The energy consumption electricity grows exponentially, as does production waste. Humanity needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and some roads involve the use of waste. There are numerous strategies for transform waste into energy.
Transforming waste into energy. The waste-to-energy plants
The method less appreciated by Italian citizens is the transformation of the calorific value of waste through the combustion in special ovens. The process has results cheap and very interesting energetics, moreover, unlike what one might believe, the combustion of solid organic waste does not present emissions additional CO2 and methane.
The problem of waste-to-energy plants arises when combustion involves a large amount of plastic materials, which, if incinerated, give rise to chlorine emissions e dioxin. With i waste-to-energy plants there is a risk of introducing cadmium and mercury into the atmosphere, heavy and highly harmful metals. Beyond the problems environmental, problems of an economic nature arise with waste-to-energy plants: given the nature of the fuel (waste), incinerators must be constantly maintained or even replaced.
How does a waste-to-energy plant work?
Non-recyclable municipal solid waste is selected and placed in special ovens. Their combustion produces heat that will heat the water contained in a boiler. The water will turn into high pressure steam that it will produce electric energy. For each MW of electricity produced, a waste-to-energy plant it needs about 16,000 tons. Considering that i them-to-energy plants they have a capacity of 15 MW, in one year, just one waste-to-energy plant, he's able to "dispose of"About 240,000 tons of waste.
Transforming waste into energy. Biomass plants
The process can be compared to that of waste-to-energy plants. Here the waste that makes up the "fuel" is forest and agricultural residues, food waste and organic waste of various kinds, therefore the CO2 emissions produced are almost identical to those generated by the treatment of waste in landfills.
Other strategies exploited for transform waste into energy provide for processes of gasification with production of biogas. Waste represents an excellent frontier for clean energies, also in Italy team of researchers are moving in this direction, an example is the patent of a device that produces energy through fermentation of waste.
Not only thermal energy and electricity, come on waste it is possible to produce fuels. This is what happens with the pyrolysis of plastic and the production of an aviation fuel.