The Challenges of a Commercially Viable Asbestos Treatment
When we tell people that we believe that our demonstration plant will be the world’s first commercially viable method of treating asbestos we are often asked why no one has done this before?
We cannot speak for everyone else, but the reality is that it is a very difficult thing to achieve.
Many different approaches have been tried in laboratory conditions or on a very small scale. They include vitrification, ceramitisation, chemical treatment, mechanochemical treatment and denaturation which is the process that we are using.
With all treatments, there are many technical, environmental and commercial issues that need to be overcome. In an extensive examination of all known methods for treating asbestos, a study prepared in 2016 by the State of Flanders concluded that “one technique clearly outruns the other alternatives, namely denaturation”. There is therefore compelling and detailed analysis that gives us confidence that we not only have the first approach but also the best approach.
Having said that, there have still been huge challenges to overcome to get to the stage that we are now at – which is being in the lead-up period to opening our demonstration plant. Challenges have included practical challenges such as finding premises and getting planning permission to operate an asbestos treatment plant, getting Environmental Agency permission, developing the equipment that is capable of denaturing asbestos in a safe and cost-effective way and raising the significant amount of capital needed to start a new business such as this.
Whilst there will, no doubt, be further challenges to overcome, as there are with every new business, we are now very much looking forward to shortly completing the extensive refurbishment works that we have undertaken on the industrial unit which is our home.
Once these are complete we can begin the installation and commissioning of the plant and then we can demonstrate a completely new and better way of treating asbestos.
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