The ever-increasing stock waste is enabling the researchers to use it as a potential source of energy.

FREMONT, CA: With increased pressure on traditional sources of energy, researchers are focusing on alternative means to obtain energy. The huge growth in the quantum and diversity of waste products and their negative environmental influence has led the researchers to develop scientific methods for disposal as well as extracting value out of the wastes. According to Energy Saving Trust, there are a number of ways through which energy can be generated from wastes. Here is an insight into the various means of energy generation using waste material.  

Combustion

The heat produced by burning waste can be used as a source of energy and can even be used to fuel the production of other forms of energy. For instance, the heat produced by burning wastes can drive turbines to generate electricity. Any means to generate energy from waste is evaluated by measuring the ‘net calorific value’ of the waste undergoing the process. When it comes to incineration of waste, paper, textiles, and plastics are best suited to the combustion method of producing energy from waste.

Gasification

Gasification focuses on the production of gas from waste. The everyday garbage comprising of bottles, clothing, furniture, product packaging, appliances, and others does not translate into an effective fuel when it comes to chemical conversion at high temperatures. However, the above-mentioned materials can be combined with oxygen or steam to generate synthesized gas or ‘syngas.’ Syngas can then be used to make various useful products such as fertilizers, transport fuels, or even electricity.

Pyrolysis

Pyrolysis involves decomposition of various types of solid wastes at high temperatures. However, the decomposition of wastes in the case of pyrolysis is done without oxygen or in an environment of inert gases. Thus, the process requires lower temperatures and produces low emissions of various air pollutants that are associated with combustion.

With further increase in pressure on conventional sources of energy, energy generation from waste will see a sharp rise.

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