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The Ultimate Garbage Disposal

Green Lifestyle  (tags: business, CO2emissions, conservation, eco-friendly, ecosystems, energy, environment, globalwarming, greenproducts, organic, protection, recycling, sustainable, Trash to energy )

- 2183 days ago -
What could be better than a power station that eats up dirty landfill and churns out clean electricity?

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Angela N (0)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 10:05 am

Kit B (276)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 10:09 am
(Images courtesy of David Cyrano/Nature)

What could be better than a power station that eats up dirty landfill and churns out clean electricity? One facility in Utashinai, Japan, has been doing just that since 2003, using plasma—an electrically induced stream of hot, charged particles—to process up to 220 tons of municipal solid waste a day. Now a bigger and better $425 million plant is scheduled for completion by 2009 in Saint Lucie County, Florida. The operator, Atlanta-based Geoplasma, expects it to generate 160 megawatts of electricity—enough to power 36,000 homes—from a daily diet of trash.

At the plant, garbage will be superheated to more than 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit—about the temperature of the sun’s surface—by a NASA-developed plasma torch. Organic components will be gasifed by the heat; the inorganic remainder will be melted and removed. Syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, will be extracted from the gas output and used to drive turbines and generate electricity. Gases from the plant will be processed to remove dangerous compounds like dioxins, and the company pledges that emissions will be well under state and federal environmental limits. Heavy metals from the inorganic dross will be collected and sold as scrap.
by Tony McNicol
From the May 2007 issue; Discover Magazine - published online May 18, 2007

More on the article at Visit Site - we do have alternatives to just piles of trash.


Cher C (1429)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 10:24 am

Thnx for posting sweetie!!


Sue H (7)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 11:23 am
Is it in operation in Florida?? Scheduled for completion 2009. Good Idea Japan!

Barbara K (60)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 12:46 pm
Thanks for the posting, my friend. I think it is a win win idea. Hope it comes to fruition in all states.

Orange Blossom (0)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 1:31 pm
Awesome, when you're an island you tend to think outside the box.

Nancy C (806)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 1:39 pm
yes, it should be put to use before we're inundated

pam w (139)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 1:49 pm
Great! I want one! Can we build ten of them to use for the tsunami detrius?

Angelika R (143)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 1:55 pm
Unfortunately it is a dead plan. The contract between St Lucie county Florida and Geoplasma Atlanta was terminated on April 17, 2012. - TOO BAD !
St. Lucie officials decide to terminate Geoplasma contract

Kit B (276)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 2:15 pm

This is not a new idea, it's been around for a while but offers much less profit then pumping methane for resale out of trash dumps.

Christeen A (369)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 2:53 pm
Great idea.Let's get on with it.

Vicky P (476)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 3:25 pm
wow, interesting

Erika M (0)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 6:23 pm
It sounds like a win-win.

Janelle Wong (71)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 6:42 pm
Dream on! This has no foundation in science or engineering. Heed the principles of investigative journalism.

Janelle Wong (71)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 6:46 pm
Dream on! This has no basis in science or engineering. Try and stick to the principles of investigative journalism.

Olmo Forni (0)
Monday June 4, 2012, 3:03 am
Burning waste for fuel might seem a good idea but it is not for several reasons.

1) It create an incentive to produce more waste (which is bad) and hinders waste reduction, reuse and recycling.

2) By burning waste you actually loose all the energy used to extract and process the raw materials (which would be conserved through recycling) and to create the goods making the garbage (which is prevented through reuse)

3) Waste is not a renewable energy source

4) with an energy production of 160 megawatts obtained by burning 3000t of waste: this means an electricity output of 53 kilowatts/ton, a very low efficiency rate given mainly by the high energetic cost of the plasma torch itself.

In a nut shell: with door to door waste collection a 90% recycling rate can be achieved in few months and the remaining waste fraction can be prevented trhough ad hoc legislation on production standards. Zero waste and closed loop economies are at hand and we should go forward, not backwards.

Ben O (170)
Monday June 4, 2012, 5:15 am
I see the article is from 2007...
"... A bigger and better $425 million plant is scheduled for completion by 2009 in Saint Lucie County, Florida..."
-What happened to that?

Angelika R (143)
Monday June 4, 2012, 8:18 am
please see my comment above- the plan was CANCELED; contract terminated this spring !

Ben O (170)
Tuesday June 5, 2012, 3:39 am
Thanks Angelica, I missed that...
-Making promises is the easiest thing to do,
but, when broken, what are they worth to U...???
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