With military forces increasingly having to consider their environmental impact, QinetiQ has been awarded a £1.5 million, three year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to develop and deliver PyTEC™ – an ISO containerised Pyrolysis Waste Disposal System – to the US Army.
Able to operate 24/7 and process up to 100kg of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) per hour, the PyTEC system also reclaims up to 500 kW of the thermal energy from the waste per hour, a proportion of which will be used to sustain the process for electricity generation. The self sustaining thermal pyrolysis process is designed to meet today’s environmental challenges and delivers a significant reduction in operating costs when compared to incineration or contracting for other methods of waste management and disposal. MSW is effectively all general domestic waste that might be produced in an army base and includes food, medical and sanitary, paper, plastics, tin, oil and glass.
Being tested to Technology Readiness Level (TRL 9) this programme for the US Army is currently in the system design, demonstration and testing phase. Plant commissioning and testing is due to commence next spring with delivery expected by mid year, followed by an extended US Army conducted testing and evaluation trial period, continuing through to early 2012. The programme is jointly funded by US Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) through the Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) Programme and is expected to result in more than 10 systems eventually being acquired.
“The US Army’s introduction of the PyTEC Pyrolysis Waste Disposal System solution should provide a dramatic increase in sustainability and force protection,” stated Lt Col Daryl “Rick” Harger, Product Manager Force Sustainment Systems, part of Program Executive Office Combat Support and Combat Service Support (PEO CS&CSS). “The PEO’s mission is to focus on equipping and supporting the joint war fighter through the development and fielding of systems with increased capability which support DoD objectives and enable a more expeditionary force.”
“PyTEC reduces the need for outside contractors to access the secure base camp to dispose of solid waste, dramatically reducing potential threats,” added Pat McGlead, QinetiQ’s Business Development Manager for the PyTEC solution. “Not having to rely on local contractors for solid waste disposal gives commanders the flexibility to operate in terrain which would be otherwise unsupportable plus means they can proactively manage their environmental impact. The energy recovery aspect will also significantly reduce the amount of fuel needed to support the base camp and provide associated cost savings while reducing the number of trucks on the road and freeing logistics assets for more critical mission requirements. PyTEC will enable the US Army forward operating bases to move towards being more self sufficient in the management of their waste management requirements.”
QinetiQ’s PyTEC Pyrolysis Waste Disposal System is housed in two standard free standing interconnected 8ft x 8ft x 20ft skeleton ISO containers that are fitted with hinged opening sides. Based on the latest COTS technology PyTEC requires minimal operator training or involvement to operate by allowing unsorted waste to be continually fed into automated the closed loop system and super heated, with just 25 litres of inert ‘char’ being produced per 100kg or raw waste processed, subject to the proportion of organic waste mix.