origination and dispersion of dust, such as covering piles of coal and ore, moistening material, good housekeeping and covering dust-prone activities. It is however Tata Steel’s ambition to extend its efforts to prevent hindrance and it therefore deploys ECN’s Dust Monitoring System.

This system provides insight in dust emissions from a site, thus enabling quicker and more targeted preventive action. Core of the system is the ECN AirBox, a sensor-based dust monitoring device. AirBoxes are placed around and on a site, as in the current project at Tata Steel. Wind speed and direction are also monitored. A dispersion model combines these data and calculates dust emissions from the site. For the system user, this is visualised as a plume of dust emissions.

Tata Steel will use the system to detect potential dust emission sources at an early stage and prevent hindrance for the surroundings. 

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