Waste To Energy
Energy from waste or Waste to Energy is the process by which energy or heat is generated by the incineration of waste. It is a type of energy recovery and is a process that will generally produce electricity or heat, or produce a combustible fuel like ethanol, methane, methanol or other synthetic fuels. There are a lot of benefits from using this technology and the benefits are not just to do with energy production, but waste disposal too. According to a white paper that was released by Solid Waste Association of North America, facilities that can generate energy from waste are economically sound investments and have a lot of economical and environmental benefits.
How Is Energy Generated From Waste?
The process of generating energy from waste is a simple process and involves only a few steps.
- The waste that gets delivered to the facility is stored and then segregated into waste that can be used for the process and the ones that cannot be used are stored separately
- This waste is then transferred to the combustion chamber and a self sustaining combustion takes place at very high temperatures.
- The heat that is generated is used to convert water into steam
- The steam that is produced can be used for heating solutions or can also be used to produce electricity.
- The steam is used to turn turbines which in turn produce electricity
- The electricity that is produced is then fed to the grid for transmission.
Precautions Taken In The Process
There are a few precautions that are taken during the process of converting waste energy as it involves burning of the waste and there could be harmful gases that can be released into the atmosphere. The smoke that comes out of the combustion chamber is scrubbed and pollutants are washed away before it is released out through the chimney and the water that is used in the scrubber is recycled and the harmful pollutants are neutralized.
In order to control odor, the bunker area and the tipping area where the waste is collected and stored is held at negative pressure and the air that is sucked out of the area is used in combustion. The gas that is formed due to the combustion process is usually processed using state of the art air pollution technology that will meet the various standards set by the state and federal governments.
Byproducts Of The Process
The byproduct of the process is ash and the ash that is generated from the combustion chamber is processed in order to extract metal for recycling. The remaining ash or combines ash is then sent to monofill facilities that stock only ash or is used for conventional landfill. Other by products like sulfur and Hydro Chloric Acid that is generated during the wash cycle is also collected to be used in the manufacturing industry. By using this process we are able to produce energy that is a lot cleaner than using fossil fuels and can also solve the problem of waste disposal to a large extent and therefore serves two purposes that are good for the environment.