Sunday, 5 November 2017

Waste To Energy Process and Importance

Have you ever thought about converting wastes to energy ? Have you though about creating any waste-to-energy facility or technique ? Have you imagined how a waste-to-energy plant or technology will reduce the amount of waste being deposited into the environment on a daily basis ? 
If you have imagined or thought of any of these, then you are welcome to read and share your idea with us here, if you have not, then you are welcome read on that here.

Waste to energy is the generation of energy in the form of heat or electricity from waste materials or dumps.

HOW TO PRODUCE ENERGY FROM WASTE

There are different waste to energy technologies but we will be talking about just thermal and non-thermal waste to energy technology here.

1) THERMAL TECHNOLOGY -waste to energy technology :

Waste treatment that are conducted involving high temperatures are called Thermal treatment,
the heat generated from this Thermal Treatment can be used to generate energy.

The following are examples of Thermal Technology;

a) Depolymerization
b) Gasification
c) Pyrolysis
d) Plasma arc Gasification


Depolymerization:

Depolymerization uses thermal decomposition wherein the presence of water, organic acids are heated at high temperatures. This process is also known as HYDROUS PYROLYSIS ( the process without the use of oxygen)
This process usually takes plastics and biomass as their primary ingredients and is usually conducted at very high temperatures.

Gasification:

It is another developing process employed in waste to energy generation. It converts carbonaceous substances to carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and some amounts of hydrogen.
This process like incineration requires high temperatures to obtain results, the difference is that combustion does not occur in gasification.
Steam and/or oxygen is also used in this process where usually fossil fuels or organic substances are used.
The gas that is produced from the waste procedure is called SYNTHESIS GAS, or SYNGAS for short, and is considered as a good means of alternate energy.
SYNGAS is used for heat and electricity production.

Pyrolysis:

This is another waste to energy process used majorly in industrial processes. Pyrolysis is just like HYDROUS PYROLYSIS without the use of oxygen. Pyrolysis employs agricultural waste or organic waste from industries.

Plasma arc Gasification:

As the name implies uses plasma technologies to obtain syngas. A plasma torch is used to ionize gas and there after obtain syngas. This process generates electricity while compressing the waste.

2) NON THERMAL TECHNOLOGIES -waste to energy technology

a) Anaerobic digestion
b) Mechanical biological treatment.

Anaerobic digestion:

This is a slow process, here in, micro organisms are used to breakdown the biodegradable content. No oxygen is present during the procedure.
It is used both domestically and even commercially to tap the release of energy during the process and use it.
Anaerobic waste to energy technology is seen as a good way to reduce the green house gases from the atmosphere and also as a working replacement for fossil fuels.
The process works as a boom for developing countries for creating low energies for cooking and lighting in homes.
Biogas is used to run a gas engine and energy is created for small scale use.

Mechanical biological treatment:

This process uses domestic waste as well as industrial and commercial waste to generate products.
Waste-to-energy is an emerging innovative technology aimed at sustenance of the environment, with minimum damage to the ecosystem. With these technologies developing by day and their acceptance, increasing household and industrial setups.
Worldwide, waste to energy is seen as a development tool for emerging countries.
Waste to energy or energy from waste is a concious attempt to equalize the patterns of our planet and save our ecological cycles.
The energy generations from these technologies are small scale right now and their employment for domestic and industrial use is sparse.
However, they are seen as the energy solutions for tomorrow that are set to affect the world immensely.

Tell us what you think of this in the comment box below.

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY:
Onwukwe Victory Uzoma
An Environmental Technologist/Engineer.

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