Non-recycled plastics (NRPs), which make up 12.4 percent of municipal solid waste (MSW), have high value as a feedstock for conversion to energy or fuel because of their potentially significant heating value. (Source: Gershman, Brickner & Bratton/US EPA)
Ann, this was really interesting. The other product of the process, shown in the last slide, is ash. Did your sources say anything about it, such as what volume / weight percentage is it compared to the original feedstock, or if the ash has a use, its toxicity?
I agree, Rob, and Ann has been on top of this. I really like to see the efforts around re-use of material, especially plastic, that would otherwise just become landfill or ocean pollution. If this material was created and used then it makes sense that it can be deconstructed and reused. Thanks for keeping a close eye on these efforts.
Thanks Elizabeth and Rob. This is an area that interests me a lot, because it hits so many different targets: getting non-recycled plastic out of the environment, using waste creatively, re-using some already produced and very expensively-produced energy sources, and making non-petroleum-derived fuel.
TJ searching the PDF of the report on "ash" produced these statements: "The combustion process and cleaning of the gases produce fly and bottom ash, further processed to remove metals for recycling. The ash can be used as alternative daily cover at landfills or as construction aggregate." There's also some further discussion of how ash is created and handled within different up-/down-cross-draft gasification systems.
Elizabeth, I am concerned about the tons of plastic and other wastes being discharged at sea instead of used for energy. I wonder if a gasification plant could be constructed aboard cruise ships, providing fuel energy as well as reducing the overboard waste.
This seems like a very good solution to the problem of plastic but any idea about what is approximate cost of setting up a gasification system and the running cost? It can be a key factor in determining the feasibility of this process?
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
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