Fuels & products
We don’t need the waste, the waste needs us. Our industry is often thought of as another way of producing energy, hence we are collectively referred to as part of the energy sector. This is partly correct, but it does not fully describe our industry.
We have a total of 17 boilers – from Sundsvall in the northern parts of Sweden – to Halmstad in the south of Sweden, which together burn almost 2 million tons of waste annually. Click here to find out which types of fuels we use, what effect we deliver, and how much waste we take care of every year.
No other energy producer in the energy sector has the capability to provide society with three major services, heat generation, electricity generation, and residual waste disposal. The last part is often forgotten when discussing sustainable energy. From an EFO perspective, it seems that society has forgotten about this very pressing matter of future waste arisings.
Waste generation has increased hugely around the world in recent decades, and there are no signs of it slowing down. By 2050, worldwide municipal solid waste generation is expected to have increased by roughly 70 percent to 3.4 billion metric tons. This is due to a number of factors, such as population growth, urbanization, economic growth, as well as consumer shopping habits. Every year, humans produce millions of tons of waste, and this is increasingly becoming a major issue worldwide. With such immense volumes of waste arising, the need for authorities to provide adequate waste treatment and disposal services has become ever more important. However, less than 20 percent of waste is recycled each year, with huge quantities still sent to landfill sites.
With this very pressing matter at hand, we often find ourselves having to explain why our services are so important and why our industry cannot be replaced by wind-solar or any other kind of energy generating method. Waste is both a good fuel for us, a product we transport and dispose of, and furthermore a service we provide to our customers and society.
Residual waste – service, product, or fuel?
Refuse derived fuel
Refuse derived fuel pellets, or energy pellets, can be produced from these cleaned and sorted recycled materials after further processing.
Recycled wood is obtained from the construction or demolition of buildings, as well as from scrapped pallets and furniture. The wood collected for recycling is crushed, screened to be sure it cannot be used in any other recycling process and then cleaned from rock, sand, bricks, metals and other contaminating substances. Further processing can result in wood pellets.
Forest wood residue
Forest Wood Residue is made from materials collected directly from forests. Forest management results in dead or decaying stems as well as those trees that have been thinned out. Logging activities provide residue from slash consisting of harvesting residues such as branches, treetops, tree bark, and tree stumps. Waste fractions from sawmills and even whole logs that do not meet the requirements of either the pulp or the lumber industries are also collected.
Profiles & storage
Our need in Sweden for fuel varies over a yearly cycle because the need for more heat and electricity is bigger during the cold months. So in some cases, the need for fuel and the need to handle waste doesn’t always match. To tackle these imbalances, we at EFO have built up a large storing capacity at all our sites, enabling us to match different types of fuel's certain profiles.