Even with all the undeniable benefits of living in civilized society, there are still some obvious complications. One of the most harmful is this: people throw a lot of stuff away. In centuries past, this has meant placing a slowly building landfill for future generations to handle. Well, no more.
Thanks to the efforts of innovative companies like General Kinematics, machinery is becoming available that can sort and then convert this waste into all-important energy. It’s paying off, too. Sweden’s WTE program has created so many improvements in their energy from waste process that they’ve had to starting importing garbage from other countries to sustain their WTE needs and practices.
But what is waste-to-energy conversion and how do companies undertake the task of turning all that refuse into something valuable?
The Basics of Waste-to-Energy Conversion
When garbage is picked up from your driveway and transported to a waste-to-energy production plant, it goes through an initial sorting process. Recyclables like wood, glass, and paper are separated out for recycling purposes and the rest is organized for the next step in the WTE process. Things like food, bio waste, and “commercial garbage” are then added to an incinerator and set ablaze. The resulting steam rises into a turbine, kicking it into motion which then creates clean, reliable energy.
The waste to energy process is extremely flexible; it can be scaled to suit the needs of any community. In fact, China is so convinced of the viability of the waste to energy process that they’re currently in the process of building the world’s largest waste to energy plant.
The Environmental and Practical Benefits of WTE
According to the EPA, when processed properly, a power plant producing energy from waste can create close to 550-kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy per ton of waste.
On the environmental side of things, burning one ton of garbage can prevent almost one ton of toxic CO2 from seeping into the atmosphere. Not only that, but the WTE process also reduces the amount of methane that can accrue in a landfill.
The Future of Energy Production
At the moment, many countries across the globe seem content to keep their trash out of sight by putting it in landfills or exporting it to other countries. If that refuse isn’t handled properly, it can have a huge detriment to the environment. It can also spread disease and harm wildlife. By utilizing waste to energy practices, countries (and companies) can help create a replenishing source of energy that benefits everyone.
With the knowledge of the benefits of WTE spreading, more and more countries are taking steps to create or expand their WTE practices. In fact, there is hope that a shift in the way we choose to dispose of refuse will create a domino effect through a large percentage of industries and countries – causing them to rethink their waste processes.
Get Your WTE Efforts Started Right
If you have questions on how General Kinematics can improve your WTE process, contact General Kinematics today. Our knowledgeable team is waiting to introduce you to the industry’s most efficient, rugged and reliable waste to energy equipment on the market.