Energy from Waste
Waste to energy conversion is fast becoming an important approach to resolving two issues; waste management and sustainable energy production. With stricter controls on carbon emissions and rising fuel costs, waste represents an increasingly significant fuel source.
Solid waste, also known as biomass, can be treated as a fuel and incinerated to:
- Provide heat energy for buildings
- Replace/supplement traditional fossil fuels in industry
- Produce electricity in energy generating waste plants.
Gas from waste can also be generated through heating biomass in oxygen deficient atmospheres. The gas produced via this method contains a substantial amount of methane which is then used as a fuel in turbines or combustion engines. This process occurs naturally in landfill sites where the compacted waste is digested bacteriologically in the absence of oxygen. Other materials such as sewage sludge and food processing wastes use this process to generate gas for fuel. These biogases are considered renewable energy sources.
Solid wastes potentially contain toxic compounds; Lucideon has developed a wide range of testing procedures to determine its safety and suitability for use. Lucideon also has the ability to analyse the quality and safety of biogases. Additionally, wastes may contain harmful toxins such as heavy metals and other materials which can damage the equipment used to incinerate the fuels, an example of which is siloxane based chemicals in biogas.