Waste to energy is the process of generating power from wasted or landfill materials. Production of biodiesel from vegetable oils and fats is one example. paper and plastic from municipal solid waste is another resource for power generation. Using these materials forenergy allows for the reduction of typical fuels. Waste to energy also helps reduce landfilling and other disposal methods.
Gasification is the process of creating synthetic gas out of any carbon containing material. Heating fuel materials to 500-1500 degrees Celius with limited oxygen creates the synthetic gas. The gas is useful for fuel or creation of other products. Gasification hasexisted since the early 1880's. Coal was the primary feedstock for many decades. Gasification using biomass products is gaining traction and commercial viability. Gasification offers an environmentally sustainable path for converting waste and biomass into energy.
Biomass is a group name for many materials. Common materials include wood, grasses, municipal solid waste and other organic matter. Material properties vary due to the wide range of materials under this classification. As a result, there are no set material handling standards or properties. Design of biomass systems must consider the specific material, and other site factors. Proper definition of the biomass material is critical for consistent and desired performance.
Municipal Solid Waste
Americans generate more garbage any other country in the world. Estimates range from 4 to 7 pounds generated per day by each American. Over 50% of this waste comes from residential garbage. The rest comes from commercial trade, manufacturing, and retail operations. Recycling accounts for only 30% of US garbage each year. A large percentage of municipal solid waste is recyclable. What is not recyclable makes material for refuse derived fuels.
Manufacturing & Recycling
Manufacturing accounts for over 11% of total of the United States GDP, which is over $2 trillion. About 7%, or 11 million working comprise this section of the economy. The largest sectors are chemical, electronic products, food and beverage, and tobacco. Recycling rates is the US have increased over the past decades. Recycling rates have stabilized around 30% per year. Wolf MHS provides unique solutions for metal and aluminum cans as well as glass bottles.
Pulp & Paper
Pulp and Paper accounts for 40% of all industrial wood traded each year. Many consumer products use paper in some way. One of the largest uses for paper is packaging and tissue. Increase in demand for packaging continues to rise with more online shopping. paper production involves chemical, mechanical, and recycling processes. A common byproduct of paper product is sludge. Many facilities can reuse sludge to power their mills.
Most traditional fuel sources for power generation need bulk material handling. Coal and biomass make up the majority of the fuel used. Renewable natural gas is growing in the United States. Common renewable sources include, refuse and landfills, wastewater, and other organic materials. Demand for electricity is increasing with population growth and electrification of transportation. Wind and solar can provide intermittent power but have many limitations. To power the growing economy, a baseload of coal and biomass power are necessary.
Agriculture is the foundation of life and societies. Cultivation of soils, and raising livestock provides food, clothing, and fuel. Agriculture is the world’s largest industry. Crop land and pasture for livestock cover 50% of the earth’s habitable land. Innovation in agriculture allows for more efficient productivity.
Mining is present in all US states and generates over $100 billion per year. The US contains over 1,300 mines. Coal, metals and industrial minerals make up the majority of mining production. Mining is essential for almost every aspect of our daily lives and our economy. Key industries include utilities, glass, cement, and electronics.
Fertilizer & Chemical
Fertilizers and chemicals can be in several forms such as dry granular, liquid, or powder. Common chemicals used in agriculture are nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. The increased use of fertilizers allow agriculture to keep up with the growing demand for food and fuel. Each type of fertilizer has unique characteristics requiring specific material handling considerations.