Blog: Twence makes sustainable energy even more sustainable through CO2 capture

CO2 is a greenhouse gas. CO2 from fossils fuels, along with other greenhouse gases, is causing climate change: the earth is heating up. We want to reduce this worldwide. By capturing CO2, Twence contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions in the waste to energy sector and to making the region more sustainable.

SGF 2638 TW Schoorsteen

Energy and raw materials transition
Our society is on the eve of an energy and raw materials transition. Energy will have to be generated almost completely sustainably. Raw materials will have to be used sparingly and reused as much as possible. In the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, far-reaching targets were formulated to limit global warming. These have been subsequently translated into national targets. Compared to 1990, the Netherlands has set itself the target of reducing CO2 emissions by 49% by 2030 and by 95% by 2050. Under the current climate agreement, the waste to energy sector, of which Twence is part, has the obligation to reduce CO2 emissions by 1.1 million tonnes per year.

Climate impact

Every tonne (which amounts to 1,000 kg CO2) captured sustainably instead of being released into the atmosphere has an impact comparable to planting 31 to 46 trees. Trees remove CO2 from the air and transform it through photosynthesis into oxygen and plant material. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert water and carbon dioxide into glucose (C6H12O6) and oxygen under the influence of sunlight[1].

The creation of CO2 from waste

But what actually is the relationship between CO2 and waste? Twence tries to recycle waste as much as possible. But there is always some waste and business waste left that cannot be recycled and that is processed in our Waste Energy Plant (WEP). Twence mostly generates energy from this. Twence is the largest producer of sustainable energy in Overijssel. Twence produces 502 GWh of sustainable heat and 290 GWh of sustainable electricity annually. That is enough to supply 65,600 households with heat and 150,000 households with electricity for a year. What used to be regarded as waste is now a source of energy.

Flue gases are created when generating energy. When cleaning the flue gases, CO2 is captured by being bound to a non-flammable liquid. Heat is then added to this liquid and the CO2 escapes as pure gas.

Importance of CO2 capture for Twence

Twence, its shareholders and partners want to make the region more sustainable by contributing to the circular economy and the energy transition. “We are soon going to capture the CO2 that is released by generating energy. CO2 capture fits with our strategic ambitions of making an active contribution to regional energy supply and producing more valuable raw materials from waste and biomass, and as such closing the loop on the raw materials cycle. By capturing CO2, we make sustainable energy even more sustainable. The CO2 that Twence captures is a sustainable raw material with which we can build sustainable carbon cycles. If we do not capture this CO2, it will get lost. We believe that the reuse of CO2 is important,” says Marc Kapteijn, general manager.

[1] Calculation CO2 compensation trees | Encon