Saturday, March 15, 2008

Energy: Media is Stuck on Stupid

Can you really get energy from garbage? From exhaust gases? From forestry and agricultural biowaste? In all the brouhaha about biofuels taking food out of the mouths of babies, who would have the imagination to take a negative such as garbage and exhaust gases, and turn them into a positive such as useful energy? Only intelligent people, which is why you hear so little about the idea in the mainstream media.

Brian Westenhaus at New Energy and Fuel looks at the "pyrolysis reaction," one of several ways of extracting useful energy from waste.
Modern science is exploring and improving on pyrolysis. Scientists know what temperatures yield what products and how time at temperature can affect the product production. The modern goal is to have no oxidized products and yield products that can be made into other products. What is common is to try to yield pyrolysis oil, a complex mixture of oxygenated hydrocarbons that can be refined into most things that crude oil can also be used to make. The advantage is that modern techniques yield liquid products that are much easier to use, easier to transport and can be made into a wide array of products.

The latest technology is in gaseous pyrolysis. Gaseous pyrolysis has been around for well over 100 years when coal was first treated by pyrolysis to make “coal gas” that was piped around to homes and businesses for lighting lamps before electricity became commonplace. Today the target is “syn-gas” or “syngas” and to achieve the highest yield with the least possible liquid and solid products.

Its not all that simple, pyrolysis is a complex reaction and results can be products out of equilibrium with difficult to predict properties. Nevertheless, technology marches on and the control expertise has good results now in managing the process temperatures, the timing, ambient surroundings, and the “contaminates” of oxygen, water and other gases. A pure or consistent feedstock can yield excellent results. Keep in mind that only a very small fraction of the energy locked in the feedstock is all that’s required to make the necessary heat run the pyrolysis.___NewEnergy

Pyrolysis reactions are the subject of intensive research by those who understand the energy revolution that is coming.

Here is more about energy from garbage, and energy from exhaust gases. Even the US military in Iraq is learning to replace diesel generators with trash fueled generators.

For those who are stuck on stupid the mainstream media's perceptions of biofuels, take a quick peak at the different approaches to biomass energy and energy from garbage. No need to do anything as drastic as to change your mind. Just let some new information in, and allow fermentation to occur.
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