Frequently Asked Questions
IQ Energy Australia is an innovative environmental technologies company providing unique modular advanced thermal treatment solutions for local communities and businesses in Australia and the region, to repurpose waste locally and create clean, valuable products.
We are a partner company with IQ Energy, a Canadian company that developed the technology we are bringing into the Australian market. At this stage we will be bringing the technology from Canada and we will look at manufacturing the technology here as we develop.
The technology developers have 75+ years of expertise between them, having built 35 thermal treatment plants across North America.
We are setting up our first reference facility in regional Victoria. We aim to develop a comprehensive data set on Australian waste streams under Australian standards and then move to many other parts of Australia which have problematic waste streams.
We are working alongside a local business from the region and together we have seen this technology in operation in Canada, meeting strict European standards (the same as we have in Victoria). The local solutions and modular nature of our technology suits the site in regional Victoria.
By working together on this reference facility, we aim to set this technology up to exceed Australian standards and work closely with the EPA and the community to ensure all concerns are addressed.
Together with the local community, we are evaluating the technology under Australian conditions. To turn our vision of creating clean products from waste into reality, we’re seeking community involvement and regulatory support over the next year and to build your support and trust.
We encourage all those interested to reach out to us with any questions, ideas or concerns.
In doing so, this project can bring a clean modular gasification solution to local communities across Australia and assist in achieving Australia’s circular economy objectives.
With our technology we provide the sophistication of a large industrial gasification plant, but on a much smaller scale. There is a range of products we have, but they are all designed to fit into shipping containers and installed directly on site without a large construction timeline. The minimum waste feedstock is 2,500 tonnes per annum, and we can scale up to more than 100,000 tonnes per annum, to meet the needs of the local community and match their waste stream.
Gasification is an established science that has been around for centuries. Advanced gasification technology has been used to produce energy for many years and is operational in many parts of the world, particularly Northern Hemisphere.
Our technology uses a highly controlled two-step process using controlled heat to produce gas from waste in an oxygen starved environment. These gases are then oxidised in a very controlled process to produce heat. This process results in a cool, clean flue gas and very efficient extraction of useful products from the waste.
By using this method on a modular level, we are able to scale to the waste stream and allows for an effective use of all the products that are produced. This allows us to be affordable, environmentally friendly and socially conscious in order to be tailored for local solutions.
Our focus is on dirty and undesirable wastes which cannot be mechanically recycled or composted and will inevitably end up in our landfills, or worse still, the environment. This can range from biosolids (sewage sludge), medical waste, dirty and mixed plastics, contaminated soils to many other waste types that we can safely use in our technology to produce valuable products.
We acknowledge that our technology, like all thermal technologies produces ash. Although it depends on the feedstock what type is produced, whether that be a biochar we can use for agriculture or a stabilised ash, our goal is to avoid all unwanted waste going to landfill. Our goal is to find a beneficial use for the ash, such as road base or construction material or as mineral ash fertiliser, and we will ensure it is tested according to EPA standards and work with researchers to find that use.
People can be concerned by waste-to-energy technologies and often do not distinguish between the different types of technologies that make up the sector.
We recognise that people are mainly concerned about incinerators because of toxic air particles such as dioxins that can be emitted due to combustion.
Our technology is not an incinerator; it is a gasifier. Our technology uses a highly controlled 2 step process which means we can have greater control over all of our outputs. We will maintain significant monitoring of our flue gas throughout the process to ensure our air quality exceeds EPA standards. We will address landfill emissions, such as methane, as well as odours, by eliminating the waste that builds up in landfills and investigating ways of using the minimal CO2 produced by our technology for beneficial purposes through carbon storage techniques and carbon offsets. Emissions data will be made available to the public, so that they can make an informed opinion about our gasifier.
We will work closely with regulators and the community to ensure our emissions are clean and we will be transparent about them. Our additional products from the process are flue gas, water and ash and we will make sure each has suitable control measures to meet EPA standards and ensure there can be no negative health impacts.
As a socially aware environmental company, our aim with our operation is to create a positive impact to the community’s health, by cleaning up the environment by removing stockpiling waste and promoting a clean and safe modular advanced thermal treatment for future generations. Air quality is often of particular concern with regard to substances such as nitrous oxides, dioxins, furans and particulate matter. We have significant measures in place to ensure their control and elimination, which will be demonstrated during our evaluation.
While affordable energy is a major concern for Australians, producing it without generating greenhouse gas emissions is crucial not just for the environment, but for our economy, too.
Gasification has a significantly positive impact on greenhouse gases in three main ways:
- By producing renewable natural gas from waste, replacing fossil fuels as an energy source.
- Intercepting methane that would be produced by our landfill.
- Sequestering carbon as char and producing a relatively small amount of carbon dioxide.
We will investigate ways to utilise and offset the emissions we do produce and release greenhouse gas emissions data during the evaluation.
As part of this project, we hope to have to develop an open and genuine rapport with the community and have strong relations with the EPA and other regulators to ensure all government and community expectations are met. We have seen this technology running ourselves in Canada and know the high standards it can meet. However, we want to respond to concerns any stakeholders have due to our process directly in a way that is responsive and genuine.
We hope to set an industry standard for this emerging industry for community engagement and expectation and exceeding the regulatory standards for all aspects of our technology. EPA Victoria applies some of the most stringent standards in the world (European Union Standards) and already has experience with major infrastructure gasification projects. We take compliance very seriously which is why we are proactive in the policy and regulatory aspects of our industry, especially because our technology is much smaller and different to its competitors. Unlike major infrastructure projects, our waste-to-energy technology is modular, scalable and localised and can be customised to match local waste streams and reduce the need for transporting waste. We will provide all stakeholders from government, business and the community with regular updates of our evaluation. These updates will be responsive to the needs of the community.
We see ourselves as an alternative to landfill, not an alternative to recycling. We support recycling and want to keep good waste disposal practices in place. It’s important that we reduce, reuse, repair, recycle and recover as much of our waste as possible, but the growing amount of mixed and dirty plastics entering landfill means we must develop new behaviours and technologies that reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill. We wish to set up on a landfill and capture the value of waste that is normally stockpiled underground, especially problematic wastes that cannot be recycled. We want to work with the government and community to prioritise recycling and only capture the unwanted waste that is left over. We will look at how we can gain further recyclables even from our ash stream.
Our goal is not to create new waste disposal hubs. Instead, we plan to continue with current waste pickup and transportation and use these waste streams in a new way that benefits the community by aligning with their needs, diverting it from landfills and improving the local amenity. We prefer to upgrade existing infrastructure as opposed to building new infrastructure which clears further land.
We will be transparent about all waste streams that enter the facility, how it is being stored, where it is being transported and how we will avoid stockpiling unnecessarily. Additional trucking will occur when valuable products leave for use in the community.
Our goal is to clean up landfills and the environment from wastes and to eradicate the need to stockpile waste. By doing this we hope to maintain the local economy and land values and potentially even improve them by significantly reducing the carbon footprint on the area.
We acknowledge that our incoming technology could change the development dynamic within a region and there may be concerns around the impact from emissions, noise and odour. Our aim is that we ensure we have high standards for all of our outputs from our technology and we run a commercially viable and environmentally friendly operation to keep the area clean and have a positive impact on local amenities.
With all new technologies there should be an effective emergency management system in place, and we understand the importance of having correct procedures to protect all communities.
We have procedures in place that protect both staff and community using staff expertise and the latest technology in automation. In case of emergency, whether that be bushfire, floods, power outages or the machine not running perfectly, the machine is designed to shut down immediately in a safe manner and will cease processing waste or producing products. The machine will do this automatically if it needs to or can be done manually, either through the machine panel or through a smartphone.
Emergency procedures have been a priority during the design of this technology, and we will provide evaluation data from our safety scenarios. We will also work with local emergency services, like the Country Fire Authority, to ensure they understand the site, as well as regulators to ensure we are meeting all safety standards.