28 April 2008

Waste to Energy in Iraq

The oil rich countries of the Persian Gulf understand the need to diversify their energy approaches. High oil and gas costs affect their own domestic use of fuel, and push them toward nuclear electricity and renewable energies like solar. Although these desert countries are not necessarily richly endowed with biomass potential, wherever there are cities there is municipal waste and garbage. Current waste to energy approaches in Iraq are being spearheaded by the US military and its contractors. Once the Iraqi government sees how well the process works, perhaps they will want to use it to avoid the fate of Egypt's cities.
Various wastes including food slop, plastic, paper and styrofoam are fed into TGER and converted by the hybrid systems using thermochemical and bio-catalytic technologies into either synthetic gas (similar to low-grade propane) or hydrous ethanol, respectively. The ethanol combined with the synthetic gas can be used to power a 60kw generator, however, there are additional options for utilizing the energy. TGER is capable of converting the non-biological materials into fuel pellets, and the biological waste into ethanol that can be stored and burned later. Power from the TGER could be stored in batteries or the technology itself could be literally plugged into the local power grid, a large electrical network that powers basic appliances on demand.
TGER was created through a partnership with Defense Life Sciences, LLC, the visionary and system Lead for TGER, its academic partner Purdue University and the ECBC. Motivated by a study conducted in 2001 by the National Research Council, which identified opportunities in power and energy, ECBC's Scientific Advisor for Biotechnology, Dr. James J. Valdes, responded by writing a Small business Technology Transfer Research Program (STTR) topic on tactical energy. _Source
All of the cities of the world produce abundant waste and garbage. The smarter cities such as Vancouver BC, and Austin TX, are beginning to tap into that waste stream to supply energy for city operations. In fact, for many areas of North America landfills are starting to be seen as the new oil fields.

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