The Thermo Mechanical Dryer uses friction to dry and separate solid and liquid waste, especially sticky substances. Companies can then upcycle the waste, contributing to the circular economy.
Global waste is expected to increase by 70 per cent by 2050. High-income countries are the single biggest source of this problem. With only 16 per cent of the world’s population, they generate more than one-third of the global waste.
When waste products from industry, aquaculture and agriculture are discarded, the environment suffers from overflowing landfills, additional greenhouse gas emissions and harmful run-off. Companies lose out as well from inefficient resource use and untapped revenue sources.
The Thermo Mechanical Dryer (TMD) by Thermtech dries and separates solids and condensate from mixed solid and liquid waste from a range of industries. The TMD utilises friction to transfer heat directly into the waste, sludge or raw material. Unlike conventional indirect dryers, the TMD is ideally suited for material that is sticky, glue-like or otherwise difficult to dry.
The patented TMD process provides a gentle recovery of solids and condensate with little or no bacteria or mould. The dried material or condensate can then be reused in a variety of ways. In addition, the fluidised bed covers a large surface area in a compact volume, significantly reducing the footprint of the evaporation unit.
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The TMD contributes to the circular economy by transforming waste into a high-quality, dry material. It is relevant for a wide range of industries and organic substances, including biowaste, municipal waste, fish offal, fish and animal manure, proteins and blood.
In many cases, the condensate produced is of high quality and value. This is particularly true for waste such as petroleum sludge, plastic, rubber, agricultural waste and raw material from fish, where the oil, pyrolysis oil, extracted organic liquids and fish oils can be reused.
The TMD is energy efficient and runs on electricity. By facilitating waste upcycling, it opens up value creation opportunities. It also helps to reduce pressure on landfill sites and lower carbon emissions from logistics and waste transport.
Now more than ever, businesses are seeking ways to improve resource utilisation. The EU, for instance, has adopted a Circular Economy Action Plan that calls on businesses to increase their sustainability and transition to a circular economy model.
Introduced initially for the oil and gas industry, TMD is now being used in land-based aquaculture to process fish sludge for upcycling to fertiliser. Thermtech is poised to expand into agriculture, the food industry, and plastics and rubber recycling. In addition, the company can analyse and evaluate a potential customer’s waste and offer a customised solution.