Monday, June 09, 2008

The Brits to burn their trash!

We are suffering from the garbage crisis (trash are everywhere) and yet, we don’t seem to know how to deal with it effectively. Why not recycle it by burning the stuff to generate power? I’m not talking about the old clunky incinerators here but gasification. Britain has recently decided it’s the way to go to deal with its own garbage crisis. Says the Time Online Report:

“Gasification mixes waste with small amounts of oxygen, then heats it at a high temperature — around 1,830 degrees Fahrenheit — in an air-tight chamber. The resulting syngas — a cocktail of light gases, including methane and natural gas — is burned, boiling water into steam to run a turbine. Gasification is an established technique, already used with fossil fuels, particularly coal. Applying it to rubbish opens a new and abundant fuel source. "As a waste-disposal method, it seems to make a lot of sense," says Jonathan R. Gibbins, an energy expert at London's Imperial College.”

Why don’t we consider this type of technology here? The most environmentally conscious countries like Norway and Germany have been using this type of technology. Says the Report:

“Energos — which operates five gasification plants in Norway and one in Germany — says that on balance, the plant will shrink the island's carbon footprint. It will emit the about the same amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as does decay from the landfill. "The benefit is, we're producing electricity" from a renewable source, Grimshaw says. Because those 2,000 homes won't be getting power from a fossil fuel plant, Energos estimates that will cut carbon emissions by 2,000 tons.”

Technologies like these are probably expensive. But who says that caring for the environment is cheap?

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