Q1. The ATS System is mentioned frequently. What is the ATS Technology and Systems ?
A. ATS stands for Advanced Thermolysis System, and is a patent pending state of the art system that does not use fire like other pyrolysis systems, to disintegrate organic wastes, but instead, creates superheated steam in the absence of oxygen, to convert all organic wastes into high quality marketable by-products, without any measurable pollution.
The new patent pending Advanced Thermolysis System (“ATS System”) is designed to convert ALL organic wastes to valuable by-products, such as biochar, carbon black, activated carbon and fuel oil, producing no measurable pollution or ash to be land filled.
Primarily, the enhanced 5th Generation Systems being manufactured today, are brand named as the AATS systems ( the second letter ‘A’ stands for Activation, in that the new system will be able to process wood biomass or MSW, to produce high quality Activated Carbon, a high value product). The following are some examples and capacities of the AATS systems :
(a) the AATS1000 system that will process organic wastes of up to 1500kg/hr(operating 24 hours/350 days a year),or
(b) the AATS2000 system that will process organic wastes of up to 3000kg/hr(operating 24 hours/350 days a year), or
(c) a combination of (a) plus (b.
(d) for larger projects, the AATS4000 system is now being engineered and the roll out will be ready by early 2020.
The enhanced ATS Technology is designed mainly to answer the global problem of waste management of MSW (Municipal Solid Waste- sewage sludge included), used tires, wood bio-mass, plastics, etc., while providing high value recycled by-products and usable forms of power.
The enhanced ATS Technology incorporates a 3 stage process that combines super heated steam, direct heat, indirect heat and a fast Thermolysis process.
The 1ststage temperature is between 300-400C, 2ndstage is between 400-500C, and 3rdstage is between 500-600C, to produce a complete penetration of heat into the feedstock, thereby enabling a superior, fuller and faster decomposition of the feedstock.
Further, the use of super heated steam provides a built in safety feature against particulate combustion and avoids the necessity of a high vacuum system required by all other conventional pyrolysis systems.
The ATS Technology’s 3 stage super heated steam and gasification process makes it perhaps the most efficient method available today, in converting all organic wastes to useful and valuable by-products.
The advancement of the feedstock through the 3 stages of the ATS system, dramatically increases the release of volatiles contained in the feedstock (a good thing) and the creation of “thermolized” carbon black or activated carbon.
As well, the ATS 3 stage process eliminates all the unwanted organic residue in the “thermolized” carbon black or activated carbon, with no measurable pollution or CO2 being produced.
Q2. How advanced are the ATS systems ?
A. Research in the ATS Technology began over 20 years ago, and today in the town of Hope, British Columbia, Canada, the 4thgeneration of an ATS500 system is in operation. The ATS500 system is capable of processing 500kg/hr of organic feedstock, but the existing ATS500 system is used primarily (a) for test and research purposes, and (b) to defray the cost of operations, it is also used to process wood biomass (as British Columbia has an abundance of wood biomass) to produce biochar for the burgeoning biochar market in North America.
The 5thgeneration (renamed AATS to replace the old ATS) AATS1000 and AATS2000 systems are now available. All AATS systems will process used tires, plastics, MSW and other organic wastes. The number 1000 beside the letters AATS, indicates a processing amount of at least 1000kg/hr of feedstock input, but in actual fact, the average processing amount of feedstock will be around 1500kg/hr or more. Likewise for the AATS2000 system, it has the capacity to process at least 3,000kg/hr of pre-sorted, pre-dried and pre-cut organic wastes.
Q3. Is the ATS System the best system available presently for converting organic wastes to other by-products ?
A. Definitely yes. The ATS System is the ONLY system that is capable of converting ALL organic wastes into valuable and marketable by-products, and creating a return on Investment (ROI) to the qualified investor of less than 2 years.
Other pyrolysis systems are much more expensive, and as well, do not generate high quality by-products; therefore, using such inferior systems will normally generate a ROI of between 7-9 years for investors.
Secondly, our ATS system (using super heated steam) produces no measurable pollution, unlike other pyrolysis systems (using fire) that produces significant polluting emissions.
Besides the above two major reasons as to the superiority of our ATS System, there are many more advantages of our ATS System to be mentioned here. If you are interested, a Representative of our Company will be able to furnish you a detail list of the advantages of the ATS System as compared to other systems.
For a comparison of 6 methods of processing MSW in today’s age, please see the narratives below.
The following are background information for various types of systems presently in use, to process MSW (Municipal Solid Waste), a carbon based waste. These systems are already proven and in use in a number of countries, with latest the ATS System being described the very last.
Existing operating plants and methods and technology to deal with Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)
From the worst method (at the top) to the best and most efficient method (at the bottom)
Land fill: – largest and most common method for dealing with MSW, resulting in problems with odor emissions, rodents, emission of noxious gases, etc. No usable by-products except the emission of Methane gas. This method removes large segments of land from more productive uses (average landfill occupies 48 hectares) and requires expensive maintenance operations. It is becoming much more difficult to find sites suitable for a landfill.
Incineration: - one of the most common methods of waste treatments – it involves the combustion of MSW in the presence of oxygen and converts organic wastes into ash, flue, gas, water vapor and carbon dioxide. This method incurs very expensive capital outlay and produces only low value products (usually gas for electricity). Eliminating toxic emissions and greenhouse gases are major problems. Subject to many protests by the neighborhood. This method is regarded as a COST centre, as its costly to operate and any revenue generated, is not enough to offset the costs of operating the system.
3.Third Worst (only a small number of such plants are in operation, operating with temperatures of between 3-10,000 C )
Plasma: Large Capital Outlay and expensive to operate, requiring large amounts of power just to process MSW. Only by product produced is syngas (low value) and large amounts of ash, which have to be dealt with expensively (organics are melted and include glass ceramics and metals). This method again is regarded as a COST centre. Possibly only advantage of this system is that plasma destroys both medical and hazardous wastes leaving only ash to be dealt with and prevents hazardous waste from reaching landfills.
4.Fourth Worst (many such plants are in operation. They are a form of pyrolysis but different from Pyrolysis as only a limited amount of air is permitted during processing.
Gasification (common type): converts organic components of MSW into CO ,H and CO2 (Syngas), by reacting the MSW with high temperatures (>700C). Large capital outlay is involved and generally only produces one merchantable by-product (syngas) which currently is of low value. As well, problems in dealing with emissions occur because of the partial burning of the MSW.
This method again is regarded as a COST centre.
5.Fifth Worst (several such plants are in operation, processing biomass materials – this technology is proven for many years)
Pyrolysis – the current plants are the best of the above, in that the issues dealing with emissions and char were largely solved excepting that the conventional pyrolysis plants of today, have problems producing high quality biochar and bio and/or fuel oil and cannot produce activated carbon, from processing MSW; as a consequence of this inability, these plants have difficulty operating profitably, and the return on investment are well over 10 years. Furthermore, the issue of tar build-up is a recurring problem with this method.
6.Best Proven Alternative to Deal with MSW (superheated steam thermolysis - proven technology.)
ATS Thermolysis System – this is a thermolysis system incorporating superheated steam instead, and in the absence of oxygen, to process pre-sorted, pre-dried and pre-cut MSW. On account of the superheated steam and the patent pending process method of condensing the fuel gas, the system produces a high quality biochar and/or activated carbon, bio oil or fuel oil, together with a clean syngas, while eliminating noxious emissions and toxic wastes (no measurable pollution). As well, the system operates on a continuous non stop basis (operates 24 hrs a day, 330 days a year). This is the ATS Technology.
Whereas Method 5 (Pyrolysis) processes carbon based waste like MSW, so does the ATS Thermolysis System. The major differences are that the superheated steam and the ATS Technology, penetrates the organic wastes (MSW) completely and much more efficiently, thereby producing high quality by-products that fetch high prices in the marketplace.
To date, the ATS Thermolysis System is the most energy efficient design of any pyrolysis system, incorporating the process of generating its own clean fuel (syngas) for operations. The system even has the endorsement of ABB Inc., a large consulting engineering firm based in New York.
Therefore, as you can see, the above pyrolysis systems in use today have been well proven and documented, and all of them are able to process carbon based organic matters. Therefore, it is not a matter of whether the ATS system will work or not. It all boils down to why the ATS system is superior to the other two types of pyrolysis systems being used. All the above five systems in use, are very expensive in capital outlay and expensive to operate. An example of how expensive an incineration system costs is the one installed for the City of Burnaby in British Columbia, Canada, with a population of less than a million people. The complete system costs in excess of $500,000,000, and it’s a COST centre, in that the City has to subsidize the costs of operating the system every year !
The ATS system can process all carbon based organic waste, but instead of using incineration or gasification, the ATS system uses super heated steam instead, in a Thermolysis reactor,
Operating with great efficiency, high value by-products are produced. Because of this, an ATS system will achieve a Return On Investment (ROI) of less than 2 years. This is the value of the ATS System.
We already have an ATS system in commercial operation in Canada, whereby carbon based wood biomass is processed to produce high quality biochar, a product in excellent demand in Canada and the USA. MSW when pre-sorted, pre-dried and pre-cut down to less than 10mm before entering the ATS system, is easily processed like any carbon based waste, like wood waste.
MSW wastes consists mostly of food waste, paper and plastics, after the pre -sorting, pre-drying and pre-cutting processes are completed. These carbon based waste are easily processed like any other organic waste.
Q4. Are the ATS systems patented ?
A. As at December 10, 2018, patents have been filed with the US Patent for the ATS Technology and Systems. The ATS patents can and will be applied for various countries, in the name of MGI, and then assigned to MGI’s joint venture technology and strategic partners in those countries concerned.
Q4a. Is the ATS Technology secured in the sense that if the inventor of the ATS system passes away, can the ATS system be manufactured and improved overtime ?
A. This is indeed a valid question. MGI already has the blueprints of the ATS system and can have it manufactured and fabricated anywhere that MGI wishes. Further to this, the original Technical Team resides in Europe, and some key members of the European Team are in the process of applying for permanent residency in Canada, where the mind and management of MGI is located. As well, for the past several years, MGI has built up a highly qualified and experienced Technical Team in North America, to act as a backup and to assist and supplement the original Technical Team based in Europe.
The Technical Team, the majority being residents of British Columbia, Canada, consisting of 12 professional engineers and environmental specialists and growing, has already developed several vital amendments to the new AATS system, that will be incorporated in the latest 5thgeneration of the AATS systems.
Q5. What is the largest AATS system that is on the market now ?
A. It’s the AATS2000 system. Therefore, if a client desires to process, say, 5,000 kg/hr of organic waste, two AATS2000 systems will be placed side by side to fulfill the particular order. In most cases, depending upon the feedstock, two AATS2000 will do the job, as each AATS2000 can process more than 3,000 kg/hr of organic waste.
Q6. Will your company manufacture much larger AATS systems ?
A. Once the need arises and this will be coming from our valued customers, we can size up the AATS2000 system to an AATS4000 system that processes well over 6,000kg/hr, 24 hours a day and 330 days per year. Such a system is already in the planning and designing stage.
Q7. Will each AATS system, be it the AATS1000, 2000 or 4000, be custom built ?
A. Yes, each will be custom built specifically for the client to maximize the throughput of the by-products, which will depend upon the primary feedstock the customer desires, even though each system can process varies types of feedstock.
Q8. How long is it from the time of ordering to the time of delivery for each AATS system ?
A. From start of production to the time of shipment, it will be about 8 months.
Q9. What is the warranty period of the AATS system ?
A. Normally, the warranty for parts and labour will be for one year after commissioning of the system. That being said, we can provide a maintenance contract with the customer for much longer periods of time. But normally, after the local technical staff is properly trained by us, maintenance should not be an issue at all.
Q10. What will be the cost of a maintenance contract for the AATS system ?
A. This will vary with the size of the AATS system and as well, as how long such a contract will be. But, each maintenance contract will be tailored to the specific need and complete satisfaction of the customer.
Q11. Under normal circumstances, what is the life span of an AATS system ?
A. Under normal circumstances, if proper maintenance is adhered to, the AATS system will last more than 30 years, and would only need to be upgraded on account of new technology being introduced.
Q12. If subsequent new technology is introduced to the AATS system, how will the existing customers benefit from that ?
A. All new technologies being introduced to existing systems, will also be offered to existing customers to upgrade their systems, at cost plus handling fee.
Q13. Normally, for any manufacturing concern, some spare parts are required to be stored. How much or how many spare parts are required to be stored for emergency purposes for an AATS system ?
A. Under normal circumstances, from experience, the amount of miscellaneous spare parts to be stored, should be in the vicinity of between US$100,000 for an AATS1000 system and US$250,000, for an AATS2000 system.
Q14. What is the cost of an AATS system ?
A. We try not to sell an AATS system, but rather, enter into a joint venture with interested and qualified parties. The joint venture price of an AATS system will depend upon the actual processing amount a particular AATS system can handle. As of today, we have the AATS1000 and AATS2000 systems, which can be used side by side on a modular basis. For example, if a customer desires to have an AATS4000 system that can process organic dried waste of about 6000kg/hr, then two AATS2000 systems working side by side, will do the job perfectly.
Each AATS system is joint venture priced in such a way to maximize the return on investment (ROI) for the customer, and in most cases, the ROI will be much less than 2 years. For details of joint venture business opportunity pricing of the AATS systems, and the pro-forma financials indicating the ROI for different feedstock, our company representatives will be glad to assist you.
Q15. Why is the present AATS system being made in Europe ?
A. This is because our company had a contractual arrangement with an existing large factory in Europe to have the AATS systems manufactured and fabricated there; but in the very near future, the manufacturing and fabricating processes will be replicated in North America, or elsewhere.
Q16. For wood waste being processed, using either the AATS1000 or AATS2000 system, what are the percentages of by-products being produced ?
A. - If only biochar is desired as the final by-product, the following are the percentages :
Biochar 30%, Bio Oil 40%, Syngas 30%
- If further processing is done to produce activated carbon (high value), the following are the
Activated Carbon 25%, Bio Oil 40%, Syngas 35%.
The above percentages would be similar for MSW after it has been pre-sorted, pre-dried and pre-cut to certain size.
Q17. For crumb rubber being processed, using either the AATS1000 or AATS2000 system, what are the percentages of by-products being produced ?
A. Carbon Black 38-40%, Fuel Oil 40-44%, Syngas 20%.
If further processing of Carbon Black to Activated Carbon (higher value) is desired, the following are the percentages produced :
Activated Carbon 33-35%, Syngas 25%.
Q18. For plastics being processed, using either the AATS1000 or AATS2000 system, what are the percentages of by-products being produced ?
A. The percentages will depend on the different types of plastics present in the feedstock. The PVC and PET must be sorted out prior to processing as they will contaminate the fuel oil produced. Assuming that the PVC and PET are taken out, fuel oil 65-85%, but in our proforma financial, we use only 70% for fuel oil, carbon black 3-5%, Syngas 20%.
Below is a general composition of waste plastics :
PE HYPE and LDPE 60% of all used plastics.
Q19. How much electrical requirements are required to run the AATS systems ?
A. The AATS systems are designed so that all they need is to have electricity made available to start up the system; thereafter, the syngas generated by the system can be diverted back to the system to power it.
Q20. I understand the AATS systems can process various organic feedstocks. What happens if I decide to change a particular feedstock ?
A. If a certain feedstock, for example, wood waste, is processed initially and you decide to change the feedstock to say, crumb rubber, just have the intake hopper cleaned out of wood waste by using an air blower or jet of water, before the new feedstock is processed. This change in operation would probably take about one hour. Nothing in the AATS system needs to be changed at all. That is why the AATS system is a multi purpose system, and not a fixed one like other systems.
Q21. Can the AATS systems be mass produced ?
A. Definitely yes. We have entered into agreements with 2 manufacturing and fabrication factories that can manufacture and fabricate the AATS systems, if and when required. Therefore, mass producing the AATS systems will not be a problem, provided the funding is there.
Q22. Is there a video somewhere that I can access to have a glimpse of the overall ATS Technology ?
A. Definitely. To have a copy of our corporate power point presentation, please ask a Representative of our company and he/she will be happy to provide one, or you can access it on the MGI website at www.magnumgroup.org
Q23. Besides the AATS system being installed in a factory to process organic wastes, what other equipment will be required?
A. Depending upon the feedstock the client wants to process, the pre and post processing equipment required, will vary. For example, for processing Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), the MSW needs
(a) to be pre-sorted so that all the non organic wastes, example, glass, metals are removed. This can be done manually, if the client desires to provide employment to the local population, or automatically by available sorting machines.
(b) to be dried to less than 10% through a dryer,
(c) to be cut to a size less than 10mm.
Then the pre-sorted, pre-dried and pre-cut MSW can then be processed through the AATS system to achieve the maximum result.
Q24. If other equipment are used to supplement the AATS system, how much will they cost ?
A. It depends upon the feedstock being processed. Simpler homogenous feedstock like crumb rubber will have less requirement for supplement equipment, and more complicated feedstock, for example, MSW, more equipment will be required. The MSW has to undergo pre-sorting ( such equipment is available, but it can also be done manually), pre-drying through a dryer, and then pre-cut to small pieces though a hammermill machine, before the MSW can be processed through the AATS system. For an AATS1000 system, the pre and post processing equipment costs will be approximately US$1,000,000 and that for an AATS2000 system will be about US$2,300,000. If multiples of AATS1000 or 20000 are used, the same amount of pre and post processing equipment can be used.
Q25. What is the processing volume for an AATS2000 system ?
A. As stated earlier, an AATS2000 system can process over 3,000kg/hr of organic biomass, depending upon the final by-products being desired. For example, if wood biomass is used as feedstock, and only biochar is desired as the final product, then the AATS2000 system can be turned on to have the maximum processing speed, but if the final desired product is activated carbon (a high value product), the biochar has to undergo another activation reactor in the AATS2000 system, thereby, slowing down the speed of the process.
Q26. Your earlier patents expired. Did they infringe on other patents ?
A. The earlier patent applications were initiated just for protection status of the ATS Technology while it was being developed to its ultimate. The patent pending processes were purposely left to expire, as enhancements were being developed. The present patents being filed, incorporates all the enhancements of the previous innovations, and much more.
To explain further, our inventors and technical team had identified several improvements from the experience they had when dealing with the first operational prototype and these were not dealt with the first patent and a new patent needed to be filed to deal with this approach. Since we could not incorporate these new innovations into the prior filed patent – our Patent Attorneys suggest that it would be better to file a new patent that would incorporate ALL the material improvements that deal with the operation of the system as a whole instead of a simple machine. To do otherwise would have involved needless expenditures for the prior patents as we would need to file a new patent that dealt with the whole operating system in the future anyway.
According to our two Patent Attorneys, one of which is the co-inventor and as well, a Managing Director of Magnum Group International, and the other, a seasoned US Patent Attorney, the ATS Technology was and is protected all the time, and does not infringement on any other patents in the world.
Also, they explained that the old patent did not infringe on any other patents as it incorporated, designed, tested and built several new innovations, using super heated steam as the catalyst, such as avoiding clogging of prior pyrolysis piping systems and eliminating the creation of furans and dioxins and creating a high quality(grade) of biochar, carbon black, and fuel oil, together with producing an extremely cleaner syngas.
According to the two Patent Attorneys, to the best of their knowledge, the ATS Technology, utilizing super heated steam as a catalyst, is the only one of its kind in the world.
Q27. Your initial ATS500 system tested wood waste and crumb rubber. What about tests for MSW ? As well, what is the B.E.T. rating?
A. The present ATS500 system was approved by Alberta Environment Protection Agency with flying colors, as it easily passed the Alberta Govt. requirement of “no measurable emission of pollutants” in order for the ATS500 system to be operated commercially.
The products being processed by the ATS500 system were :
- Crumb rubber. The main by-product being produced was carbon black and this was tested by an independent laboratory, and the results showed a high quality(grade) of carbon black.
- Wood waste. The main by-product being produced was biochar and it was tested, and the results showed a very high quality(grade) of biochar. On account of the burgeoning market for high quality biochar to be used for soil remediation, crop fertilizer, etc. the company focused on producing very high quality biochar from the present ATS500 system.
No tests were made for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), as all people who know anything about pyrolysis systems (established and proven over 40 years ago), know that by processing MSW, the main by-products are biochar and bonechar, as MSW primarily consist of food waste and bones, etc. , after all the inorganic wastes have been sorted out (eg. metals, glass).
For ordinary pyrolysis systems in use today, the biochar/bonechar being produced is of very low quality (grade), and cannot be used successfully for ALL soil remediation and soil fertilizer.
On account of the ATS Technology of utilizing super heated steam and the patent pending process of employing 3 reactors, the MSW’s molecular structure is changed, and subsequently converted into a very high quality(grade) biochar or activated carbon and/or bonechar, that is in great demand in soil remediation and as a growth fertilizer. This is the virtue of the ATS Technology – converting ALL organic carbon based wastes (MSW being one of them) to high value by-products that is easily marketed at high prices, thereby creating an extremely profitable business just by processing organic wastes.
On a factual basis for a layman, the measurement of the quality of biochar or bonechar are in B.E.T terms. B.E.T stand for Brunauer-Emmett-Teller, and these are the 3 gentlemen that invented the measurement of the porosity of the biochar or bonechar. The higher the B.E.T. rating, the more porous the product is and the more superior the product in its absorption capability, etc.
For the European Union, a B.E.T. rating of 150 grams per sq. metre is the standard used, and for most pyrolysis systems used in today’s market, for biochar and bonechar being produced, the B.E.T. rating is below the standard of 150. The biochar being produced by our ATS500 system was tested in accordance with EU measurement of B.E.T. and it came to an astounding 413.
For North America standards, a B.E.T. rating of less than 25 is the industry standard for biochar and bonechar, but most commonly the B.E.T rating achieved by pyrolysis systems in use, is between 12-15. We tested the biochar being produced from our ATS500 system, and it came to 88.65 (measured by Dr. Amir, scientist at the University of British Columbia).
Therefore, using both standards, one adopted by the EU and the other in North America, the ATS Technology beats them all.
Q28. Can the ATS500 system be successfully sized up to 1000 or 2000 systems ?
A. The blue prints of the 5thgeneration ATS1000 is already completed and production of the 5thgeneration ATS1000 is ready and available.
The ATS Technology has already been well proven, as the ATS500 system is already in use for several years. The ATS1000 is twice the processing volume of the ATS500 system, and it’s a no brainer for the inventor and his technical team to upsize the ATS500 system to an ATS1000 system.
If an ATS2000 systems is required, it makes only logical sense to install two ATS1000 systems and place them side by side, for operational purposes. The dual usage of an AATS1000 is excellent in that in the event one is broken down, the other one will still be in production.
Do not be confused by the letters ATS and AATS. ATS = Advanced Thermolysis System. AATS= Advanced Activation Thermolysis System.
For 5thgeneration ATS systems, an Activation chamber will be added on to as to allow the ATS system to process wood waste and/or MSW and not only produce high quality biochar, but also high quality Activated Carbon, which commands a much higher market price.
Therefore, from 2019 onwards, the 5thgeneration ATS systems being produced, will be branded AATS1000, AATS2000, etc.