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SP Group and Gardens by the Bay launch pilot project to convert waste to energy, biomass

SP Group and Gardens by the Bay launch pilot project to convert waste to energy, biomass

Biochar (carbonised biomass) is a by-product of the waste gasification process, and can be used in agriculture and horticulture to condition the soil. (Photo: SP Group)

SINGAPORE: SP Group and Gardens by the Bay launched on Thursday (Jun 6) a two-year pilot project to convert waste to by-products that can used within the local attraction.

The smart waste management system involves the use of gasification technology, turning waste produced within Gardens by the Bay into syngas - primarily carbon monoxide and hydrogen - as well as carbonised biomass. 

The combustion of syngas then produces thermal energy, which is used to heat up water for potable use by F&B outlets within the local attraction. 

The carbonised biomass, known as biochar, is a substance which some studies have shown can be used to help the soil retain nutrients better. Gardens by the Bay will be conducting experiments on the usefulness of biochar before making a decision on its usage.

Bags of horticultural waste (top) to be processed and biochar (bottom) that is collected from the waste gasification process. (Photo: SP Group)

The system can handle up to one tonne of waste per day, which is about a fifth of the five to six tonnes Gardens by the Bay produces daily.

Located in a container within the Gardens' premises, the system is able to reduce waste down to 5 per cent of its original volume. 

In addition, minimal sorting of this waste is required. 

The pilot system at the Gardens by the Bay can process up to one tonne of waste per day. (Photo: SP Group)

“As a garden that values nature and sustainability, we have a responsibility towards finding innovative ways to protect our environment,” said Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh in a press release. 

“Gardens by the Bay is uniquely placed to allow for the testing of such an on-site system because waste collected in the Gardens can be directly converted and repurposed into by-products, which can in turn be used in the Gardens.”

Using compact gasification technology, waste is converted into thermal energy that is used to heat up a water tank for use at F&B outlets. (Photo: SP Group)

At the Ecosperity Conference 2019 on Thursday, SP and Gardens by the Bay signed an agreement on the rollout of the system, which is supported by Temasek Holdings.

The signing was witnessed by Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli.

The pilot project has been running since early May. It costs “a few” hundred thousand dollars, said SP Group’s Singapore district cooling CEO Jimmy Khoo, who declined to give further details.

The waste management system is fitted into a 20-foot container for this pilot. (Photo: SP Group)

“We are developing district solutions to help Singapore achieve its sustainability goals. This paves the way for decentralised waste management for other businesses and residential estates,” said Mr Khoo. 

“After the pilot, over the two years we will collect the data, if its operational costs make sense, we will see more and more of such deployments.”

Source: CNA/ic(hm)


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