Biomass Cogeneration Systems

Biomass fuels are typically used most efficiently and beneficially when generating both power and heat through biomass cogeneration systems (also known as combined heat and power or CHP system). Biomass conversion technologies transform a variety of wastes into heat, electricity and biofuels by employing a host of strategies. Conversion routes are generally thermochemical or biochemical, but may also include chemical and physical.

The simplest way is to burn the biomass in a furnace, exploiting the heat generated to produce steam in a boiler, which is then used to drive a steam turbine. Advanced biomass conversion technologies include biomass integrated gasification combined cycle (BIGCC) systems, cofiring (with coal or gas), pyrolysis and second generation biofuels.

Biomass Cogeneration Systems

A typical biomass cogeneration (or biomass cogen) system provides:

  • Distributed generation of electrical and/or mechanical power.
  • Waste-heat recovery for heating, cooling, or process applications.
  • Seamless system integration for a variety of technologies, thermal applications, and fuel types into existing building infrastructure.

Biomass cogeneration systems consist of a number of individual components—prime mover (heat engine), generator, heat recovery, and electrical interconnection—configured into an integrated whole. The type of equipment that drives the overall system (i.e., the prime mover) typically identifies the CHP unit.

Prime Movers

Prime movers for biomass cogeneration units include reciprocating engines, combustion or gas turbines, steam turbines, microturbines, and fuel cells. These prime movers are capable of burning a variety of fuels, including natural gas, coal, oil, and alternative fuels to produce shaft power or mechanical energy.

Key Components

A biomass-fueled cogeneration facility is an integrated power system comprised of three major components:

  • Biomass receiving and feedstock preparation.
  • Energy conversion – Conversion of the biomass into steam for direct combustion systems or into biogas for the gasification systems.
  • Power and heat production – Conversion of the steam or syngas or biogas into electric power and process steam or hot water

Feedstock for Biomass Cogeneration Plants

The lowest cost forms of biomass for cogeneration plants are residues. Residues are the organic byproducts of food, fiber, and forest production, such as sawdust, rice husks, wheat straw, corn stalks, and sugarcane bagasse. Forest residues and wood wastes represent a large potential resource for energy production and include forest residues, forest thinnings, and primary mill residues.

combined-heat-and-power

Energy crops are perennial grasses and trees grown through traditional agricultural practices that are produced primarily to be used as feedstocks for energy generation, e.g. hybrid poplars, hybrid willows, and switchgrass. Animal manure can be digested anaerobically to produce biogas in large agricultural farms and dairies.

To turn a biomass resource into productive heat and/or electricity requires a number of steps and considerations, most notably evaluating the availability of suitable biomass resources; determining the economics of collection, storage, and transportation; and evaluating available technology options for converting biomass into useful heat or electricity.

The Function of Central Heating Radiators

Regular furnace tune-ups and maintenance just before the cold weather will help maintain your furnace and your HVAC system at top condition during the winter months. There are some common tips you can follow that will help ensure your furnace runs at peak efficiency through the long cold winter months:

heating-radiator

Help ensure your furnace runs

It is suggested that all of your HVAC equipment be cleaned and maintained before winter arrives. Beginning in early fall, have all of your cooling and heating equipment checked over thoroughly. Have a professional come out and check the furnace’s blower and ducts as well. In addition to ensuring that these are running smoothly, this will also help to prevent an increase in your home’s utility bills. If there is a problem in any of these components, you’ll need to replace them before winter fully sets in.

Finally, once your furnace has been turned back on, you’ll need to check your heat exchanger and duct for leaks. If the duct is leaking, then you may need to call a professional to take care of the leak or replace it with new ductwork. If your heater is not properly vented, then there’s a good chance that mold is growing behind the burner or behind the ductwork. You may actually be causing a foul smell from your furnace. Instead of calling a furnace service technician to come out and make you a furnace filter replacement, why not do it yourself?

First, get a flashlight and inspect your furnace’s ducts for blockages or clogs. A regular flashlight with disinfectant should work just fine. Take note of any spots that seem unusual where the air flows through. The spot could be a filter or the blower, depending on which system the furnace uses. If you see any areas with a thick black stain or smell, that’s a good indicator to clean or change the filter.

Getting furnace repairs

Once the furnace is checked and cleaned, you should conduct furnace service at least once a year. If you think you can’t do it yourself, call a reputable company in your area to get the job done. The costs for getting furnace repairs will vary depending on the make and model of your furnace and even the age of it. If you have an older model, you will probably spend more money than if you have a newer one. There are different ways to save on furnace service costs, so make sure to ask a professional about any suggestions you might have.

Remember that the experts say it is important to have regular maintenance on your furnace. However, this is not something you should take for granted. It is important to remember that the malfunctioning of your furnace could be due to the fact that there is a dirty duct where the oil or air gap gets filled up and causes the furnace to work hard to push out the air. In this case, hiring the services of a skilled and experienced furnace repairman in Calgary is essential so you don’t have to worry too much about the furnace’s condition.

If the problem with the burner is due to the presence of mold and mildew on the exterior portion of the heat exchanger, you can safely clean it yourself using a disinfectant spray made of chlorine and water. The spray must be used carefully so as not to damage the internal components of the heat exchanger and the burner. You should wear protective gloves so that you don’t spray the chemicals directly into the eyes. You can spray the area in a circular motion to avoid leaving streaks. This may also help in keeping the lining of the heat exchanger clear and free from dust, which is a common cause of friction.

Cleaning of heat exchangers by furnace service technicians is often recommended by manufacturers as an additional measure to prevent loss of refrigerant gas and to keep temperatures constant. A clean line allows for easier access when maintenance is necessary and prevents potential damage to the heating system itself. The cleaning process can take place during the summer, at night, or on days when there is little else that should be done.

Central heating radiators are available in a wide variety of styles to match any decor and to meet any budget. Whether a radiator is new or old, its function should be the first thing to be considered before buying. The more that the space heated by the radiator is heated by electricity, the more efficient the unit will be. Radiators will also heat the entire room, which could be a major plus depending on your budget.

The Role of Biofuel in Low-Carbon Transport

Biofuels offer a solution to climate change that shouldn’t go ignored. In fact, the amount of biofuel used in low-carbon transport has to increase by a factor of seven in order to prevent climate catastrophe, a recent report on 1.5C warming by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states. The report also places biofuels in the same league of importance as electric vehicles when it comes to replacing unsustainable fossil fuels by 2050.

Biofuels are increasingly being used to power vehicles around the world

Electric cars: benefits and limitations

A typical gas-powered car emits roughly one pound of carbon dioxide per mile traveled. On the other hand, electric cars release zero tailpipe emissions. However, light-duty passenger vehicles represent only 50% of the energy demand in the transportation sector worldwide.

Heavy road vehicles and air, sea, and rail transport make up the rest — electrification of this remaining 50% would be an expensive task. Additionally, demand for transport is expected to increase in the future. Vehicles will need to use even less energy by 2050 to ensure the global transport sector’s total energy demand rises no higher than current levels (100 exajoules).

Biofuel: a necessary solution

Several sustainable, carbon-neutral synthetic fuels are currently in developmental and demonstration stages. For example, synfuels can be produced from carbon dioxide and water via low-carbon electricity. However, this also requires cheap and low-carbon power systems (similar to the ones already running in Quebec and Iceland).

Biodiesel

In 2013, Audi was the first automaker to establish an electrofuel plant — it cost €20M and produces 3.2 MW of synthetic methane from 6 MW of electricity. Additionally, synthetic biofuels can be made from woody residues and crop wastes, which has a lighter environmental footprint than biofuels made from agricultural crops.

Examples of eco-friendly cars

While biofuels continue to be developed, there are plenty of electric cars on the market right now — all of which can help us reduce our individual carbon footprints. For example, the Hyundai Kona Electric is an impressive electric car. This vehicle offers sleek exterior styling, plenty of modern tech features, and has an impressive range of 258 miles in between charges. The price starts at $36,950. Alternatively, the Nissan LEAF is another eco-friendly model priced from $29,990. It’s powered by an 80kW electric motor and runs for 100 miles per charge.

Electric cars and synthetic biofuels are both valuable technological changes. Focusing on developing both of these sustainable options should take utmost priority in the fight against climate change.

Biogas-to-Biomethane Conversion Technologies

Raw biogas contains approximately 30-45% of CO2, and some H2S and other compounds that have to be removed prior to utilization as natural gas, CNG or LNG replacement. Removing these components can be performed by several biogas upgrading techniques. Each process has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the biogas origin, composition and geographical orientation of the plant. The biogas-to-biomethane conversion technologies taken into account are pressurized water scrubbing (PWS), catalytic absorption/amine wash (CA), pressure swing absorption (PSA), highly selective membrane separation (MS) and cryogenic liquefaction (CL) which are the most common used biogas cleanup techniques.

biogas-biomethane

The Table below shows a comparison of performance for these techniques at 8 bar (grid) injection.

Table:  Comparison of performance for various upgrading techniques (result at 8 bar) (Robert Lems, 2010) , (Lems R., 2012)

  PWS CA PSA MS CL Unit
Produced gas quality*2 98 99 97-99 99 99.5 CH4%
Methane slip 1 0.1-0.2 1-3 0.3-0.5 0.5 %
Electrical use 0.23-0.25 0.15-0.18 0.25 0.21-0.24 0.35 kWh/Nm3 feed
Thermal energy use 0,82-1.3 kWth/Nm3 prod.
Reliability / up time 96 94 94 98 94 %
Turn down ratio 50-100 50-100 85-100 0-100 75-100 %
CAPEX Medium Medium Medium Low High  
Operation cost Low Medium Medium Low High  
Foot print Large Large Medium Small Large  
Maintenance needed Medium Medium+ Medium+ Low High  
Ease of operation Medium Medium+ Medium Easy Complex  
Consumables &

waste streams

AC*3/Water AC*3/amines AC*3/ absorbents AC*3/None AC*3/None  
References Many Many Medium Medium Very few  

*2 If no oxygen of nitrogen is present in the raw biogas

*3 Activated carbon (AC) consumption is depending on the presence of certain pollutants (trace components) within the raw biogas.

From the above Table, it can be concluded that the differences between technologies with respect to performance seem to be relatively small. However, some “soft factors” can have a significant impact on technology selection. For example, water scrubber technology is a broadly applied technology. The requirement for clean process water, to make up for discharge and condensation, could be a challenging constraint for remote locations.

Moreover, PWS systems are prone to biological contamination (resulting in clogged packing media and foaming), especially when operated at elevated temperatures. Without additional preventative measures this will result in an increase of operational issues and downtime.

Amine scrubbers are a good choice when surplus heat is available for the regeneration of the washing liquid. The transport and discharge of this washing liquid could however be a burden, as well as the added complexity of operation. With respect to cryogenic Liquefaction (CL) one may conclude that, this technology has a questionable track-record, is highly complex, hard to operate, and should therefore not be selected for small-medium scale applications.

Both PSA and MS provide a “dry” system, both technologies operate without the requirement for a solvent/washing liquid, which significantly simplifies operation and maintenance. Distinctive factor between these technologies is that the membrane based system operates in a continuous mode, while the PSA technology is based on columns filled with absorption materials which operate in a rotating/non-continuous mode.

Moreover, the membrane based system has a more favourable methane slip, energy consumption and turndown ratio. The biggest advantage over PSA however, is that membrane systems do not require any transport of absorbents, its ease of operation and superior up-time.

Main disadvantage of membrane systems are that they are sensitive to pollution by organic compounds, which can decrease efficiency. However, by applying a proper pre-treatment (generally based on activated carbon and condensation) in which these compounds are eliminated, this disadvantage can be relatively easy nullified.

Based on membrane technology, DMT Environmental Technology, developed the Carborex ®MS. A cost-effective plug and play, containerized (and therefore), easy to build in remote locations) biogas upgrading system. The Carborex ®MS membrane system has relatively little mechanical moving components (compared to other upgrading technologies) and therefore, ensures stability of biomethane production, and consequently, the viability of the biogas plant operation.

Moreover, its design for ease of operation and robustness makes this technological platform perfectly suitable for operation at locations with limited experience and expertise on handling of biogas plants.

Impression of a membrane system; Carborex ®MS – by courtesy of DMT

Impression of a membrane system; Carborex ®MS – by courtesy of DMT

Conclusions

Capture of biogas through application of closed ponds or AD’s is not only a necessity for mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, it is also a method of optimizing liquid waste treatment and methane recovery. Billions of cubic meters of biomethane can be produced on a yearly basis, facilitating a significant reduction of fossil fuel dependency.

Moreover, upgrading of raw biogas-to-biomethane (grid, CNG or LNG quality) provides additional utilization routes that have the extra advantage to be independent of existing infrastructure. To sum up, membrane based technology is the best way forward due to its ease of operation, robustness and the high quality of the end-products.

References

  • Lems R., D. E. (2012). Next generation biogas upgrading using high selective gas separation membranes. 17th European Biosolids Organic Resources Conference. Leeds: Aqua Enviro Technology .
  • Robert Lems, E. D. (2010). Making pressurized water scrubbing the ultimate biogas upgrading technology with the DMT TS-PWS® system. Energy from Biomass and Waste UK . London: EBW-UK .

Co-Authors: H. Dekker and E.H.M. Dirkse (DMT Environmental Technology)

Note: This is the final article in the special series on ‘Sustainable Utilization of POME-based Biomethane’ by Langerak et al of DMT Environmental Technology (Holland). The first two articles can be viewed at these links

http://www.bioenergyconsult.com/biomethane-utilization/

http://www.bioenergyconsult.com/pome-biogas/

Why Businesses Need to Reduce Their Carbon Output?

According to a recent Nielsen study, 81 percent of consumers feel strongly that businesses should be taking measures to reduce their impact on the environment. This passion is shared across generations, and it’s safe to say that businesses that have little regard for their corporate social responsibility are significantly less desirable to consumers.

Despite this, a 2018 survey by Carbon Credentials found that only 10 percent of UK businesses had strategies in place to cut carbon emissions. Of those that did, none had a set science-based target in their carbon reduction plan. We know that climate change will devastate the economy and drastically increase the cost of doing business. That’s not even mentioning how it will impact resource scarcity and the global population as a whole.

At the same time, businesses that take the initiative to reduce their carbon footprint can look forward to many more immediate benefits. Here’s why your business needs to reduce its carbon output and what you can do to highlight climate action in the sustainability reports.

Cost Savings

Naturally, your expenses go down with your resource usage. From using more efficient equipment to streamlining your transportation operations to recycling office supplies, there are countless measures every business can take to make this happen. Within the first month, you’ll have more money to allocate towards growth – instead of utility bills.

Regulatory and Tax Compliance

Year-on-year, laws are passed to penalise businesses that don’t make an effort to reduce their impact on the environment and reward those that do. In the UK, this includes the Climate Change Levy, the EU Emissions Trading System and capital allowances on energy-efficient equipment, among other schemes.

Public Image

A 2015 Nielsen study of 30,000 consumers found that 66 percent of them would pay more for sustainably manufactured products. Among millennials, that portion increases to 77 percent. Gen Z is known to be even more conscious in this regard. The more your business cares, the more your customers will care about your business.

Employee Morale

In a similar light, going green fosters positive feelings from your employees as well. This has many benefits. For one, your staff will be more productive and motivated to achieve if they know they’re working for a good cause. Additionally, turnover will be reduced as employees will be less compelled to leave a work community that cares.

The Bigger Picture

This should go without saying, but reducing your company’s environmental impact has lasting benefits for your community and the economy as a whole. The likelihood of your long-term success and prosperity is far greater if the environment is in better shape.

What You Can Do

The list of measures your business can take to become more environmentally conscious is quite frankly endless. Get started by taking a look at this post on Utility Bidder, an energy supplier comparison website, about some simple ways that businesses can reduce their carbon output. The internet serves as a wealth of information on this topic.

Implementing greener practises is extremely beneficial to your business and more often than not, it is a dead-simple process. Getting started today will help you reap the benefits and reach your business goals sooner.

4 Simple Furnace Repair Tips

Experienced HVAC repair technicians perform furnace repair and maintenance services. They have years of experience repairing high-end furnaces, including both wood-and hybrid models. Whether you’re having trouble with your boiler or other heating device, it’s best to contact an experienced technician. They will be able to diagnose the issue, offer the most effective solution, and fix your furnace in less time than it would take you to replace it. With trained furnace repair professionals by your side, you can feel confident that they will do their best to make your heating unit run as efficiently as possible.

furnace-repair-professionals

There are several things to look out for when trying to repair your heating system. Here are the simple tips for furnace repair:

1. Proper Certifications

One of the first steps is making sure the technician has the proper certifications. In order to qualify, he must fulfill HVAC National Board Certified Qualifying Board (HVAC NSB) qualifications. As part of being certified, he must also complete a comprehensive heat installation training program and pass the state exam. When checking out prospective technicians, make sure to ask what certifications they hold and how long they’ve been doing this type of work.

2. The Right Equipment

Next, it’s important to check out the technician’s equipment. Since many HVAC services perform work using heaters, it’s important to find out what kind of equipment they’re using. Ask to see their gas tank to see if the gas is topped off. If so, it’s a good idea to wait a few hours while the technician tops off the gas. Leaving the gas in for too long can cause serious problems like leaks and possibly explosions. If you notice signs of wear or damage on the heating equipment, contact the gas company immediately.

If the furnace repair is running but not producing enough heat, there are several steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue. First, turn the power to the furnace on and check to make sure it’s actually functioning. If it’s not, then the next step is to open the furnace door safety switch. This is located directly above the furnace itself. You’ll need to unscrew the two screws that are holding it in place and pull the safety switch straight down. It’s important to note that this step doesn’t require any tools and will allow you to safely open the door.

3. Check the Filters

Next, if you find that the furnace filters are clogged, these are the repairs you’ll need to do. Remove the filter from the furnace and wipe it clean with a damp cloth. If it appears to be damaged or dirty, you may need to purchase new filters. If not, simply replace the ones you’ve removed and wipe the rest of them clean with another cloth.

4. Cool off the Blower

For the last step in furnace blower repairs, you’ll need to remove the blower and place it in an open space to allow it to cool off completely. This step is particularly important if your heating system hasn’t been running for a while and you’re afraid of overheating it again. Once the blower has cooled down completely, it can be removed from the system. Again, you’ll need to perform all of these steps one at a time in order to ensure you don’t skip any of the necessary parts.

5. Tackling Gas Leaks

One more furnace repair tip involves cleaning and repairing gas leaks and defective heat exchangers. These are especially common in older heat and air-conditioning equipment, often resulting from poorly maintained duct work and outdated insulation. Blocked ducts allow cold air to freely enter the furnace room, which then warms up the interior of the room. Warm air can create a drafty environment inside the house, causing expensive energy bills to go through the roof.

Blocked ducts are also known to cause hot spots, especially in areas where there’s not enough duct work in the house. These hot spots will typically show up as small bluish-green stains in ceilings, walls, doors, and windows.

To fix hot spots and prevent drafty drafts, you can perform a filter change on your furnaces. It’s important to note that filters should only be changed with a qualified technician, as filters can be dangerous if changed by an untrained consumer. Filters should be replaced every three to six months, depending on the size of the filter, but they should always be replaced before they become blocked with dust or grime. Furnace repair professionals can perform the proper filter change for your furnaces and can guarantee that the process is done right.

What Type Of Bath Should You Choose For Your Bathroom?

Bathrooms are one of the most used yet the least appreciated rooms in our homes. Investing in your bathroom can be very confusing. You may not know where to start, you may not know how much you need to spend.  For a quality bathroom, you will have to pay a higher price but sinking so much money for the loo makes you wonder, is it worth investing? After all, the bathroom needs to be functional, not fanciful. And you would rather spend your money on something that you can get excited about but you don’t have to remodel your bathroom. You can start slow and invest in a new bath.

A new bath will not only give your bathroom a fresh new look but it will also make your bathing ritual more relaxing and soothing. Bath can change the overall look of your bathroom so you need to carefully choose the style, shape, and material of the bath. However, a small bathroom can limit your options. And if you have a large space, you can take your pick from a wide range of options.

bathroom-shower

Now, let’s talk about the functionality of the bath. Many people like to have jets for a spa-like feel while other people prefer the usual claw foot bath to suit their traditional style. One of the main considerations is the functionality of the bath. A bath can be made of acrylic or steel. While acrylic baths are more economical, steel baths are more expensive to buy. Steel baths have heat retaining properties that people living in colder climates prefer. The kind of bath you buy depends on how you like your bath and what you want from it.

Different Types Of Baths

1. Single Ended Baths

Single-ended baths have the drainage and overflow position located at one corner rather than in the middle of the bath. One side of the single-ended bath a slope, whereas the other side is steep and has waste holes, it is ideally suited for showering as you can get close to the wall.

2. Double-Ended Baths

Double-ended baths have their wastes and taps located in the center, allowing you to bathe on either side. They are more symmetrical and can fit beautifully into the aesthetic of your bathroom. It is ideal for use by two people or it can be used by just one person who loves extra space and enjoys a long soak in the bath alone.

3. Shower Baths

Shower baths are ideal for small bathrooms. They are great for a relaxing soak in the tub as well as a quick shower. Some shower baths come with an integrated shelf, it saves water and you can also keep your bathing essentials on it.

If you don’t know where to buy the best baths, let us help you out. You can find some classy baths at Victoria Plumbing. All you have to do is check their website, place your order and wait for it to arrive.

Which Bath Is Right For You?

You should first measure your bathroom and figure out how much wall space you have to install a bath, and don’t forget the space you would need around the bath for other fittings. Choose a bath you can easily accommodate, you don’t want your bathroom to look crowded ad cramped.

How Solar Roofs Can Minimize The Urban Heat Island Effect?

As cities grow, open spaces, trees and other greenery, and other naturally occurring surfaces diminish, replaced by concrete and asphalt surfaces. When this happens, the heat absorbed by these surfaces has nowhere to go, and so is radiated and reflected into the immediate surrounding areas. This creates an urban heat island.

This leads to an increase in heat in the immediately surrounding areas, making temperatures a few degrees hotter than the actual weather. This causes discomfort to residents of the area and can also incur damage in the form of heat-damaged structures.

There is also a human cost associated with urban heat islands. Heat-related medical emergencies such as heat stroke become more prevalent in such areas as the heat can go up to dangerous levels. The EPA has taken stock of this phenomenon and is now advising cities to take steps to mitigate it. One such way is the use of solar roofs as a means of making cities cooler and more comfortable to live in.

How does solar minimize this effect?

Cool Roof Strategy

A cool roof strategy is a one that seeks to use heat absorbing and/or dissipating roofing materials and technologies. Typical roofs use materials that either reflect or absorb and radiate back heat thus significantly reducing the urban heat island effect. Conversely, cool roofs, like solar, can help absorb sun rays and convert them into beneficial energy.

Solar excels at this because of the way the cells are designed and organized to absorb the maximum amount of sunlight. Solar roofs are also designed to trap this heat rather than radiate it back into the environment, something that can help reduce the amount of secondary heat being released into the environment.

Reduced Construction

When solar roofs are implemented, there is usually a reduced need to construct structures that support the traditional electric grid. Such a scenario can play out in several ways. If a new estate is being built with nothing but solar power, there is a possibility that some open spaces can be retained as fallow ground in places where utility implements would have been installed.

While the gains at this level would be marginal, implementation of this strategy across several thousand estates can help move the needle in reducing the urban heat island effect.

Combination Approach

This approach offers the greatest promise of reducing heat in urban settings. By combining the cool roof strategy with other strategies like green roofing, planting more trees and vegetation, cool paving and general smart city growth, a lot of ground can be covered.

Planting more trees and vegetation will go a long way in reducing heat in urban settings.

All these strategies have one thing in common in that they all absorb and dissipate heat in an efficient and sustainable manner. The EPA recommends these measures, among others, to cities grappling with the urban heat island effect or anticipating it as open spaces and greenery levels go down.

Many cities have a high incentive to deal with this issue because of its effect on residents and visitors to the area. If street-level temperatures are unbearable, it is possible that tourists and potential new residents may shy away from the area in favor of other cooler cities.

Electrical Waste Collection Strategies in the UK

When disposing of small electrical items from the home, most householders only have the option of visiting their local recycling facility to drop them off. However, in order to meet recycling targets, local authorities in the UK are now considering kerbside (or curbside) collections of small domestic appliances. This is expected to help prevent small electrical items being placed into the general waste/refuse containers from households.

electrical-waste-uk

This waste stream has become a priority as figures show that the average amount of WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) recycled per person is only 1.3kg. The original WEEE directive targeted 4kg per person, as a recycling rate, so there is a considerable shortfall. It is important that householders find it easy to recycle their items in order to increase the rates.

Initial trials have taken place to assess the viability of these kerbside collections and the following conclusions were made:

  • On collections, small electrical items were often damaged, so the reuse of items was less likely.
  • Levels of recycling were encouraging at 140 grams per household.
  • The monetary value of the separated materials of the small items showed that a positive net value could be achieved.

Whilst the potential reuse of small electrical items was reduced it was a positive that local authorities could generate revenues from the collections. Quarterly or bi-annual collection frequencies would ensure volumes of equipment on the collections were maximised. Due to the success of the trials, the UK is likely to see more and more local authorities adopt some form of collection schedule for small electrical waste items.

An old refrigerator uses almost four times the electricity of a new one

Larger electrical items such as washing machines and fridge freezers pose a different collection issue. Some local authorities offer a collection service for bulky electrical items, however due to their size, weight and manpower requirements there is often a charge. As with smaller electrical items, you can deliver these to the local recycling facility, but you may not be able to fit these into your own vehicle. It is best to check with the local recycling facility on the options available and possibly even if they allow large, commercial sized vehicles onto site.

The collection of electrical wastes from households in the UK will ultimately increase the amount of electrical waste being recycled in the UK. It will also further promote the recycling of such items instead of placing them into general waste containers. Going forward it is hoped that more local authorities will adopt a collection schedule even if only bi-annually from their local householders.

Guide to Effective Waste Management

The best way of dealing with waste, both economically and environmentally, is to avoid creating it in the first place. For effective waste management, waste minimization, reuse, recycle and energy recovery are more sustainable than conventional landfill or dumpsite disposal technique.

Olusosun is the largest dumpsite in Nigeria

Waste Minimization

Waste minimization is the process of reducing the amount of waste produced by a person or a society. Waste minimization is about the way in which the products and services we all rely on are designed, made, bought and sold, used, consumed and disposed of.

Waste Reuse

Reuse means using an item more than once. This includes conventional reuse where the item is used again for the same function and new-life reuse where it is used for a new function. For example, concrete is a type of construction waste which can be recycled and used as a base for roads; inert material may be used as a layer that covers the dumped waste on landfill at the end of the day.

Waste Recycling

Recycling of waste involves reprocessing the particular waste materials, including e-waste, so that it can be used as raw materials in another process. This is also known as material recovery. A well-known process for recycling waste is composting, where biodegradable wastes are biologically decomposed leading to the formation of nutrient-rich compost.

Waste-to-Energy

As far as waste-to-energy is concerned, major processes involved are mass-burn incineration, RDF incineration, anaerobic digestion, gasification and pyrolysis. Gasification and pyrolysis involves super-heating of municipal solid waste in an oxygen-controlled environment to avoid combustion. The primary differences among them relate to heat source, oxygen level, and temperature, from as low as about 300°C for pyrolysis to as high as 11 000°C for plasma gasification. The residual gases like carbon dioxide, hydrogen, methane etc are released after a sophisticated gas cleaning mechanism.

MSW incineration produce significant amounts of a waste called bottom ash, of which about 40% must be landfilled. The remaining 60% can be further treated to separate metals, which are sold, from inert materials, which are often used as road base.

The above mentioned techniques are trending in many countries and region. As of 2014, Tokyo (Japan) has nineteen advanced and sophisticated waste incinerator plants making it one of the cleanest cities. From the legislature standpoint, the country has implemented strict emission parameters in incinerator plants and waste transportation.

The European Union also has a similar legislature framework as they too faced similar challenges with regards to waste management. Some of these policies include – maximizing recycling and re-use, reducing landfill, ensuring the guidelines are followed by the member states.

Singapore has also turned to converting household waste into clean fuel, which both reduced the volume going into landfills and produced electricity. Now its four waste-to-energy plants account for almost 3% of the country’s electricity needs, and recycling rates are at an all-time high of 60%. By comparison, the U.S. sent 53% of its solid waste to landfills in 2013, recycled only 34% of waste and converted 13% into electricity, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Trends in Waste Collection

Since the municipal solid waste can be a mixture of all possible wastes and not just ones belonging to the same category and recommended process, recent advances in physical processes, sensors, and actuators used as well as control and autonomy related issues in the area of automated sorting and recycling of source-separated municipal solid waste.

Automated vacuum waste collection systems that are located underground are also actively used in various parts of the world like Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Leon, Mecca and New York etc. The utilization of the subsurface space can provide the setting for the development of infrastructure which is capable of addressing in a more efficient manner the limitations of existing waste management schemes.

AI-based waste management systems can help in route optimization and waste disposal

This technique also minimizes operational costs, noise and provides more flexibility. There are various new innovations like IoT-enabled garbage cans, electric garbage trucks, waste sorting robots, eco dumpster and mechanisms etc are also being developed and deployed at various sites.

Conclusion

Waste management is a huge and ever growing industry that has to be analyzed and updated at every point based on the new emergence of threats and technology. With government educating the normal people and creating awareness among different sector of the society, setting sufficient budgets and assisting companies and facilities for planning, research and waste management processes can help to relax the issues to an extent if not eradicating it completely. These actions not only help in protecting environment, but also help in employment generation and boosting up the economy.