How it is made: Turning Waste into Energy

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How it is made: Turning Waste into Energy
Modern consumer lifestyles are causing a tremendous worldwide waste problem. Having overfilled local landfill capacities, many first world nations are now exporting their waste to lesser develop countries. These actions have a disturbing impact on Mother Nature as well as the cultures throughout the globe.
With the rapid industrialization, the world has seen the development of many items like things that generate heat and electricity. Heat has often treated as a waste making an individual wonder if this massive heat being generated can be transmute into a source of electric power.

Waste-to-Energy (WtE) or Energy-from-Waste (EfW) is the process of generating electricity or heat power from the incineration of waste. It is a form of energy recovery and most of it produces electricity and heat through combustion.

In a Country Research Recovery Facility in New York, this power plant burn 30, 000 tons of garbage a day and lights up the whole city of Big Apple. Bulks of waste are being collected in different areas in New York.

In the facility, heaps of garbage is dump in a big drying chamber in order to become dehydrated since wet garbage can’t generate electricity. This drying compartment is like a nightmare vision of the future and sorting all the condemned garbage by a suitably horrifying machine called the claw. Two of these gargantuan 22 ton grabbers speed up the drying process by turning and airing trashes until its ready to burn. These giant airing cover holds up 17, 000 loads of waste are divided into three sections and each has a size of a basketball court.

Nevertheless, one section is taking new wet garbage and the other two will continue drying the waste for seven days then the conveyor belts will feed the three incinerators for waste destruction.

Three blazing inferno which reach up to 222 degrees Fahrenheit burn as much as 22, 000 pounds of dry garbage in an hour. While ash tumbles down through a series of rollers to an extraction system were any metal are being remove by magnets, the inferno heats up the 165 tons boiler like a giant tea kettle.

Extracted water runs through an immense maze of pipe works were heat from the furnace turns into 100 steams per hour. The high pressure steam is being pipe up to a colossal turbine room above the boiler. Nonetheless, each 235 megawatts turbine that generates power is design like a double-deck bus. The steam spins the turbines were convert their movement into electricity to light up the entire New York.

However, this kind of method is associated with one major problem. Pollutants will have the potential to enter in our atmosphere with the massive flue gases from the boiler. These noxious wastes are considered hazardous and in the 1980’s were reported to cause an environmental damage by turning rain into an acid rain. They stated that incinerators may emit fine particulate, heavy metals, trace dioxins, acid gas and the like.

Critics argue that incinerators may cause desolation on valuable resources and furthermore may reduce incentives for recycling. The question, nevertheless, is a wide matter as countries in Europe recycling the most (70%) also incinerate their residual waste to avoid land filling.

Hence, in order to diminish this predicament, modern industries created devices like fabric filters, reactors and catalysts to capture other regulated pollutants.

By passing the smoke through these devices, any acids that reside the smoke are neutralized and filtered which averts the acid from reaching the atmosphere and hurting the environment.

According to the New York Times, recent incineration plants are so clean that “many times more dioxin is now at released from home fireplaces and backyard barbecues than from incineration.” Also according to the German Environmental Ministry, “because of stringent regulations, waste incineration plants are no longer significant in terms of emission of dioxins, dust and heavy metals.”

– DELBERT JOHN S. JUBAN

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