Cyclion Energy is an Australian owned and operated technology company on the path to positively impact climate change and sustainability. Established in November 2022, Cyclion Waste to Energy Solutions aims to minimise landfill by using patent pending, cutting edge technology that sees a mix of treatments using various catalysts and ionic fluids to convert household rubbish into electricity or fuel with minimal or no pre-treatment.
Rubbish, or Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), is often a mix of plastics, biomass, and inorganic materials. This makes it very difficult to effectively recycle.
The Cyclion process is ground breaking and uses “Green Chemistry” to provide an environmentally friendly method of liquefaction to convert a mixed waste of plastics and biomass into oil at low temperature and pressure. This can then be further treated to produce fuels or electricity.
The aim of Cyclion Energy’s first phase testing, conducted by QUT, was to confirm the effectiveness of the technology and gather data to inform the design of subsequent pilot plant due early 2024.
The proof-of-concept testing was completed on various wastes including apple, bagasse and cardboard, and plastics such as HDPE, PP, PET and PVC, as well as testing a combined mixture of plastics and biomass.
The liquefaction treatment of these materials often found in MSW is a huge step towards developing a cost-effective solution. It is a game changer for the waste to energy industry as most other methods rely on significant mechanical and electrical technologies to separate and grind different streams of waste into small particles. This is costly and inefficient.
According to Associate Professor Darryn Rackemann from QUT, “the results are promising in terms of providing the basis for further process refinement and optimisation to enable development of a two-stage processing strategy for municipal wastes. We believe this multi-stage processing strategy will be necessary to enable maximum fuel yields from this complex material”.
As for single waste components, overall, the initial results support that a temperature of around 300°C and a mix of catalysts, creates an ideal product aligning with Cyclion’s goals.
Phase two testing is due to commence shortly to further refine the most suitable conditions for processing MSW into oil, gases and solids. These results will provide Cyclion with preliminary data to assist with the pilot plant, due to arrive at the beginning of 2024. The pilot plant will then provide further data to finalise the first commercial plant for late 2024.
Hoang, A. T., Varbanov, P.S., Nižetić, S., Sirohi, R., Pandey, A., Luque, R., Ng, K. H., & Pham, V.V. (2022). Perspective review on Municipal Solid Waste-to-energy route:Characteristics, management strategy, and role in circular economy. Journal of Cleaner Production, 359, 131897. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.131897