Gasifying Municipal Waste

Gasifying municipal waste

I spent much of the day with a local band council discussing the possibility of diverting municipal waste into a two chamber gasifier to be built on reserve lands. We posted on this type of waste burner last year when I first was introduced to the method. Essentially the waste is allowed to reach temperatures just under 600 degrees in a closed oven. The temperature is controlled by the access to air. The organics decompose into various gases and any remaining carbon eventually burns off. The production gasses are then sent out to a second chamber were more air in injected to achieve a complete burn. The temperature climbs to 2000 degrees.

Once finished, perhaps 20 hours later, fine ash is removed as well as all non organics such as metal and glass and shipped to a refinery. Most of the issues associated with classic incineration are avoided. It is a slower process, but one that eliminates or at least almost eliminates the environmental issues very successfully.

The high grade exhaust gases can be sent into a steam boiler to help drive a generator. The remaining waste heat could then be diverted into a greenhouse operation.

The benefits to the band are several, the most important been the jobs created running the facility and the jobs created operating the greenhouse. These are not inconsiderable for even a small greenhouse.

Enough power is generated to supply the community besides.

We can envisage the possibility of diverting the local supply of municipal waste to possibly several local reserves to minimize the traffic using this system. This can eliminate the need for land fills and the reserves are in position to resolve the NIMBY syndrome while positioning to acquire a major stake in the industry.

Global heat Engine

I have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of heat transfer around the globe is totally due to the atmosphere. The remaining heat moved about through the ocean is simply operating at too slow a velocity to be anything more than a footnote.

When it came time to put things back in balance, the Northern Hemisphere’s surplus heat was swiftly blown into the Arctic and absorbed by the sea ice in a season. This is no different than the slow build up of water heat in the tropics over the years been then discharged by a rash of hurricanes. Both events are trend collapses and very predictable and have both been immediately followed by sharply lower temperature or activity taking years to recover from.

We have identified to heat transport mechanisms operating globally. The best known is cyclonic heat transport from the tropics into the higher latitudes. It is busy every year. The lesser known and perhaps only recently properly observed boreal winds are the means of shifting excess heat in the temperate zone into the Arctic as necessary. The peaks and valleys are historically decadal events. This time, it happened after many years of sea ice decline and was therefore very pronounced.

Hopefully, this apparent model will hold up for the next few years. I still prefer a warmer Arctic and hate to see the Northwest Passage open only once in 500 years.

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