To burn or not to burn…is it still a question?

Thermal Processing of Crop Wastes

Most Efficient Form of Renewable Energy

War Against Improper Waste Management

Thoughts on green energy

Exploring the social enterprise – from London to Accra and back again

Landfils can Generate Electricity

Chianelli proposes capturing and recycling the exhaust gas that is produced from generating electricity with landfill methane. “The gas can be used to heat the landfill and to provide additional moisture — conditions that can boost the landfill’s overall methane production,” explains Science Daily. “Carbon dioxide found within the captured exhaust gas will also release additional methane once recycled within the landfill.”

Scientific Innovations and Ethics

Decomposing garbage produces methane, which can be used to produce heat or electricity. Landfills, which are filled with rotting garbage, are reliable sources of methane.

solid_waste_eng03-big Image from Sevee and Maher Engineers, Inc.

Despite the fact that methane can be used as an energy source, landfills typically flare off the methane they produce. The amount of methane produced is too small to make energy production worthwhile.

However, a new process innovated by Russell Chianelli, Ph.D., a chemistry professor at The University of Texas at El Paso, may help landfills to profit from their methane production.

Methane is produced when microorganisms feed on the rotting waste. In order to increase methane production, those microorganisms need to be provided with more food. This does not mean increasing the amount of garbage placed in landfills. Instead, Chianelli proposes capturing and recycling the exhaust gas that is produced from generating electricity with landfill methane.


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Solid Waste Management – Everybody’s Contribution Solicited


Solid Waste Management2Waste Management is defined as its collection, transportation, processing and / or disposal with additional function of monitoring waste materials impact on environment, human health and aesthetics. Waste materials can be solid, liquid, gaseous or radioactive and waste management encompasses all of these. Out of these, Solid Waste Management ( SWM ) can be considered as an activity which can be participated by all sectors of society for affective implementation. This is true for developed as well as developing nations, for urban as well as rural areas and for residential as well as industrial producers. Although major responsibility of facilitating and monitoring SWM lies with local government authorities, the generators of this waste can significantly contribute to the success of such a program by implementing the required waste disposal practices.

Various methods are used for SWM as summarily described in following text.

incineration provides energy from wasteINCINERATION (Waste-to-Energy) – Incineration is the process to…

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Illegal dumping and messy scavenging are the downsides to the inorganic rubbish collections. An orderly pile which was neat and tidy when the householder put out his or her rejects, can look like something from a slum in an underdeveloped country once the scavengers have finished foraging and looting for any saleable pieces, smashing electrical items, and leaving paper and polystyrene blowing in the wind. Added to which, the council claims it costs $1 million a year to clean up illegal dumping.


Biennial Inorganic Rubbish on the Kerbside

It’s that time of year again: the householders of Auckland are disgorging vast quantities of unwanted items, and piles of cast-offs of varying descriptions are appearing on the kerbsides and grass verges around the city. Auckland is either blessed or cursed, depending on your point of view, with its latest two-yearly inorganic rubbish collection, when the council vans trundle round collecting the masses of rejected junk spewed out by households in varying degrees of magnitude. For a few days, before the council trucks arrive, the kerbside piles look like miniature recreations of the massive tips in third world countries, with people picking through them to see what items they might claim as their own.

These collections are rare overseas – in London you can take your household rubbish and rejects to the local council tip free of charge – but they have been running…

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The needs of the worms are pretty simple, they need to be kept in a dark area, between 40 and 80 degrees, moist but not wet, and fed once a week or so. A week or two before the worms are to arrive you will want to begin collecting some kitchen scraps and a some newspapers. Worms will eat just about anything that doesn’t include meat, oils, or dairy.

From Ridley Field

105560676  The red wiggler aka Eisenia fetida, is a great addition to virtually any household.  These little critters can turn your veggie trimmings and even your waste paper into some of the most wonderful compost you can imagine.  We bought a pound of composting worms from Mark at WormMainea which is located not far from our place in Southern Maine.  His site is full of information about vermiculture and his blog is a great read too.

The needs of the worms are pretty simple, they need to be kept in a dark area, between 40 and 80 degrees, moist but not wet, and fed once a week or so.  A week or two before the worms are to arrive you will want to begin collecting some kitchen scraps and a some newspapers.  Worms will eat just about anything that doesn’t include meat, oils, or dairy.  Citrus and potato skins don’t go…

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Combined heat and power systems can range in terms of size (10 kilowatts up several megawatts or more), number of generators, and application, making them suitable for a wide variety of power and heating purposes. Given this versatility, properly installing a CHP system requires experience in mechanical and electrical system engineering and project management. This is definitely a job best left to the pros. Once installed, continuous maintenance is necessary to maintain optimal performance.

Failure of this distribution system would result in death or sickness of countless citizens not to mention the economic loss of what is obviously spoiled. Medicines demand low temperature storage if they are to do their job of saving lives and preserving health.


Cogeneration is not new. Large industrial facilities have burned natural gas to generate electricity and have recovered the heat from the engine jacket and exhaust to serve as process and space heat without burning additional fuel. In fact if you examine the large gap between natural gas costs versus electrical prices in the United States there is strong incentive to generate your own power if the heat can help offset the costs.

We see the economics are very positive with capital investment paybacks on the order of 10,000 hours. We also see higher system reliability as disasters interrupting the electrical grid are of no consequence if you have your own electrical supply. The time has come to start applying this technology to systems smaller than 50 kilowatts or micro installations. Throwing away 60 percent of the fuel value is irresponsible in light of escalating energy costs. To buy electricity and…

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Quest Resource Management Group

How many times have you finished a meal at a restaurant and felt guilty about the amount of food left on the table? Or have taken said leftover food home with honest intentions of eating it later. Fast forward to cleaning out your fridge. That same leftover container gets tossed in the garbage with other food that never made in to the weekly meal plan. Same goes for the inventory control at a restaurant or grocery store. Boxes and packages of food that never make it in to the chef’s special recipe or never make it on the shelves at the store.

Many consumers and businesses, especially in this economy, would immediately think about the financial waste. Why did I buy that much? I should have ordered less. I need to make smarter purchases, we need a better inventory management system… etc. Financial burden aside, what about the environmental burden?

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Biomass Energy Resources in Indonesia

BioEnergy Consult Blog

With Indonesia’s recovery from the Asian financial crisis of 1998, energy consumption has grown rapidly in past decade. The priority of the Indonesian energy policy is to reduce oil consumption and to use renewable energy. For power generation, it is important to increase electricity power in order to meet national demand and to change fossil fuel consumption by utilization of biomass wastes. The development of renewable energy is one of priority targets in Indonesia.

It is estimated that Indonesia produces 146.7 million tons of biomass per year, equivalent to about 470 GJ/y. The source of biomass energy is scattered all over the country, but the big potential in concentrated scale can be found in the Island of Kalimantan, Sumatera, Irian Jaya and Sulawesi. Studies estimate the electricity generation potential from the roughly 150 Mt of biomass residues produced per year to be about 50 GW or equivalent to roughly 470…

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Composting Strategies

BioEnergy Consult Blog

Compost Pile

The methodology of composting can be categorized into three major segments—anaerobic composting, aerobic composting, and vermicomposting. In anaerobic composting, the organic matter is decomposed in the absence of air. Organic matter may be collected in pits and covered with a thick layer of soil and left undisturbed six to eight months. The compost so formed may not be completely converted and may include aggregated masses.

Aerobic compostingis the process by which organic wastes are converted into compost or manure in presence of air and can be of different types. The most common is the Heap Method, where organic matter needs to be divided into three different types and to be placed in a heap one over the other, covered by a thin layer of soil or dry leaves. This heap needs to be mixed every week, and it takes about three weeks for conversion to take place. The…

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Biogas Upgradation

BioEnergy Consult Blog

Enrichment of biogas is primarily achieved by carbon dioxide removal which then enhances the energy value of the gas to give longer, driving distances with a fixed gas storage volume. Removal of carbon dioxide also provides a consistent gas quality with respect to energy value. The latter is regarded to be of great importance from the vehicle manufacturers in order to reach low emissions of nitrogen oxide. At present four different methods are used commercially for removal of carbon dioxide from biogas either to reach vehicle fuel standard or to reach natural gas quality for injection to the natural gas grid. These methods are:

  • Water absorption
  • Polyethylene glycol absorption
  • Carbon molecular sieves
  • Membrane separation

 Water scrubbing

Water scrubbing is used to remove carbon dioxide but also hydrogen sulphide from biogas since these gases is more soluble in water than methane. The absorption process is purely physical. Usually the biogas is pressurized…

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BioEnergy Consult Blog

GE H series power generation gas turbine. This...

Biomass conversion technologies transform a variety of wastes into heat, electricity and biofuels by employing a host of strategies. Conversion routes are generally thermochemical or biochemical, but may also include chemical and physical. Physical methods are frequently employed for size reduction of biomass wastes but may also be used to aggregate and densify small particles into pellets or briquettes.

A wide range of conversion technologies are under continuous development to produce biomass energy carriers for both small and large scale energy applications. Combustion is the most widely used technology that releases heat and can also generate power by using boilers and steam turbines. The simplest way is to burn the biomass in a furnace, exploiting the heat generated to produce steam in a boiler, which is then used to drive a steam turbine. At the smaller scale, biomass pellet and briquette combustion systems mainly used for domestic and industrial heat…

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Palm Oil Mill Effluent

BioEnergy Consult Blog

Palm Oil processing gives rise to highly polluting waste-water, known as Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME), which is often discarded in disposal ponds, resulting in the leaching of contaminants that pollute the groundwater and soil, and in the release of methane gas into the atmosphere. POME is an oily wastewater generated by palm oil processing mills and consists of various suspended components. This liquid waste combined with the wastes from steriliser condensate and cooling water is called palm oil mill effluent (POME). On average, for each ton of FFB (fresh fruit bunches) processed, a standard palm oil mill generate about 1 tonne of liquid waste with biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) 27 kg, chemical oxygen demand (COD) 62 kg, suspended solids (SS) 35 kg and oil and grease 6 kg

POME has a very high Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), which is 100 times more than the…

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BioEnergy Consult Blog

Ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass is produced mainly via biochemical routes. The three major steps involved are pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and fermentation as shown in Figure. Biomass is pretreated to improve the accessibility of enzymes. After pretreatment, biomass undergoes enzymatic hydrolysis for conversion of polysaccharides into monomer sugars, such as glucose and xylose. Subsequently, sugars are fermented to ethanol by the use of different microorganisms.

Pretreated biomass can directly be converted to ethanol by using the process called simultaneous saccharification and cofermentation (SSCF). Pretreatment is a critical step which enhances the enzymatic hydrolysis of biomass. Basically, it alters the physical and chemical properties of biomass and improves the enzyme access and effectiveness which may also lead to a change in crystallinity and degree of polymerization of cellulose. The internal surface area and pore volume of pretreated biomass are increased which facilitates substantial improvement in accessibility of enzymes. The process also helps…

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