Portable Generator for Converting Waste into Electricity
A group of scientists at Purdue University, USA have developed a portable refinery that efficiently converts food, paper and plastic trash into electricity. The machine, designed for the U.S. military, would allow soldiers in the field to convert waste into power and could have widespread civilian applications in the future. The "tactical biorefinery" processes several kinds of waste at once, which it converts into fuel via two parallel processes. The system then burns the different fuels in a diesel engine to power a generator. Roughly the size a small moving van, the biorefinery could alleviate the expense and potential danger associated with transporting waste and fuel. Also, by eliminating garbage remnants - known in the military as a unit's "signature" - it could protect the unit's security by destroying clues that such refuse could provide to enemies. The U.S. Army has commissioned the biorefinery upon completion of a functional prototype, and the machine is being considered for future Army development. The machine could also be deployed in disaster situations, similar to Hurricane Katrina, or at any crisis location where people are stranded without power. Emergency crews could then use the machine to turn debris such as woodchips into much-needed electricity. The refinery also could provide supplementary power for factories, restaurants or stores. The biorefinery generator initially runs on diesel oil for several hours until the gasifier and the bioreactor begin to produce fuel. In the initial commissioning test, researchers measured the amount of diesel oil burned and electricity produced to calculate its efficiency. The machine produces a very small amount of its own waste, Warner said, mostly in the form of ash that the Environmental Protection Agency has designated as "benign," or non-hazardous. Any leftover materials from the bioreactor are put into the gasifier, which has to be emptied every two to three days. For further details, contact: Purdue University West Lafayette USA Michael Ladisch, Tel: (765)494-7022, E-mail: [email protected] Jerry Warner, Tel: (703)448-0440, E-mail: [email protected] Nathan Mosier, Tel: (765)496-2044, E-mail: [email protected]
Sector: Disaster Management and Mitigation
Country: India
Area of Application: Disaster situations, Military operations
Keywords: Biorefinery, Disaster situations
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Development Status: Commercial Prototype
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Contact Person: UN-ESCAP/APCTT
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City: New Delhi
Country: India
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