Energy, Environment, Renewable energy

How to generate energy from garbage?

One of the greatest environmental problems today is the big quantity of garbage produced currently. It is a great idea to transform all those garbage in energy due to big demand of electrical energy. How to generate energy from waste is this post’s subject.

Burn of waste

You can simply burn the garbage, the boiler is heated and generate a steam to turn on power turbines to produce electrical energy. This type of plant works like a common thermoelectrical. The waste go to recovery system.

Production and burn of biogas

The non-recyclable garbage, by anaerobic digestion (without air), produce biogas which has from 50 to 75% of methane and from 25 a 45% of carbon dioxide, the excess of those gases in the atmosphere increase the greenhouse effect. It is convenient to use this gas to generate energy, polyethylene tubes extract the gas.

The biogas has a great amount of H_{2}S which is high corrosive for become an electrolyte, this gas needs to be oxidized with SO_{2} to not damage the metals.

2H_{2}S+SO_{2}\rightarrow 3S+2H_{2}O

One way of oxidation is with a small amount of air and aerobically bacterias. Another way is using a non-aqueous hidrocarbon solvent containing sulfur dioxide.

After that the biogas is cooled and separated by vapors to extract the methane which is submitted to combustion to create steam to turn on power turbines, the remaining waste is used as fertilizer.

The direct burn of garbage emit toxic gases from soot to the atmosphere, while using the biogas is less pollutant. However produce biogas to generate energy is more expensive than the simple burn.


About Pedro Ney Stroski

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