Energy Systems

Institute for Energy Systems (IES) at the School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh

Bring your ideas to life at the Engineering Makerspace on the King’s Buildings campus.

The Engineering Makerspace is a dedicated workspace where students can design, build and test their own engineering models and inventions. Co-run by the School of Engineering and Edinburgh Innovations, it is home to a community of student inventors, from first years to PhD students.

Lower floor of the Engineering Makerspace with 3 students standing in front of working desk space

The process of turning non-recyclable waste into energy and raw materials through incineration has been under way in Europe for some time but, as well as diverting waste from landfill, it can also play its part in climate action.

Waste-to-energy (WtE) works alongside recycling in helping EU nations meet the Landfill Directive, which aims to reduce the amount of waste being landfilled. Sorted waste that cannot be recycled is channelled to incineration plants, where state-of-the-art technology converts it into energy while removing pollutants.

In 2019, 48% of municipal waste was recycled and composted. Just under a quarter was sent to landfill – with resulting methane emissions contributing to global warming – while the remaining 27% was sent to WtE plants, providing energy without the need to burn fossil fuels.

Now, the advent of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) could bring additional climate protection if WtE operators start building the technology into their decarbonisation strategies – which is exactly what is happening in the Netherlands.

NEWEST-CCUS project logo


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