Why pay some big company huge amounts of money to haul away your trash when you can turn it into free energy? IST Energy has figured out a way to fit a trash-gassification power plant into a unit the size of a large dumpster, and they're looking to sell it to hospitals, office parks and universities.
The process is fairly clean, because it gassifies the trash and combusts the gas instead of combusting the trash itself. Of course, the plant would still produce carbon-dioxide, but it wouldn't produce the pollutants that many trash-burning facilities currently produce.
Universities and office parks can pay as much as $200,000 per year just for trash removal. Once that's added to the potential energy savings, IST's energy units start to look pretty cheap, even with an $850,000 price tag.
Unfortunately, trash has to be sorted before it can be put into the system, however. Metal and glass don't contain energy like organics do, so they must be removed and recycled separately. But almost everything else you can think of can be gassified and used to create energy.
Filling the unit with the maximum three tons of trash will produce about 120 kW of energy, and about twice that in heat. That power and heat is enough to power about 15% of the trash-producing building's energy needs.
Of course, it's never good to produce more trash, even if it is going to be used. In the end we're still burning trees (paper), other plants (food) and oil (plastic products.) But this is certainly a better use for this waste than having it sit in a landfill producing methane for the next thousand years.
Via CNet GreenTech
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