Ecohispánica has taken out an international patent on an innovative technology for waste treatment, sanitation and recovery. This new system is attracting great interest in Spain and abroad. FuturEnviro visited the facility, which following three years of testing, has now become a fully-fledged plant.
It is located in Rivas-Vaciamadrid, a municipality in Madrid that is particularly sensitive to environmental problems and one which has now become the first to install the innovative waste treatment plant described in this article.
The Ecohispánica process is made up of a treatment process and an internationally patented technology based on sterilisation with steam by means of equipment whose main element is what Ecohispánica calls the Waste Cleaner.
Availing of the heat transmission qualities of water vapour, in much the same way that has been done for years to sterilise medical instruments and hospital waste, this treatment exposes the refuse to a controlled steam atmosphere within an airtight, pressurised environment. The sanitation process does not burn the waste and, therefore, dioxins or greenhouse gases are not produced. As its name suggests, the Waste Cleaner sanitises (cleans) the waste in order to remove foul odours, pathogens and liquids.
The waste is sprinkled with water vapour at a temperature of not more than 150º, so as to prevent the formation of chlorine caused by the melting of plastics such as PVC.
Simultaneously, the waste undergoes a mixing process, which facilitates constant exposure to the steam and enables adaptation of its morphology to facilitate subsequent separation.
The process is carried out inside the Waste Cleaner, which can process up to 40,000 tonnes of MSW per year at a rate of 5 t/h. This would enable the plant to treat not only waste generated in Rivas Vaciamadrid, but also waste generated in the neighbouring district of Arganda del Rey.