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NORSEP enables circular economy in landfills

Published 19 Dec 2022 (updated 29 Apr 2024) · 2 min read

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At a glance

  • Treatment of fly ash from waste-to-energy incinerators
  • Reduces environmental impact of fly ash
  • Converts fly ash to useful raw materials

The NORSEP process converts hazardous waste into commercially attractive products.

Landfills have been used for waste disposal in Europe since the end of the 19th century. But growing waste levels put pressure on landfills.

As the EU produces 2.5 billion metric tons of waste each year waste-to-energy (WtE) incinerators have become an increasingly popular method to reduce waste.

WtE incinerators can reduce waste by up to 90 per cent and recover useful energy as heat from the waste. However, they also produce by-products like fly ash, which is made up of fine particles containing up to 20 per cent toxic heavy metals.

Fighting fly ash

NORSEP has developed a process which can be implemented at WtE plants to reduce the problems of fly ash.

NORSEP converts hazardous waste fly ash from WtE plants into non-toxic residue and commercially attractive products. The NORSEP process treats fly ash by dissolving it in hydrochloric acid, filtering the undissolved fly ash, and destroying the organic toxins using heat treatment. The process is controlled by the patented NORSEP processing algorithm.

NORSEP process products can be used as raw materials for a range of purposes in various industries, including for making concrete and for zinc production.


Concrete benefits

The NORSEP solution reduces problems with fly ash, while at the same time enabling the use of waste as raw material for other industries. This way, the NORSEP solution reduces the need for landfills and hazardous waste transportation considerably. Turning one industry's by-product into another industry's raw material is circular economy in practice.

Market potential

In Europe alone, there are over 500 WtE plants that annually generate over 2 million metric tons of fly ash. Worldwide, there are over 2000 WtE plants.

Close contact with the WtE plants in Norway has shown the need for the NORSEP solution. The first full-scale NORSEP facility is to be installed in a WtE plant in Oslo, with production starting in July 2021.


Per Bakke

R&D Manager

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Hydrovegen 67, 3936 PORSGRUNN, Norway

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