December 16, 2008

Military Trash To Energy Refinery Successful

In March I wrote about a military project to solve two problems that every military faces, supplying fuel to remote bases and disposing of trash. The solution was to develop a refinery that could convert the trash to fuel to power a generator.

The tactical garbage-to-energy refinery (TGER, pronounced tiger) was developed jointly by RDECOM, Defense Life Sciences LLC of McLean, Va., and a team of Purdue University researchers.

The TGER uses thermal gasification to convert paper, plastic and Styrofoam garbage into syngas and a fermentation process to convert food and beverage waste to ethanol. The combined fuel is them fed to a 60 kilowatt generator. The unit is capable of processing about a ton of trash per day.

To test the unit in under actual conditions the TGER unit was sent to Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq in May.

Prototype deployment, which ended Aug. 10, has generated positive results so far. “Despite some mechanical problems, TGER has demonstrated excellent waste processing throughput and a very high level of net power efficiency,” Warner says.

Not only does this technology help to solve the problems of what to do with the trash the military generates and to lessen the need for fuel shipments to remote bases but the technology could be used to convert trash to energy in civilian applications. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

Source : Biomass Magazine

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