A study demonstrated that solid recovered fuel created from nonrecycled plastics and other waste can power energy-intensive commercial and industrial operations. (Source: Balcones Resources/University of Texas at Austin)
The carbon emission savings are small, but don't miss the real point. From what I understand, isn't the real goal of using these unrecyclable materials to keep it out of landfills, and therefore reducing the need for so many landfills? We do get complacent in this country about landfills, because we do a good job of hiding them. Problem is that we are running out of places to hide them, and nobody wants a landfill in their back yard. A good point was made that in Europe, they are more concious of the issue of landfills, because they don't have as many places to hide them, and the problem is more in the public eye. It seems like a win-win-win situation. How could you argue with a system that reduces the number of mountains that we have to blow the top off of, reduces the landfill waste, reduces large amounts of SO2 (less scrubbing necessary), and saves a little of Carbon emissions as a bonus. Without some data, it seems moot to argue about the 700,000 homes/year, so it might be 500,000 or 800,000 who really cares, let's not miss the point, which is not carbon sequestering.
NIST's new five-year strategic plan for its Material Measurement Laboratory lists additive manufacturing materials development as one of the main areas it will support by developing measurements, data, techniques, and models.
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