Waste to Energy

Energy From Waste

There is an alternative to landfills and incineration- a proprietary process that produces no pollution and no hazardous byproducts . Municipal Solid Waste, tires, plastics, biomass, wood waste, medical waste, waste oil, waste water sludge, coal and more can be used to generate power and energy.  Trash or any other carbon-based waste can be turned into a natural gas substitute that can be used to make electricity, or to generate heat, or for cooling.

waste to energy system in Forst

Present facility in Forst, Germany

The system uses patented technology and a process called slow thermolysis        to liberate the energy contained in waste materials.

  • Thermolysis, or pyrolysis, is an irreversible chemical change and change of physical state brought about by heating a carbon-based material in an oxygen-free environment.
  • There is no combustion involved, because there is no oxygen present when the material is heated and gasified. Thermolysis is not incineration. It is much cleaner and more efficient. It is an innovative thermal-conversion technology.
  • Hydrocarbon feedstock molecules are converted into hydrocarbon fuel gas molecules, virtually identical to natural gas. A portion of the gas created  is used to indirectly heat the waste for the thermolysis process. It is a continuous process, creating a continuous energy source for continuous electrical power.

The synthetic gas produced by the patented system is primarily a mixture of methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2). It will have an energy value between 600 and 1000 BTU/ft3, depending on the feedstock.

 

WASTE TO ENERGY FEEDSTOCKThe  Gas Technology Institute of Germany has confirmed that gas produced by this system is interchangeable with natural gas.

Major gas turbine manufacturers like Siemens AG and Caterpillar Division MWM  have approved the direct injection of this clean synthetic fuel gas into their engines and turbines with full warranty. Gas engines and turbines are far more efficient for generating electricity than heating a boiler for a steam turbine, which is how incinerators typically generate electricity.

Besides making clean fuel gas, the process produces carbon-rich char, as well as a small amount of ash.

Depending on the feedstock, the char can have value as a replacement for coal or coke, for making steel or cement and other industrial processes that require high heat. Char can be used to fuel a boiler for a combined heat and power (CHP) system  producing more electricity. The fraction of ash that is produced can be safely landfilled.

plant1

Early facility in Eilenburg, Germany, 2002

High-Chlorinated Plastics (HCP), Mercury Laden Products, electronics waste and other materials that cannot be incinerated or landfilled without harm can be used as feedstock, with absolutely no damage to the environment.

Contaminants like mercury, chlorine and sulfur evaporate during the gasification process in the closed-loop system and are scrubbed out with additives to the gas stream.The gas stream additives chemically react with the contaminants and transform them into neutralized salts.

The system is unique because it   can   process   any  carbon-based waste and remain compliant with all environmental regulations.

The stack emissions from the system meet the strict standards of California and Germany. No dioxins or furans are emitted, for example, because they are never created. The system provides an environmentally responsible way to dispose of many different types of waste that may not be safe to dispose of in other ways.

The emissions from engines or turbines running this gas also meet tough standards, as they are nearly identical to emissions from running natural gas.

Gases created in the process are recycled through the system repeatedly until all the energy has been salvaged. Unlike incineration, which typically captures about 25 % of available energy, this process captures between 65% to 85 %. Temperature, crackers, gravity, and chemical catalysts break down any other components.

The closed loop, oxygen-free environment inside the system prevents the emission of harmful chemicals and does not contribute to acid rain.

The amount of power generated by these systems varies according to the feedstock and the size of the system. For example, a plant (with generator) processing 44 Tons Per Day of Municipal Solid Waste (trash) can generate approximately 3 megawatts of electrical power, while a plant processing 88 tons makes about 6 megawatts. That is for trash. Tires or plastics can generate much more.

The amount of plastics, paper, rubber and other high BTU- potential fuel contained in MSW will have an effect on the energy potential of that trash. This varies considerably from culture to culture, town to town.

For instance, we found that 1 ton of trash from the city of Yola, Nigeria can produce 1 megawatt hour of power. For a video of the feasibility study we conducted for Adamawa State, Nigeria, see http://vzaar.com/videos/1396610

Aula Isabel Cardoso, exposição "Paisagens" no Museu de Évora, 27 de novembro de 2012waste-to-energy-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Systems are available in 22, 44, 88 and 176 Tons Per Day sizes.

Technology Status

  • two generations of 4 ton/day (TPD) pilot plants have been built and one 44 TPD commercial demonstration plant to prove technology scale-up.
  • Pilot plants like the present 4 TPD facility in Forst, Germany, have been in use since 1999 to refine the process and collect data.
  • System has been reviewed and vetted by R.W. Beck and HDI Gerling.
  • Commissioned feedstock studies have produced spectacular results. Construction is expected to begin this year in the U.S. for a facility to handle carpet waste.
  • Another application of the proprietary thermolysis system is processing electronics waste, or e-waste, to recover the valuable materials like gold, silver and palladium contained in obsolete cell phones, circuit boards, etc. The results of these tests have been most promising of all.

For more information, contact Lex Henkels or Mark Snyder by clicking here.