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Release: August 26, 1999


NGK INSULATORS, LTD. ("NGK", President: Masaharu Shibata, Head Office: Nagoya) and the South Ena District Sanitary Affairs Association in Gifu prefecture ("SEDSAA", Representative: Ikuo Naruse, Town Mayor of Akechi-cho) have jointly constructed a testing facility for fluidized bed gasification and melting process, a next generation waste treatment process. Following the recent completion of the facility, field tests will start at the end of September. In advance, the ignition ceremony will be held on Monday, August 30 with approximately 60 people from the municipality, SEDSAA, and NGK attending.

Construction of the testing facility started in June 1998. The facility has a plottage of 12,400 square meter, a building site of 1,682 square meter, a total investment of approximately 2 billion yen and a treatment capacity of 25 tons per day. NGK and SEDSAA will conduct field tests until the end of March, 2000. In the same period, to seek an efficient use of molten slag, they will investigate and research the way to recycle molten slag into construction materials, ceramic raw materials or others.

In the fluidized bed gasification and melting process, municipal solid waste is first gasified in a gasification furnace with the temperature from 500 to 600 centigrade, then utilizing the emitted gas, the unburned portion is turned into a molten slag in a smelting furnace with the high temperature from 1300 to 1400 centigrade. Compared with the conventional process combining an incinerator and a smelting furnace, the gasification and melting process has the following advantages;

  1. No extra fuel is required because municipal solid waste becomes molten by utilizing the gas emitted from gasifying the waste.
  2. The generation of harmful matter, such as dioxine, is suppressed since municipal solid waste is molten at high temperature.
  3. Reduction of exhaust gas emissions and improved heat efficiency are possible because the gas emitted from gasifying the waste is used as fuel for the waste melting process.
  4. A more compact facility is available because the exhaust gas treatment facility can be downsized due to reduction of exhaust gas emissions.

NGK, jointly with another company, received an order from SEDSAA to build the recycle plaza for bulky refuse and others next to the testing facility. In April this year, the RDF (Refuge Derived Fuel) Plant in Shinnanyo-city, Yamaguchi prefecture, which was NGK's first joint venture in the MSW (municipal solid waste) treatment business, started operating. NGK continues to expand its businesses related to MSW treatment and aims at net sales of 10 billion yen/year within three years.

Picture of the testing facility for gasification and melting process

Picture of the testing facility for gasification and melting process

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