Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Garbage Gasification Power Gaining Global Traction

Dozens of companies -- large and small -- are vying for the rights to access municipal waste disposal landfills, to get in on the riches of fuel and power from garbage.

The US military has been in the forefront of the gasification of garbage for purposes of sanitation and energy production. First the US Army, next the US Air Force, and now the US Marine Corps are learning how to fit small, portable gasification plants into their strategic planning.

One company has signed a billion euro agreement which allows it to mine many of the world's landfills for solid waste to turn into fuels and power, via gasification.

This is one form of decentralised power and fuels production at its most extreme, since the sources of garbage are even more decentralised and diffuse than the sources of biomass, if one starts at the beginning. The same is true for municipal sewage, which can also be turned into fuels and energy.

It has been worth society's while to create an infrastructure for centralising and disposing of wastes and garbage -- for purposes of sanitation alone. How much more will it be worth developing even better infrastructure to achieve both sanitation and energy + fuels?

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