Friday, July 25, 2008

In more garbage news...

This kind of follows on with my previous post about new garbage technologies, in which I mention the City of Dallas' plan to compost the trash and capture methane for reuse. Other cities are evidently using their trash to make ethanol.

The companies use similar processes to turn municipal waste into ethanol. The first step is gasification, in which the waste is heated with limited oxygen to create carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

"It's a very different process from incineration, where you completely combust in excess air," which results in carbon dioxide and water, said INEOS bio's Graham Rice. "We're trying to go halfway and produce carbon monoxide, which still has a lot of chemical energy."

The carbon monoxide and hydrogen mixture is then fed to bacteria, which convert the mixture into ethanol. The ethanol is then purified and blended with fuel.

There may be stumbling blocks with these technologies, as there always seems to be, but I like the idea. I mean, reduce, reuse, recycle, right?

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