The Prime Components of Waste to energy Conversion Process

The landfills nowadays store surplus amount of waste in various forms. These dump yards emit toxic substances like dioxins, methane, and leachate. Such toxic substances can drain into the earth when left untreated. This can cause contamination of water resources, soil, plants, and food too.

Waste to Energy technologies consistently process non-renewable waste, converting chemicals obtained from the waste residue into different forms of energy.

Classification of Waste

Waste can be classified in diverse ways:

  • Agricultural Waste

It includes manure and other agricultural wastes, harvest waste, pesticides, and fertilizers. It also includes wastes from the slaughterhouses and poultry houses.

  • Municipal solid waste (MSW)

It includes waste from refineries, factories, power plants, and chemical plants. The heavy mineral extraction and processing also contribute to the MSW. Moreover, it also includes the scrap metals, raw materials from drilling and extraction.

  • Medical waste

It includes the general medical waste like insulin, bandages and the like. It also includes radioactive waste, hazardous, and infectious waste.

Importance of Waste Management

The rise in population is directly proportional to the waste generation in various forms. On the basis of estimates, the world generates about 1.3 billion tonnes of waste yearly. The constant increase in population growth and urbanization leads to waste management. The global waste generation can increase up to 2.2 billion tonnes by the year 2025. The importance of waste management can be surmised from the above statistics.

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generation can vary between 0.25 to 0.66 kgs daily. This depends on the staggering amount of industrial waste generated on daily basis. Most of the chemical industries and other manufacturing industries emit solid and liquid waste in various forms. They emit toxic gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). This causes air pollution. Also, it releases the unhealthy greenhouse gases. Ultimately, it is the cause for the depletion of the ozone layer.

Waste-to-Energy technologies are environment-friendly. They mitigate this environment unfriendly situation through systematic processes and efficient treatment of waste. This helps in waste reduction and in generating sustainable energy.

The Empty Fruit Bunch Gasifier is an example of a gasifier used to implement gasification for waste management. The EFB has to be pressed to lower the moisture content to about 20% to reduce ash content to 5%. The temperature for ash softening has to be greater than 1,200°C. The Palm Kernel shells possess a very good calorific value. Hence, it can be used as a raw material in gasifiers along with the moisture content, which is less than 20%.

Popular Waste to Energy (WtE) Technologies and Impact

Waste to Energy technologies make the most use of combustion with power and heat.

  • Processes like the thermochemical and biochemical conversion are part of waste to energy technologies. They can recover the energy from the organic part of the waste.
  • Waste to Energy technology provides a renewable source of energy. It recovers the latent energy from the waste through the waste treatment methods.
  • Waste to Energy technology reduces the demand for landfilling areas. It also reduces the cost of transportation in carrying the waste from places to the dump yards.
  • Waste to Energy benefits the environment in many ways. It generates renewable sources and sustainable energy. Apart from this, the by-product of this process delivers an effective fertilizer.

Types of energy conversions from waste

  • Biochemical conversion

This conversion processes the waste that includes high moisture content and organic matter. One of the most popular methods is the anaerobic digestion, which occurs in absence of oxygen.

  • Thermochemical conversion

This conversion processes the waste that includes low moisture content and high organic matter. Some of the popular methods are Gasification and Incineration.

Waste to energy implementations can generate renewable energy on a consistent basis from the waste and help resolve health and environmental damages that are plaguing our world.

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