Machiels Group: closing materials loops through enhanced landfill mining

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One thing the world has absolutely no shortage of is waste... So using waste as a resource is a game-changer.

The Machiels Group will be pioneering a new technique with the "Closing the Circle" (CtC) project conducted at the group's Remo landfill site in Belgium: Enhanced Landfill Mining.

Enhanced Landfill Mining (ELFM) of historic (and future) landfills is a key part of the solution for closing material loops. It will address major societal challenges by recovering materials, energy and land. There are as many as half a million landfill sites across the EU-27, and they can deliver a significant stream of secondary materials and energy.

The first phase of the CtC project aims to develop and build a first-of-its-kind, industrial-scale demonstration project. Eventually, more than 18 million tonnes of landfill waste should be recovered in the form of materials and energy, while the entire area will be restored to nature.

The Plasma Demo project will demonstrate the key aspects of ELFM and the successful scaling up of plasma gasification technology. This is an extreme thermal process using plasma which converts organic matter into a synthesis gas, a mixture of gases composed primarily of hydrogen and carbon monoxide.

Main results
  • The project demonstrates a highly efficient process for harvesting energy from waste, as it turns landfill waste into usable hydrogen.