With rapid industrialization, the world has seen the development of a number of items or units, which generate heat. Until now this heat has often been treated as a waste, making people wonder if this enormous heat being generated can be transformed into a source of electric power. Now, with the physicists at the University of Arizona finding new ways to harvest energy through heat, this dream is actually going to become a reality. View Comments
The consumption habits of modern consumer lifesyles are causing a huge worldwide waste problem. Having overfilled local landfill capacities, many first world nations are now exporting their refuse to third world countries. This is having a devastating impact on ecosystems and cultures throughout the world. Some alternative energy companies are developing new ways to recycle waste by generating electricity from landfill waste and pollution. The articles on this page explore waste to energy technology and potential.
Thermo-photovoltaic (TPV) cells are great for converting radiation from any heat source to power. These cells can generate power from the wasted heat which gets released when glass or steel is produced. Adding these TPV cells to domestic power systems can help generate power along with heating water. TPV systems are also too complex for everyday use. Both of these reasons have made the TPV systems beyond industrial and domestic consumer routine set-up. View Comments
With each passing day, scientists are coming out with unique solutions to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels. They are now thinking of turning stray forms of energy such as noise or random vibrations from the environment into useful form of energy. They want to use piezoelectric effect for such purposes. Some materials produce electricity while undergoing mechanical stress. This is known as piezoelectric effect. Small piezoelectric crystals can come up with enough voltage to create a spark which can be utilized to ignite gas. View Comments
If we go by the stats, every year 11 billion pounds of poultry industry waste accumulates annually, because we have gigantic appetite for poultry products. They can't be stuffed into pillows. Mostly they are utilized as low-grade animal feed. Scientists in Nevada have created a new and environmentally friendly process for developing biodiesel fuel from 'chicken feather meal'. Professor Manoranjan 'Mano' Misra and his team members at the University of Nevada discovered that chicken feather meal consists of processed chicken feathers, blood, and innards. Prof. Misra has been honored as the 2010 Regents' Researcher by the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents. View Comments
While new energy solutions are being discovered, refined and brought further and further into the public light, something that does not get a lot of headlines is waste to energy. How something like this continues to not be used in the United States is incredible as countries like Japan have been using it for quite some time and dramatically improving their waste disposal problems in highly populated areas. View Comments
Researchers are trying to duplicate the natural process of photosynthesis. If successful, we can use the “evil” carbon dioxide emitted by power plants and industrial units to good use. This way, industrial units don’t have to establish new subsidiary units for the treatment of carbon dioxide. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a prototype machine that utilizes the sun's energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into the molecular building blocks that can be utilized as transportation fuels. If researchers can make this device produce twice the energy generated by the natural process of photosynthesis, it will do great service to environment. It will pave the way to recycle CO2. View Comments
When we utilize any gadget or means of comfort we know that these devices consume energy. But the energy is not utilized by devices. Some of the energy is lost in the form of friction or heat. For example when we are exploiting the power of computer processor chips, car engines or electric power plants there is a necessity of getting rid of excess heat otherwise the equipments will not perform at their optimal level. Now researchers are thinking about using this waste energy. Peter Hagelstein is the co-writer of this concept and an associate professor of electrical engineering at MIT. His paper was published in the November 2009 issue of the Journal of Applied Physics. View Comments
As the world continues to search for alternative fuels to fuel our cars and heat our homes, many different opportunities are being explored and there has finally been a significant breakthrough in turning wastewater into ethanol as an automobile fuel source. Qteros and Applied Clean Tech have teamed up to create a biofuel that will get us that much closer to having another true "green" energy source. Water treatment systems are expensive to run and have presented communities where they are located with some significant challenges. Most notably, what they can do with the sludge that is left over once the wastewater has been treated. Plant managers may no longer faced with the difficult task of figuring out this problem. View Comments
There is plenty of garbage on this planet; in fact there is so much garbage that many developed countries are trying to dump their garbage on the lands of lesser developed countries, at a fee of course. But does dumping garbage on other places solve the problem? On the contrary it spreads pollutions and diseases. In fact it is more dangerous to dump garbage in the less developed countries (because there are neither technologies available to process it nor enough awareness). Even creating landfills wastes precious resources. View Comments
In most part of the world safe and clean drinking water is unavailable for daily consumption and industrial use. Currently to desalinate water two kinds of technologies are being used. First is known as reverse osmosis and the second is electro-dialysis. Both of these processes need huge amount of energy. A team of scientists from China and U.S.A are working to eliminate ninety percent of the salts from seawater or brackish water. They are also trying to generate electricity from wastewater. "Water desalination can be accomplished without electrical energy input or high water pressure by using a source of organic matter as the fuel to desalinate water," reported in a recent online issue of Environmental Science and Technology. View Comments
Environmentalists are continuously searching for green and clean fuel. Until now they have been putting a lot of energy and talent into hydrogen fuels because when hydrogen is burned, the only emission it makes is water vapor. So it is a great advantage that burning of hydrogen doesn’t produce carbon dioxide. Clearly, hydrogen is less of a pollutant in the air because it emits little tail pipe pollution. Engineers at the University of Leeds are working on a project keeping hydrogen in mind. They are developing an energy efficient, environmental-friendly hydrogen production system but with a difference. They are trying to extract hydrogen from waste materials. These materials can be vegetable oil or the glycerol by-product of bio-diesel. They are aspiring for the high purity hydrogen-based fuel that could be utilized for large-scale power production. They are also developing hydrogen cells for laptops or other gadgets. A grant of over £400k has been awarded to the University by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) within a consortium of 12 institutions known as SUPERGEN Sustainable Hydrogen Delivery. View Comments
Presence of surplus carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has taken center stage in the environmental science. All over the world people are worried about the excess amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere because it’s causing undesirable changes in the surroundings such as green house effect, global warming, melting of ice caps on the glaciers etc. So most of the environmental scientists are trying to minimize the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide. View Comments
We love to read about different travelers and their adventures, wishing secretly that we could be in their shoes. Here is a young traveler, Stacy Jurich, 2006 graduate of Ohio State University. She is on a 3 ½ month journey across the country, driving her 1981 Mercedes across America. So what is new? She is driving a Mercedes using waste vegetable oil as fuel hence promoting use of alternative fuel. She lives in Toledo, Ohio where she shoulders the responsibility of running a non-profit organization known as "Toledo Choose Local." This non-profit organization promotes self sustenance using local resources. View Comments
Consider a technology that not only keeps your surroundings clean it also produces renewable energy at a low cost. Wheelabrator Technologies Inc., a U.S. pioneer for municipal waste-to-energy technology, wants to make sure that your waste doesn’t go waste. Literally. Wheelabrator's waste-to-energy facilities produce steam and electricity by burning large quantities of municipal trash and they have been using this proven and time-tested mass-burn technology to produce energy for the past 100 years! View Comments
The enormous increase in the quantum and diversity of waste materials generated by human activity and their potentially harmful effects on the general environment and public health, have led to an increasing awareness about an urgent need to adopt scientific methods for safe disposal of wastes. While there is an obvious need to minimize the generation of wastes and to reuse and recycle them, the technologies for recovery of energy from wastes can play a vital role in mitigating the problems. Besides recovery of substantial energy, these technologies can lead to a substantial reduction in the overall waste quantities requiring final disposal, which can be better managed for safe disposal in a controlled manner while meeting the pollution control standards. View Comments
Despite being an attractive technological option for waste management, combustion-based processes for municipal solid waste (MSW) treatment are a subject of intense debate around the world. In the absence of effective controls, harmful pollutants may be emitted into the air, land and water which may influence human health and environment. Although incineration of municipal waste coupled with energy recovery can form an essential part of an integrated waste management system, yet strict controls are required to prevent its negative impacts on human health and environment. View Comments
The generation and disposal of organic waste without adequate treatment result in significant environmental pollution. Besides health concerns for the people in the vicinity of disposal sites, degradation of waste leads to uncontrolled release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere. Conventional means, like aeration, is energy intensive, expensive and also generates a significant quantity of biological sludge. In this context, anaerobic digestion offers potential energy savings and is a more stable process for medium and high strength organic effluents. Waste-to-Energy (WTE) plants, based on anaerobic digestion of biomass, are highly efficient in harnessing the untapped renewable energy potential of organic waste by converting the biodegradable fraction of the waste into high calorific gases. Apart from treating the wastewater, the methane produced from the biogas facilities can be recovered, with relative ease, for electricity generation and industrial/domestic heating. View Comments
We are already experiencing the ill effects of greenhouse gases in the form of global warming, glaciers and polar ice melting, rise in the sea level and sudden, unpredictable variation in weather, turning catastrophic sometimes. The eventual effect of global warming is sending a chill down the spines of environmentalists. Several teams of researchers are working overnight on carbon capture technology. It intends to remove undesirable amount of carbon dioxide, the main culprit in global warming, from the atmosphere. View Comments
For the past several months the San Francisco Public Utility Commission (SFPUC) has begun picking up used cooking oil from restaurants and businesses for free in an effort to find fuel alternatives for its municipal fleet. The city hopes to expand the grease recycling program (called SFGreasecycle) to include small-scale household pickups and eventually power all city vehicles on biodiesel, including public buses and fire trucks. The oil is picked from local restaurants by SFPUC trucks, dropped off at a transfer station, filtered, transferred into a multi storage tank settling system, then decanted for three days. The oil is then sold to a biodiesel plant using bulk transport tractor-trailer pickups. View Comments
The National Research Council of Canada's Biotechnology Research Institute has begun research and development of a process that will extract hydrogen from organic waste materials like fermentable feedstock and manure. The materials are processed to hydrogen by dark and photofermentation. The goal is to "come up with biosystems that could be grouped into a multiple-stage process to capture almost all the hydrogen from the primary feedstock". One dairy farm in Ontario is already producing power from manure using an anaerobic digester. View Comments
Waste to Energy Resources
Directory: Waste to Energy
Index of organizations and processes that use garbage, sewage, unusable crop, and other waste products to generate energy efficiently and cleanly.
Waste To Energy
Web directory of information about waste to energy recovery and garbage incinerator plants.
Waste to Energy Directory
Index of organizations and processes that use sewage, garbage, and other waste products to generate energy efficiently and cleanly.
Wikipedia: Waste to Energy
Waste-to-energy (WtE) or energy-from-waste (EfW) in its strictest sense refers to any waste treatment that creates energy in the form of electricity or heat from a waste source that would have been disposed of in landfill, also called energy recovery.