Rationale for Biomass Supply Chain

Biomass resources have been in use for a variety of purposes since ages. The multiple uses of biomass includes usage as a livestock or for meeting domestic and industrial thermal requirements or for the generation of power to fulfill any electrical or mechanical needs. One of the major issues, however, associated with the use of any biomass resources is its supply chain management.

The resource being bulky, voluminous and only seasonally available creates serious hurdles in the reliable supply of the feedstock, regardless of its application. The idea is thus to have something which plugs in this gap between the biomass resource availability and its demand.

The Problem

The supply chain management in any biomass-based project is nothing less than a big management conundrum. The complexity deepens owing to the large number of stages which encompass the entire biomass value chain. It starts right from the resource harvesting and goes on to include the resource collection, processing, storage and eventually its transportation to the point of ultimate utilization.

Owing to the voluminous nature of the resource, its handling becomes a major issue since it requires bigger modes of logistics, employment of a larger number of work-force and a better storage infrastructure, as compared to any other fuel or feedstock. Not only this their lower energy density characteristic, makes it inevitable for the resource to be first processed and then utilized for power generation to make for better economics.

All these hassles associated with such resources, magnify the issue of their utilization when it comes to their supply chain. The seasonal availability of most of the biomass resources, alternative application options, weather considerations, geographical conditions and numerous other parameters make it difficult for the resource to be made consistently available throughout the year. This results in poor feedstock inputs at the utilization point which ends up generating energy in a highly erratic and unreliable manner.

The Solution

Although most of the problems discussed above, are issues inherently associated with the usage of biomass resources, they can be curtailed to a larger extent by strengthening the most important loophole in such projects – The Biomass Resource Supply Chain.

World over, major emphasis has been laid in researching upon the means to improve the efficiencies of such technologies. However, no significant due diligence has been carried out in fortifying the entire resource chain to assure such plants for a continuous resource supply.

The usual solution to encounter such a problem is to have long term contracts with the resource providers to not only have an assured supply but also guard the project against unrealistic escalations in the fuel costs. Although, this solution has been found to be viable, it becomes difficult to sustain such contracts for longer duration since these resources are also susceptible to numerous externalities which could be in the form of any natural disaster, infection from pests or any other socio-political or geographical disturbances, which eventually lead to an increased burden on the producers.

What You Should Know About Electrical HVAC Distributors

Almost all modern buildings have HVAC systems. HVAC, if you don’t know the term, stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Your home or commercial property will have an HVAC system, and it’s in place not only to heat or cool the building, but also to get rid of any noxious odors or air impurities.

As you might imagine, your HVAC system components matter because you want to be able to stay cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and you want breathable air that’s free from toxins and impurities. An electrical HVAC distributor is one example of a component you want to keep in excellent working order if your system has one.

We’ll talk about what electrical HVAC distributors are and what they do in the following article:

What is an Electrical HVAC Distributor

What Precisely is an Electrical HVAC Distributor?

The Wistex company sells electrical HVAC distributors, and on their website, you’ll see that it mentions “we service what we sell.” That’s certainly one of the things you want to see from any company that sells you your HVAC components, such as distributors.

An electrical HVAC system probably has an electric furnace as its centerpiece. It works a lot like a hairdryer. The furnace pulls air into it through a heat exchanger.

The air that’s in that exchanger warms up while it’s inside. The heating element does this. The blower then pushes the heated air through the ductwork and around your house or workspace.

The distributor is the HVAC system element that distributes that air around the building. Its job is to make sure heated air moves around the building and does not stagnate in one spot. The best distributor is one that pushes this heated air around with as little effort as possible.

What Else Should You Know About Electrical HVAC Distributors?

If you speak to an HVAC company, installer, or repairperson, they will inform you that your home or workplace’s HVAC setup is also an electrical system. Because of this, there are certain rules that apply to both installing and maintaining it.

Any HVAC system will have a complex mechanical configuration, of which the distributor is only one part. However, it’s accurate to say that the distributor is one of the most crucial components since, without it, the heated air will not move around the building as it should. That means you’ll have cold rooms or entire building wings in the winter, depending on how large the building is.

That’s not something you want, especially if you’re entertaining clients or trying to get someone to invest in your company. Because of this, you want to be sure to employ an HVAC company that only installs top-of-the-line distributors and other parts and can also service them quickly and accurately if they need it.

Yearly Maintenance

If you own your own home, you probably know that you should get an HVAC company to come there at least once per year to look over the furnace and see that it’s in good working order. If you have central air, you should get that same company to look at your AC unit once per year as well.

electrical HVAC distributor

Generally, you might have your HVAC company look at your furnace in November, right around the time you’ll start using the heat again with winter coming on. You might have them come a little later or earlier, depending on where you live and how cold it gets there.

It is during that yearly maintenance that the HVAC company can look at your electrical distributor, as well as all other system components. They should not neglect any part, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.

Because of an HVAC system’s complexity, the technician should do a multiple-point inspection and replace any worn-out or damaged components. That’s how you make it likely your furnace will continue working throughout the winter and your AC unit in the summer as well.

Doing this is similar to getting a mechanic to inspect your car once per year. You’re supposed to do that without fail to make sure everything under the hood checks out. You can regard your HVAC system the same way.

You should also have your HVAC company’s number ready at all times. Regardless of whether you’re talking about a commercial property’s HVAC system or your one at home, you always want that company standing by. They can take a look at the heating and cooling elements, like the distributor, if anything ever goes wrong.

How To Make The Moving Process More Sustainable

Moving homes is an inevitable part of life for many but leaving a huge carbon footprint when you do doesn’t have to be.

While big businesses are responsible for producing the greatest amount of greenhouse emissions, the planet is ours as well, and every tiny bit of eco-friendliness goes a long way.

But choosing to move in a more eco-friendly way comes with its own questions. What kind of packaging should I use? How do you avoid producing unnecessary waste? Questions such as these are an essential part of the “eco-friendly move” discussion.

If you’re someone who’s looking for eco-friendly tips for your next move, then don’t worry. This article was written with people like you in mind! Here are some tips and tricks on how to make your move more sustainable and eco-friendly. So, let’s get started!

How To Make The Moving Process More Sustainable

 

1. Donate or sell everything you don’t need

A move is a perfect opportunity for getting rid of items you no longer need. Being selective about what you want to keep will also help make your move more manageable and the process much smoother.

Before you start packing, go through all your clothing, kitchen items, and furniture and start making piles of things you don’t want to keep.

Then instead of throwing it all away, consider selling or donating the items you think you won’t need. Craigslist and Facebook are examples of good platforms for selling used household items.

Also, if you have a bunch of old mobile devices or batteries lying around, remember to dispose of them properly because they can cause significant harm to the environment.

Best Buy (and other large electronic stores) often allow you to bring in your old electronic devices and recycle them on your behalf.

Finally, if the items you no longer need can’t be sold or donated, you can have a professional removalist company like 1300 Rubbish take care of them.

2. Use clothes and linens to wrap fragile items

Not only is this packing method zero-waste, but it’s also a very creative way of packing soft fabric items like towels, clothes, and blankets.

Wrapping ceramic plates and other breakables in linens or clothes often works as good as bubble wrap and can help you cut down on the need for unnecessary single-use packaging materials.

The best part about using soft clothes and linens as cushions? They are free, always readily available around the house, and are a great way to move more sustainably. If you are using a professional moving company, however, this might not be an option.

3. Pack items in containers you already have

You’re always going to need at least some boxes during your move. But you can significantly cut down on the total number required by thinking out of the box!

For example, instead of using moving boxes, you should try using containers you already have lying around the house to pack your items. Some household containers you could use instead of boxes include:

  • Suitcases
  • Gym bags
  • Plastic bins
  • Recyclable grocery totes
  • Drawers

Basically, if you have any item that can store other things inside, always be sure to use up that storage space before packing it. Because the more we can fit in containers we already have, the more we can prevent relying on moving boxes.

4. If you do end up needing boxes, get them used

To make your move more eco-friendly, consider packing your items in leftover or used boxes and try to keep buying new moving boxes as a final resort.

Ask around, call your friends, family members, or local retail stores to see if anyone has boxes leftover that you can reuse for your move.

During my last move, I got a bunch of boxes from my nearest grocery store at no cost. Most stores are more than happy to give them out for free.

5. Buy biodegradable supplies

Traditional packing practices involve using a myriad of eco-unfriendly items such as styrofoam packing peanuts and plastic wraps. These single-use items are often the biggest contributors to waste during a move.

Luckily, there are now tons of sustainable alternatives to traditional packing supplies. For example, instead of buying standard styrofoam packing peanuts, you can get biodegradable cornstarch peanuts instead to move more sustainably.

6. Try renting reusable moving boxes

Many moving companies offer rental services for reusable plastic boxes, which is something that you should definitely consider using.

reasons to hire local moving firm

But you might be wondering, “Isn’t plastic terrible for the environment?” Well, not in this case. Because most moving companies use storage boxes made from recycled plastic and materials and are reused many times over, reducing landfill waste from one-time use boxes.

7. Hire a green moving service

One of the easiest ways to leave a smaller carbon footprint during your move is to hire a “green” moving company that adopts sustainable practices.

Most green moving companies use vehicles that run on biodiesel or hybrid fuel instead of regular gas and can also provide you with reusable moving boxes to curb the need for cardboard boxes.

But before going with a local eco-friendly moving company, be sure to go through their website and their reviews to find out if they really do practice what they preach.

The Greener Garden: 4 Sustainable Options To Explore

Many of humans’ daily activities contribute to the decay of planet Earth. In fact, even when gardening, carbon emissions are released, which might add to the current problem of global warming. However, the good news is gardening can be done properly through various efforts and actions.

Minimizing environmental impacts should be your ultimate goal for a greener garden. If you’re wondering what sustainable practices could eliminate lesser waste in your garden, there are certain changes you can do. No matter how minor they are, these small steps can accumulate. And soon, you’d be able to fully adopt healthier and greener gardening methods. Here are some sustainable options you can explore to turn your garden greener.

sustainable options to turn your garden greener.

1. Reuse Materials That Can Be Used For Gardening

Recycling is a popular effort to make to go green. By incorporating used materials into your garden, you can do impactful initiatives to help save the environment.

For instance, you can declutter your home and find items you can repurpose into garden materials, like pots and plant vases. Whether you need upcycled stuff for your indoor hydroponic vertical farming or outdoor conventional garden beds, there are many recyclable things you might find in your garage or attic. Or you can also check out recycling shops and find materials you can repurpose for your garden needs. Who would have known your stunning flower pots were made out of recycled items?

You can refer to some online sources to learn how to make gardening materials out of buckets, clay pots, used pipes, and worn-out furniture. Just exercise your own creativity when recycling objects. Doing so may even allow you to expand your home’s individuality and explore new styles for your garden. This green trick wouldn’t only help the planet but would also allow you to enhance your creativity and resourcefulness.

2. Incorporate Native Plants

Choosing the right plants is a critical aspect of growing a sustainable garden. It’s therefore essential to incorporate native plants in it. These plants are a part of the balance of nature, which have existed in your region for many years. They’re easy to plant, grow, and maintain.

For example, one of the easiest plants to take care of is perennials that are already adapted to your climate, rainfall, and soil type. These require less maintenance, use less water, and thrive better than other plants. Of course, you can add trees and shrubs into your garden, but perennials are perfect to serve as a permanent garden display since they last all seasons long.

3. Attract Wildlife

Attracting wildlife is another helpful strategy to raise a greener garden. Garden animals, such as worms, toads, and bees, could be pretty significant as they serve different roles and purposes. For instance, frogs feed on pests like bugs, beetles, or grasshoppers, which if left lingering in your garden might cause damage to your produce or plants. Another helpful animal is earthworms, which could bring more air and water into your soil. Lastly, bees pollinate flowers, which could add to the overall beauty of your landscape and garden. You can bring more life to your garden by making it bee-friendly.

bee-friendly garden

To have a healthy garden, you need more living organisms, especially in your soil. A healthy ecosystem is formed by hundreds of thousands of microbes interacting with each other and with plant roots. One way to encourage healthy microbes forming in garden beds is to use compost and organic mulch as fertilizers.

For a garden ecosystem to be resilient, the soil ecosystem must be healthy. In the plant roots, bacteria and fungi release nutrients that are carried by worms deep into the soil. These rich nutrients would make your produce fresher and more nourished, too. When you generate more living things, it would create rich biodiversity in your garden, which would, in turn, make your garden greener.

4. Shift To Organic Gardening

Organic gardening, a method of growing fruits and vegetables without using synthetic fertilizers, is an essential part of sustainability. Using fewer chemicals in your garden is not only ecologically sound but also more cost-effective. An added benefit is that organic produce would be healthy for you and your family.

You can do small baby steps by simply adding organic compost to your soil to make it healthy and rich in nutrients. And when you need to handle pests, there are natural and organic matters you can use to help you get rid of them. In fact, there are homemade pest control remedies that could work wonders in your garden.

Conclusion

Making your garden more organic and greener is enough effort to help save the environment. In addition to being beautiful and sustainable, stewarding nature enhances the garden as a whole. Hopefully, with the tips mentioned in this article, you’d be able to grow a fruitful and biodiverse garden.

PKS From Africa Can Fuel Biomass Power Plants in Japan

Japan’s biomass fuel requirement is estimated to be tens of millions of tons each year on account of its projected biomass energy capacity of 6,000MW by the year 2030. To achieve this capacity, more than 20 million tons of biomass fuel will be needed every year which will be mainly met by wood pellets and palm kernel shell (PKS). The similarity of the properties of wood pellets with PKS makes PKS the main competitor of wood pellets in the international biomass fuel market.

PKS-biomass

PKS has emerged as an attractive biomass commodity in Japan

Canada and USA are the biggest suppliers of wood pellets to the Japanese biomass market while PKS mainly comes from Indonesia and Malaysia. With the size of the material almost the same as wood pellets, but at a cheaper price (almost half the wood pellets) and also available in abundance, PKS is the preferred biomass fuel for the Japanese market. PKS can be used 100% in power plants that use fluidized bed combustion technology, while wood pellets are used in pulverized combustion.

Although there is abundant PKS in CPO (crude palm oil) producing countries, but fluctuations in CPO production and increase in domestic demand has led to reduction in PKS exports in Southeast Asia. In palm oil plantations, it is known as the low crop season and peak crop season. When the low crop season usually occurs in the summer or dry season, the supply of fruit to the palm oil mills decreases so that the CPO production decreases and also the supply of PKS automatically reduces, and vice versa in the peak crop season. When demand is high or even stable but supply decreases, the price of PKS tends to rise.

In addition, a wide range of industries in Indonesia and Malaysia have also began to use PKS as an alternative fuel triggering increased domestic demand. In recent years, PKS is also being processed into solid biomass commodities such as torrified PKS, PKS charcoal and PKS activated carbon. Thus, there is very limited scope of increasing PKS supply from Southeast Asia to large-scale biomass consumers like Japan and South Korea.

Palm oil mills process palm oil fruit from palm oil plantations, so the more fruit is processed the greater the PKS produced and also more processors or mills are needed. At present it is estimated that there are more than 1500 palm oil mills in Indonesia and Malaysia. Palm kernel shells from Indonesia and Malaysia is either being exported or used domestically by various industries. On the other hand, in other parts of the world PKS is still considered a waste which tends to pollute the environment and has no economic value.

Palm Oil Producers

Top palm oil producers around the world

West African countries, such Nigeria, Ghana and Togo, are still struggling to find a sustainable business model for utilization of PKS. Keeping in view the tremendous PKS requirements in the Asia-Pacific region, major PKS producers in Africa have an attractive business opportunity to export this much-sought after biomass commodity to the Japan, South Korea and even Europe.

Simply speaking, PKS collected from palm oil mills is dried, cleaned and shipped to the destination country. PKS users have special specifications related to the quality of the biomass fuel used, so PKS needs to be processed before exporting.

PKS-export

PKS exports from Indonesia and Malaysia to Japan are usually  with volume 10 thousand tons / shipment by bulk ship. The greater the volume of the ship or the more cargo the PKS are exported, the transportation costs will generally be cheaper. African countries are located quite far from the Asia-Pacific region may use larger vessels such as the Panamax vessel to export their PKS.

11 of the World’s Most Eco-Friendly Cities

Cities often compete with each other, whether they’re seeking to have the highest quality of life or fostering innovation. However, the increasing world population and a changing climate have made eco-friendly living a priority for residents and city leaders alike. This has now led to cities competing to be the most environmentally friendly. The global movement towards more sustainability is also pushing for more innovation and change. Here are 11 of the world’s most eco-friendly cities as well as a brief overview of what they’ve done to achieve that status.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and ranks among the most eco-friendly cities in the world. This is partially due to their harnessing of abundant geothermal energy for power and keeping the freezing northern city warm. Their small population is densely packed into the city, so people can get around by walking, biking or via public transit.

The city is offering incentives to encourage people to drive electric cars, such as free parking and lower taxes. They’re also going the old-fashioned route by encouraging the other 96 percent of the population to ride public transit, including their brand-new hydrogen powered buses.

Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver is sandwiched between the ocean and the mountains, though the surrounding coast is covered in forests. The local administration found out that the city’s environmental footprint was just too big to be sustainable and decided to make some real changes. As a result of these initiatives, the city now has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions level for any major city in North American city.

They are doing yet even more to reduce the city’s footprint. For example, the city is doing a lot to attract clean technology companies and increase the number of green jobs. They’ve seen a 23 percent in green jobs since 2013. They’re also encouraging local food production so they can feed people without wasting energy transporting food from thousands of miles away.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco is one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the world. Where San Francisco stands out is the sheer number of ways it is lowering its ecological footprint from the top down.

recycling-in-offices

For example, consumers and city agencies systematically shop for organic and locally sourced food. Living waste-free seems like a dream, but the city itself has that as a goal by 2020. The city is roughly eighty percent of the way there. They’ve dramatically reduced waste and increased recycling, while they encourage businesses and individuals alike to switch to reusable containers. As a matter of fact, San Francisco became the first city in the US to completely ban plastic bottles. A large part of the organic waste produced in the city is turned into compost and used by local farmers.

San Francisco is also ahead of the curve in terms of renewable energy. The city has many zero emissions and hybrid electric buses. Solar installations in the Bay Area are surprisingly common. This is in part because they pay themselves off in less than seven years when you take rebates and tax credits into account. For example, San Francisco’s GoSolarSF program encourages people to install solar panels. The average homeowner receives 300 dollars per kilowatt and up to 2000 dollars per kilowatt if the residents are considered low income. This will remain in effect even if the federal tax rebates for solar installations start to phase out.

Another side effect of the eco-conscious population is that renewable energy becomes a selling point for properties that have it. The best solar companies in the Bay Area, including firms like Semper Solaris, install quality solar panel systems that add value to your home. They also make it easier for people in the region to afford systems by adjusting them to their particular needs. Not only that, but they also offer battery storage so users can still use solar energy when the sun isn’t shining. The increased home value is based in part on the future reduced utility bills the homeowners expect to receive.

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki sits on the Gulf of Finland. It stands out for its delicate balance between eco-friendliness and tourism. Roughly three in four hotel rooms in the city are certified as eco-friendly. Most of the remainder have some environmental impact reduction plan in place to reduce energy consumption, minimize waste, and lower the environmental impact of their food and water supply.

The city makes use of wind energy and solar power. The “green district” Viiki is an experiment in sustainability. This is why the first solar powered apartment building in Finland is located here.

Capetown, South Africa

Capetown is another example of a city that has gone above and beyond to reduce its ecological footprint. One of the ways they are doing so is by reducing their reliance on unsustainable energy sources and turning to alternatives like solar energy instead. And it has paid off, especially when considering the amount of sunlight the city enjoys every year.

They’ve also heavily invested in wind power. As a matter of fact, the city has started focusing on building wind farms since 2008. And the city made it a goal to meet 10% of its energy needs using renewable energy sources by 2020, which could very well be possible given all the different initiatives they’ve started.

They’re also trying to pattern the behavior and habits of residents and push them to adopt a more outdoorsy lifestyle. Not only that, but they’re facilitating bike transport by allowing bicycles for free on their My Citi express bus service.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin is one of the most famous and historical cities in the world, and the reason why it made that list is also tied to history. After WWI, residents in the city were forced to become very self-reliant, and had to find ways to grow and raise their own food, which is a tradition that continues to this day. Germans in general also value their green spaces and gardening.

electric-cars

Berlin is also doing a lot to accommodate electric vehicles owners by adding over 400 charging stations around the country. They’re also trying to raise awareness among gas vehicle owners and trying to sway them into going electric. Not only that, but Berliners also are more prone to using public transit or sharing vehicles then using their personal car.

Portland, Oregon

This is the second west coast city in this list, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that the west coast is and has always been a hotbed for the environmentalist movement. And while the city’s population keeps on growing, they are continually working to minimize the effect of the city’s activity on the environment. They also put a ban recently on plastic bags to curb their effect on the ecosystem, with other cities on the west coast following suit.

But one of the main reasons why Portland made this list is the people of the city. Environmental consciousness is part of the city’s DNA, and Portlanders take it to the next level. Did you know that roughly 25% of the city’s workers do their commute through carpooling, biking, or public transit? Out of all the people in the city, 8% also stated that they only use their bike for transportation. This is thanks in part to the city’s massive bike path and lane system.

The city also gets 33% of its energy from renewable sources and recuperates roughly 1,200,000 tons from the 2,434,840 tons of waste they produce every year, which is pretty impressive for a city its size. The city also managed to cut their carbon emissions by as much as 17%, even with the increasing population.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is bar none one of the most avant-garde cities when it comes to environmental initiatives, and has worked for a long time to limit its energy consumption from unsustainable sources. As a matter of fact, the city was one of the first to introduce widespread sustainability initiatives with a goal to reach a wide variety of benchmarks by the year 2020.

One of the main things people remember when they come to the city is the sheer number of cyclists, and Amsterdammers do love their bikes. But the city also did a lot to popularize electric vehicles, and owners can charge their vehicles in one of the 300 charging ports you’ll find all over the city. People in the city are also increasingly turning to solar energy and sustainable local farming. More people from the city are starting to grow their own food as well.

Stockholm, Sweden

With over 50 bridges and 14 islands, Stockholm has done a lot to improve the city and allow citizens to live a more sustainable life. The city also set a goal to eliminate the use of fossil fuels by 2040. In addition, they’re getting assistance from the European Union to become a smarter city.

 

waste-management-sweden

One of the ways the city has managed to be more energy efficient was by turning to biofuels, which are created from the city’s sewage waste. A large portion of cars in the city are powered using this biofuel. They also managed to recuperate some of the heat generated by their massive stadium. This heat can be used to heat over 1000 units in the city.

Copenhagen, Denmark

The capital of Denmark has also started to build a reputation as an ecofriendly city, and is taking steps to continue in the right direction and support eco-friendly initiatives. And this is mainly due to the city’s sustained and massive investments in clean infrastructure and renewable energy sources.

They also set the lofty goal of becoming the first major city in the world to achieve CO? neutrality by the year 2020. And residents in the city are also doing their part for this goal to become a reality. Less than a third of households in the city own a car, and people in Copenhagen are also big on cycling. As a matter of fact, it’s not uncommon for hotels in the city to provide guests with a bicycle upon arrival. The city also has one of the most extensive bike lane networks in Europe.

Another thing that sets the city apart is how many people choose to eat organic there.  About a quarter of all the food sold in the city’s markets is organic, and they’re also big proponents of local farming, which further reduces their carbon footprint.

Curitiba, Brazil

Considering the amount of natural beauty Brazil is nestled in, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see a Brazilian city on this list. Curitiba might not be as well-known as Rio and Sao Paulo, but it is known as one of the world’s green capitals. Where they excel is when it comes to recycling. As a matter of fact, it is said that about 70% of the waste produced in the city is recycled in the form of derived products or energy.

The city also puts a lot of importance on urban planning and has one of the best public transit systems in South America. Most people in the city rely on public transport too. The city is also not overly developed and has tons of green spaces with over 16 parks and 14 forests near and around the city’s core.

Presence of trees make a city appear more vibrant and eco-friendly

To incentivize cleanliness around the city, they installed a program that allows people to return and exchange recyclables for things like tokens, sweets, snacks, and cash. Not only does it encourage people to recycle more, but the program is also feeding over 7000 people in need in the city.

Bottom Line

The most eco-friendly cities in the world are seeking to provide a better environment for residents while reducing their impact on the planet, and they’re providing an example to the world that the rest can follow. We can only expect the trend to grow from now and into the future, and for residents from cities all around the world to start pushing for more green initiatives where they are.

Unending Benefits of Recycling Cooking Oil

Disposal of cooking oil is not an easy task. If you try to drain it, it will block your sink drains and cause you immense plumbing problems. Throwing it away is also not a good idea because it causes damage to the environment. Cooking oil cannot go to your usual recycle trash bin like other trash because the processes of recycling it are different. However, there are better ways of recycling cooking oil without harming the environment. You can have it recycled. If you are not able to do it by yourself, there are companies that offer cooking oil recycling services.

Benefits of recycling cooking oil

Recycling companies, like MBP Solutions, turn cooking oil into other products like stock feed, cosmetics and biofuel.  They also filter the oil for reuse. If you are not in any position to recycle your cooking oil, do not drain it down the sink or throw it in your waste bin. Wrap your cooking oil in a tight jar, make sure there are no spills and call the right people to come and collect it. MBP Solutions recycles both commercial and residential cooking oils.

Recycling cooking oil comes with several benefits. The technology used to recycle the oil is advanced and the final products help in both businesses and homes.

Below are some of the major benefits of recycling of cooking oil:

Renewable energy

Recycling cooking oil turns it into renewable energy used in many manufacturing firms for processing their products. One of the most notable fuels is biodiesel, which is from used oils, grease, animal fats and vegetable oils among others. Vehicles that use diesel can use this fuel effectively and businesses that use diesel-powered machines can use the fuel without any fear of harmful emissions.

Cleaner environment

We all need a clean environment and it is not what we always get. Fuels are some of the major contributor to health hazards because of emissions. Petro-diesel is very toxic as compared to biodiesel. Biodiesel is eco-friendly and does not damage a vehicle’s engine. Petro-diesel on the other hand, produces chemical compounds like sulphur that are acidic. This acid can spoil the engine. Biodiesel production is green in nature and keeps everything safe.

Saves costs

Recycling cooking oil saves costs in many ways. At home, you can reduce your disposal costs by calling a recycling company to come for your waste oil. If you try to dispose of the oil by yourself, you may end up spending more on extra waste bins, transportation and special disposal procedures.

Companies that use recycled oil have a chance of preventing their equipment from spoiling faster than they did before the recycled oil. Maintenance costs go down and recycled oil like biodiesel is much cheaper as compared to the other kinds of imported fuels.

Creates jobs

Disposing of waste materials and recycling them is one way of creating jobs for the masses. Instead of using that money to import petro-diesel, the government uses the money to employ more people to recycle oil into more beneficial biodiesel.

Make money out of it

You can make an extra buck out of disposing your used oil. Instead of throwing your oil away, look for companies that recycle the oil and pay you for it. This will also save you on transport costs to go and dispose of your oil, because the recycling companies come to pick it up.

Wrapping it up

The most important factor about recycling is that we are working towards one goal. That goal is to maintain a greener, healthier and cleaner environment. That is our goal and recycling cooking oil is one way of doing that.

WTE Prospects in the Middle East

A combination of high fuel prices and a search for alternative technologies, combined with massive waste generation has led to countries in the Middle East region to consider Waste to Energy (or WtE) as a sustainable waste management strategy and cost-effective fuel source for the future. We look at the current state of the WtE market in the Middle East.

wastetoenergy-plant-qatar

It is estimated that each person in the United Arab Emirates produces 2 kg of municipal solid waste per day – that puts the total waste production figure somewhere in the region of 150 million tonnes every year. Given that the population currently stands at over 9.4 million (2013) and is projected to see an annual average growth figure of 2.3% over the next six years, over three times the global average, it’s clear that this is a lot of waste to be disposed of.

In addition, the GCC nations in general rank in the bottom 10% of the sustainable nations in the world and are also amongst the top per capita carbon-releasers.

When we also consider that UAE are actively pursuing alternative energy technologies to supplement rapidly-decreasing and increasingly-costly traditional fossil fuels, mitigate the harmful effects of landfill, and reduce an ever-increasing carbon footprint, it becomes apparent that high on their list of proposed solutions is Waste to Energy (WtE). It could be an ideal solution to the problem.

What is WtE

Waste-to-Energy works on the simple principle of taking waste and turning it into a form of energy. This can be electricity, heat or transport fuels, and can be achieved in a variety of ways – the most common of which is incineration. MSW is taken to a WtE plant, incinerated at high temperatures and the resultant heat is used to boil water which creates steam to turn turbines, in the same way that burning gas or coal produces power. Gasification and anaerobic digestion are two further WtE methods which are also used.

However, WtE has several advantages over burning fossil fuels. Primarily amongst them are the potential to minimise landfill sites which have caused serious concern for many years. They are not only unsightly, but can also be contaminated, biologically or chemically. Toxic waste can leach into the ground beneath them and enter the water table.

Landfill sites also continuously emit carbon dioxide and methane, both harmful greenhouse gases – in addition methane is potentially explosive. Sending MSW to landfill also discourages recycling and necessitates more demand for raw materials. Finally, landfill sites are unpleasant places which attract vermin and flies and give off offensive odours.

Waste to Energy Around the World

WtE has been used successfully in many countries around the world for a long time now. Europe is the most enthusiastic proponent of WtE, with around 450 facilities; the Asia-Pacific region has just over 300; the USA has almost 100. In the rest of the world there are less than 30 facilities but this number is growing. Globally, it is estimated that the WtE industry is growing at approximately US $2 billion per annum and will be valued at around US $80 billion by the year 2022.

WTE_Plant_Belgium

Waste-to-Energy is now widely accepted as a part of sustainable waste management strategy.

The USA ranks third in the world for the percentage of waste which is incinerated for energy production. Around 16% of the rubbish that America produces every day is burned in its WtE plants. Advocates claims the advantages are clear:

  • reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emitted into the environment (estimates say that burning one ton of waste in a WtE plant saves between one half and one ton of greenhouse gases compared to landfill emissions, or the burning of conventional fuels),
  • freeing up land which would normally be used for landfill (and, therefore, extending the life of existing landfill sites),
  • encouraging recycling (some facilities have managed to reduce the amount of waste they process by up to 90% and the recycling of ferrous and non-ferrous metals provides an additional income source), and,
  • most importantly, producing a revenue stream from the sale of the electricity generated.

In one small county alone, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with a population of just over half-a-million people, more than 4.4 billion kWh of electricity has been produced through WtE in the last 20 years. This has generated over USD $256 million through its sale to local residents.

Waste-to-Energy in the Middle East

Given WtE’s potential to not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution on a local scale, but also to produce much-needed electricity in the region, what is the current state of affairs in the Middle East. There are several WtE initiatives already underway in the Middle East.

Qatar was the first GCC country to implement a waste-to-energy programme and currently generates over 30MW of electricity from its Domestic Solid Waste Management Center (DSWMC) located at Messeid (Doha). Saudi Arabia and the UAE have both stated that they have WtE production capacity targets of 100MW. Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman are also seriously considering waste-to-energy as a means to tackle the worsening waste management problem.

Abu Dhabi’s government is currently spending around US $850 million to build a 100 MW plant which is expected to be operational by 2017 and which will supply around 20,000 households with electricity. In Sharjah, the world’s largest household waste gasification plant, costing in excess of US $480 million, is due to be open in 2015.

However, not all the GCC members are as enthusiastic about WtE. Dubai’s government has recently scrapped plans for a US $2 billion project which would have made use of the 7,800 tonnes of domestic waste which is produced in Dubai every single day.

We asked Salman Zafar, Founder of Doha-based EcoMENA, a popular sustainability advocacy, why given the sheer scale of the waste in the Gulf region, the production of this form of energy is still in its infancy. “The main deterrent in the implementation of WtE projects in the Middle East is the current availability of cheap sources of energy already available, especially in the GCC,” he commented.

Salman Zafar further says, “WtE projects demand a good deal of investment, heavy government subsidies, tipping fees, power purchase agreements etc, which are hard to obtain for such projects in the region.” “The absence of a sustainable waste management strategy in Middle East nations is also a vital factor behind the very slow pace of growth of the WtE sector in the region. Regional governments, municipalities and local SWM companies find it easier and cost-effective to dump untreated municipal waste in landfills,” he added.

So, how can WtE contribute towards the region’s growing power demand in the future?

“Modern WtE technologies, such as RDF-based incineration, gasification, pyrolysis, anaerobic digestion etc, all have the ability to transform power demand as well as the waste management scenario in the region,” he continued. “A typical 250 – 300 tons per day WtE plant can produce around 3 – 4 MW of electricity and a network of such plants in cities across the region can make a real difference in the energy sector as well as augmenting energy reserves in the Middle East. In fact, WtE plants also produce a tremendous about of heat energy which can be utilised in process industries, further maximising their usefulness,” Salman Zafar concluded.

New technologies naturally take time to become established as their efficiency versus cost ratios are analysed. However, it is becoming increasingly clearer that waste-to-energy is a viable and efficient method for solid waste management and generation of alternative energy in the Middle East.

Why Should You Hire a Local Moving Company for Your Next Move?

Moving is a tedious task and can indulge a lot of stress for sure. Shouldering all the moving responsibilities to professionals can help you to get yourself free from unwanted stress. However, most people face a genuine problem while choosing a moving company. A seemingly small mistake in selecting a good mover can make your move a big failure.

Several times, people tend to choose other than local movers. They think that the giant moving companies are the best for shouldering all the moving responsibilities. However, reality speaks a lot different. Selecting a skilled and top-rated local mover has several benefits that can’t be denied.

Well, this article genuinely describes the several benefits of hiring a local moving company for your next move? So, let’s check them out to get a better level of transparencies of the topic.

why you should hire a local moving company

On-site Estimate Facility

Getting an on-site visit is really essential to get an accurate estimate of the overall moving costs. If you consider choosing a giant moving company, you may not get an on-site estimate facility. The end result can be so much disappointing for you as you may get a massive difference in the final bill.

However, choosing one of the top-rated local moving companies can be beneficial to get the on-site visit facility. The local moving companies send their experienced executive to check everything physically so that you can get an accurate estimate. This way, you can save yourself from the unplanned moving expenses if you choose to hire a local moving company.

Adequate Grip over the Location

Most of the time, the movers quote their estimates based on the distance, time, and requirements. The real problem arises if the giant moving companies have no branch at your location. Therefore, if the mover has no branch at your site, there is less chance that a giant moving company will have enough grip on the roadways. So, they can ask you for a hefty amount by just assuming your location and condition of the routes.

However, if you consider choosing a reputed local mover, you won’t face such difficulties. The local movers have enough grip over the location and roadways. So, they can handle the traffic and take shortcuts in a better way than any other corporate moving company.

Accepts Any Size of Work

One of the best benefits of choosing a local moving company is that they accept any size of work depending upon your requirements. On the contrary, the corporate moving companies may not be interested in taking smaller moving responsibilities. Usually, the giant companies deal with a flat hourly rate. So, if the moving work is a smaller one, they may not be able to shoulder the responsibilities due to the low-profit margin.

However, considering a local moving company can manage all the moving responsibilities efficiently, resulting in fewer costs.

Low-Risk Factor

Hiring a local mover can enable you to evade risks to a great extent. You might be surprised that how the risk factors are associated with hiring a local mover over a giant one? Well, the reason is very simple. When you hire a comparatively small moving company, the company will try to give you the best experience as they want to grow more with the work experience.

Additionally, under any circumstances, if you’re not happy with the services, you can visit the office of the local moving companies. However, in the matter of hiring a giant moving company, you’ll hardly get any chance to see their office to let them know your feedback.

reasons to hire local moving firm

More Dedicated and Caring Services

Well, most people think that hiring a corporate moving company will do the moving job with ease. However, this isn’t appropriate. The corporate moving companies don’t depend on a few reviews. They have a lot of good customer base. Therefore, they give more importance to get new customers and focus less on reviews. This is the reason that they often lack in providing satisfactory services to their clients.

However, the small but skilled local moving companies are more concerned about providing standard moving services as they have a minimal customer base. They always try to offer best-class services to their customers to get appreciation.

Conclusion

So, as you have gone through the whole topic, now you’re better aware as to why you should hire a local moving company over the giant one. See, we aren’t discouraging you in any manner to choose a corporate mover. However, making you understand that hiring a skilled and professional local mover can perform the moving job for you with a lot of efficiencies. So, next time when you decide to move, don’t ignore the local moving companies of your locality. They can provide superior moving services and that too with adequate efficiency.

Agricultural Wastes in the Middle East

Agriculture plays an important role in the economies of most of the countries in the Middle East. The contribution of the agricultural sector to the overall economy varies significantly among countries in the region, ranging, for example, from about 3.2 percent in Saudi Arabia to 13.4 percent in Egypt. Large scale agricultural irrigation is expanding, enabling intensive production of high value cash and export crops, including fruits, vegetables, cereals, and sugar.

The term ‘crop residues’ covers the whole range of biomass produced as by-products from growing and processing crops. Crop residues encompasses all agricultural wastes such as bagasse, straw, stem, stalk, leaves, husk, shell, peel, pulp, stubble, etc. Wheat and barley are the major staple crops grown in the Middle East region. In addition, significant quantities of rice, maize, lentils, chickpeas, vegetables and fruits are produced throughout the region, mainly in Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Agricultural Wastes in the Middle East

Large quantities of agricultural wastes are produced annually in the Middle East, and are vastly underutilised. Current farming practice in the Middle East is usually to plough these residues back into the soil, or they are burnt, left to decompose, or grazed by cattle. These residues could be processed into liquid fuels, solid fuels or thermochemically processed to produce electricity and domestic heat in rural areas.

date-palm-waste

Date palm biomass is an excellent resource for charcoal production in Middle East

Date palm is one of the principal agricultural products in the arid and semi-arid region of the world, especially Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The Arab world has more than 84 million date palm trees with the majority in Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates.

Date palm trees produce huge amount of agricultural wastes in the form of dry leaves, stems, pits, seeds etc. A typical date tree can generate as much as 20 kilograms of dry leaves per annum while date pits account for almost 10 percent of date fruits. Some studies have reported that Saudi Arabia alone generates more than 200,000 tons of date palm biomass each year.

In Egypt, crop residues are considered to be the most important and traditional source of domestic fuel in rural areas. These crop residues are by-products of common crops such as cotton, wheat, maize and rice. The total amount of residues reaches about 16 million tons of dry matter per year.

Cotton residues represent about 9% of the total amount of residues. These are materials comprising mainly cotton stalks, which present a disposal problem. The area of cotton crop cultivation accounts for about 5% of the cultivated area in Egypt.

A cotton field in Egypt

Energy crops, such as Jatropha, can be successfully grown in arid regions for biodiesel production. Infact, Jatropha is already grown at limited scale in some Middle East countries and tremendous potential exists for its commercial exploitation.