Our processes

Twence is steadily becoming less of a waste processor and more of a producer of raw materials and energy. This is how we are contributing to the development of the circular economy. How do we flesh out that role? We would love to give you a peek behind the scenes.

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The processes of Twence

Welcome to the world of Twence. A world where we are doing our utmost to contribute to closing cycles. A world where raw materials are reused and where we convert waste into raw materials and energy. Using a wide range of equipment and the latest technologies. We make sure that as little as possible goes to waste. We work day and night on this. We would be happy to take you on a tour around the various plants and explain how we go about providing our services based on the processes we use.

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From waste processor...

Twence was originally a waste-processing company. With the 14 municipalities in Twente as shareholders and one shareholder municipality in the Achterhoek region, we are very much at the centre of the region for processing waste streams. We also work across borders with e.g. the German city of M√ľnster, amongst others. We work together with them and our chain partners to make the region more sustainable. In order to be able to process these waste streams properly, we have various facilities at our disposal, such as separation plants, biomass power plants and waste-to-energy plants. Each waste stream has it's own specific process. It doesn't matter whether we are processing VFG waste, household residual waste, construction and demolition waste, or even manure. There is only one goal for us: to bring as much raw material and energy as possible back into society.

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...to producer of raw materials...

Twence brings useful materials and raw materials back into the cycle from waste streams and biomass that are difficult or virtually impossible to recycle. Bottom ash is the material that remains after incineration of combustible residual waste. It comprises sand and stony materials, glass, metals and ash residues. In our bottom ash washing facility, we extract metals from the bottom ash and make the inert material suitable to be reused in practical ways. It is, for example, very suitable as a material for the foundation in road construction! For example, not only the container terminal in Hengelo, but also the railway viaduct near Deurningen, have 'Twence foundations'. By processing bottom ash from the waste-to-energy plant and the biomass power plant, we are able to recover 90% of the ferrous metals and 85% of the non-ferrous metals - such as copper, aluminium and zinc. We aim to recover all metal particles larger than a staple from these bottom ashes!

The potato peels that you throw in the green waste container are first fermented at Twence - to use the biogas as a source of energy - and then composted. Compost is a valuable soil enrichner that nurtures a rich biodiversity in the soil. In the Waste Separation Plant of Twence, bulky household and industrial waste and waste streams without any rubble from construction and demolition companies are sorted into recyclable materials in a largely automated process. Sand is sent to the road construction sector. Cardboard, paper and metals are recycled. Shredded plastic is used to produce fuel. At Empyro, we even produce pyrolysis oilfrom sawdust, which is replacing fossil fuel oil in production processes. We capture CO2 from our flue gases and use it for greenhouse horticulture, among other things.

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...and energy.

In the biomass power plant, we transform non-recyclable waste wood into green energy. Twence produces electricity for approximately 150,000 households on an annual basis. Energy that comes from the biomass power plant, from the composting and fermentation plants, and from the Twence solar parks is 100% green. More than half of the energy from our waste-to-energy plant is sustainable. We also produce heat and steam. In Enschede, several city districts and businesses are heated with hot water generated from non-recyclable waste wood. The University of Twente and the FC Twente stadium, for example, get their heat from Twence. Twence supplies steam for industrial applications, including for salt production at Nobian. The total amount of heat that we supply is enough for more than 100,000 households. This avoids the use of massive amounts of natural gas and enables us to make the region even more sustainable, as well as contribute to the Regional Energy Strategy Twente (RES Twente)

Under Our Innovations, you can read more about how we are contributing to a sustainable, circular and bio-based economy

Our key streams: from waste to raw materials and energy

Different types of waste streams are delivered to Twence. We would like to explain to you how our waste is processed into new raw materials and energy with the help of our three key streams. Take a look per key stream at what kind of input we receive, what types of facilities we need for processing, and what kinds of raw materials and energy we are giving back to society.

The world of Twence.

What can you find where? Take a look at the map of our location in Hengelo.

De wereld van Twence, de processen