Garbage Used to Make Waste Fuel
Household Garbage as Materials for Waste Fuel
There has been a remarkable increase in the need for the use of waste fuels in today’s world. Since waste fuels utilize materials that otherwise would have gone to dumpsites and landfills, people believe that this would be a much more stable and environment-friendly alternative to regular diesel or gasoline, as well as some other forms of alternative energy.
A type of emerging waste fuel is one derived from solid wastes or regular household garbage. Being able to turn household wastes into fuel gives this process the advantage of helping solve America’s garbage problem. It’s only sensible to determine this form of waste fuel would reduce the amount we have to throw away only to build up in a landfill. Consequently, it would also reduce the amount we spend on maintaining these landfills and dumpsites if there’s less to have to maintain.
The technology that turns garbage into fuel was developed by the Batelle Pacific Northwest National Labs of Richland and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Currently, it is being introduced to the commercial market by Integrated Environmental Technologies, a group that has been participating in the business of turning waste into sources of energy.
How exactly do we turn garbage into fuel? A new conversion technology has been developed for the sole purpose of processing garbage into waste fuel. This technology works by first vaporizing the organic materials found in the garbage. This process yields hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Later, these gases can be processed and converted into other forms of gas and chemicals. These materials are further converted into ethanol and methanol. At this point the material can now be deemed as usable fuel.
According to experts, with such massive amounts of garbage as raw materials, this technology can produce enough fuel to supply a fourth of America’s fuel needs.
Ethanol has been used in the new gasoline formula called E-85. This form of gasoline can readily be used in cars made by manufacturers like Ford and General Motors. However, Ethanol production is not limited to household waste. Currently, it is also being harnessed from agricultural waste like unused corn and sugarcane stalks. The problem with this process is that these agricultural wastes are not enough to provide sufficient energy. By using household wastes we no longer have to rely on seasonal crops. Since garbage is produced by all households, we will have a much more stable resource.
This waste fuel hits two birds with one stone. It minimizes waste and provides cheaper, alternative fuel. However, this is not the only way to turn municipal waste into fuel. In the small African country of Burundi, an organization called Association for Development and the Fight Against Poverty has begun turning garbage into an energy source.
The group gathers the vegetable and fruit peels and other organic components. These materials are later spread out and dried under the sun. Once dried, they are compacted into little blocks. These blocks are later used as cheaper replacements for charcoal typically used in cooking.
These processes show that with enough effort, wastes can be turned into useful sources of energy. If started small, it can even be used by tribal villages for cooking. On a larger scale, it can be used by urban cities to provide fuel for transportation, heating and many others.