Thursday, September 3, 2009
A Green Idea!
A GREEN IDEA
Trash gets no respect! But that is already changing. Production has started to create a movable power generator that will be fueled by waste products using everything from walnut shells to discarded tires. And did you know that the excessive methane gas produced by landfills can be used as energy as well?
Up till now solar and wind energy have been the best sources of renewable energies. One new plan calls for utilization of biomass materials, including agricultural wastes, cardboard, paper and sawdust. With this unit, a wood mill could incinerate sawdust and other waste creating enough power to run its machines rather than depend on diesel power.
Here's how it works. The multi piece unit has a large feed hopper and a high temperature incinerator that vaporizes the biomass as it enters. The resulting heat can turn a turbine, making up to 300 kilowatts of electricity. The unit is transportable, so everything is done on site. Instead of taking the trash to a location for burying or burning, you dispose of it at the source and create energy for use.
The output is a fraction of the capacity of an industrial power plant but because it can be transported and set up in a matter of days, it can be brought to remote areas. It's been tested on a wide range of materials, including corn cobs and husks, sugar cane residue and non-recyclable plastics. It's 75 percent efficient and has met very stringent emissions requirements.
In addition to the movable power generator, harnessing the methane naturally produced by waste breaking down in landfills is another green energy option. Methane is a primary constituent of landfill gas (LFG) and a potent greenhouse gas when released to the atmosphere. Reducing methane emissions by capturing LFG and using it as an energy source can yield substantial energy, economic, and environmental benefits. The implementation of landfill gas energy (LFGE) projects reduces greenhouse gases and air pollutants, leading to improved local air quality and reduced possible health risks. LFG projects also improve energy independence, produce cost savings, create jobs, and help local economies.