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A Waste Gasification Plant In a Truck

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the back-it-up dept.

Power 148

waderoush writes "There are plenty of waste-to-energy plants around the US, but most of them simply burn the waste, dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Gasification technology, by contrast, converts nearly all of the waste into gases like hydrogen and carbon monoxide that can be used to run generators and furnaces. The problem is that most gasification facilities are factory-sized. Now a startup outside Boston has built a combination shredder-dryer-pelletizer-gasifier that fits into 30-by-8-by-8-foot shipping container. The so-called 'Green Energy Machine' can be backed up to a loading dock by truck, processing 3 tons of solid waste per day and putting out enough synthetic gas to run a 120-kilowatt generator or a 240-kilowatt-equivalent furnace. The makers say the machine can eliminate 540 tons of carbon emissions per year, in large part by reducing the amount of waste that goes to methane-generating landfills."

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Apples (4, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526009)

IGasify. Portable usb gasification plant.

Power your IPod with your own excrements! As only pop stars can do right now.

Re:Apples (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526151)

That's spelled poop stars now. And I'm damn glad smellovision wasn't invented yet.

Re:Apples (2, Funny)

imdx80 (842737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526223)

"Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads.

Actually... Smell-O-Vision exists already (2, Interesting)

Talkischeap (306364) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526659)

Actually, Smell-O-Vision exists already, and made its only appearance in the 1960 film Scent of Mystery. The process injected 30 different smells into a movie theater's seats when triggered by the film's soundtrack.

And director John Waters released a movie in 1981 called Polyester, with "Odorama", whereby viewers could smell what they saw on screen through scratch and sniff cards.

I saw/smelled it, and it was GROSS!

Be very glad that technology is still quite immature.

How about working links, eh? (1)

Talkischeap (306364) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526687)

So sorry, my html is really rusty and I munged up the links.

Smell-O-Vision [wikipedia.org]

Polyester [wikipedia.org]

Re:Actually... Smell-O-Vision exists already (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527907)

It was also done as part of Children in Need one year here. All of the scratch and sniff slots smelt of mothballs.

Even worse (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26528083)

the smell-o-scope.

Re:Apples (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526443)

IGasify. Portable usb gasification plant.

Don't forget the new IGasify Nano. Now ENIAC-sized!

Re:Apples (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527915)

How about getting a bunch of these things and backing them up to the local landfill? We have large ones scheduled to go on line at our local landfills but it might be a lot faster to simply get a bunch of small ones. Supposedly our entire garbage mountain can be used to make electricity.

Here's a better idea... (1)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526011)

Simply put vacuum devices under the tables at Taco Bell and Del Taco. You'll get all the burnable gas you'll ever need!

Re:Here's a better idea... (1)

mancunian_nick (986362) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526139)

Heinz baked beans are good for the heart. The more you eat, the more you ... further comment would be superfluous. :)

Re:Here's a better idea... (1)

ozbon (99708) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527215)

Beans, beans, the musical fruit
The more you eat, the more you toot

Re:Here's a better idea... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26527357)

Looks like someone doesn't know what "superfluous" means.

Re:Here's a better idea... (2, Funny)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527511)

Eat Beans!
America needs gas!

I have that beat: (3, Informative)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526015)

You obviously never went on a high school trip with teenagers in a van eating pumpkin seeds. That was the highest efficiency matter to gas conversion I've ever seen.

Re:I have that beat: (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526359)

Maybe we can feed them chocolate covered pumpkin seeds and run the van on oil from their faces too lol.
But seriously, I like turning garbage into plasma by arc welding it or whatever that other story on Slashdot was a while ago. How that nets an energy gain I don't know but it supposedly did. Turning toxic metals and disgusting rotting waste into subatomic particles is AWESOME! You are literally getting rid of garbage cuz it's not gonna coalesce back into moldy cheese and cathode ray tubes after it gets turned into plasma :D

They need a 'reformer' (2, Interesting)

zymano (581466) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526035)

A reformer that removes all the carbon before it's burned would have made the tech a homerun.

Just =5 on a 10 point scale.

reformers are being researched for fuel cells because they can convert gasoline to hydrogen and remove that carbon.

"removed"? (2, Informative)

The Creator (4611) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526801)

You do realize that reformers turn the carbon into CO2 right?

Re:"removed"? (4, Funny)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527219)

Only decepticon reformers turn it into CO2. Autobot reformers are much more responsible with the carbon.

Re:"removed"? (1)

ijakings (982830) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527817)

Transformers, Carbon in disguise.

Re:"removed"? (1)

ijakings (982830) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527831)

hmm that was meant to be Reformers, Carbon in disguise. Oh well.

Thinking Creativly About Energy (3, Interesting)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526037)

When I lived in Iowa briefly I was amazed at some of the cool ideas people have come up with to use waste to create energy. As I'm sure many of you know, Iowa is big farm country, lots of cattle. So somebody devised a way to burn cow feces and use it to create power. Some small towns are using this as a means to cut back on buying energy, while at the same time finding a use for stuff that would otherwise just help contaminate the drinking water. Our energy problems are big, but the key to getting stuff done is creativity.

Re:Thinking Creativly About Energy (4, Informative)

ani23 (899493) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526173)

rural folks in india have been doing that since forever. http://www.vatanappally.com/images/yp_cow.jpg [vatanappally.com]

Re:Thinking Creativly About Energy (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26526239)

There is some sort of error. The picture you linked is of a highly trained Software Engineer earning their hard earned off-shored dollars.

Re:Thinking Creativly About Energy (2, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526609)

Says something about your productive value when you can be replaced by someone akin to the person in that photograph.

Re:Thinking Creativly About Energy (3, Informative)

Snowblindeye (1085701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526339)

rural folks in india have been doing that since forever.

Yeah, there are definitly gasifiers that are smaller than the 'factory size' that the summary claims. Germany, for example, had many cars running gasifiers during world war 2, since they were short on oil.

There are also DIY projects that have build cars like that:
A Honda Accord that runs on Trash [treehugger.com]
A converted pickup truck [laughingsquid.com]

Re:Thinking Creativly About Energy (2, Funny)

metalcoat (918779) | more than 5 years ago | (#26528105)

What about the Delorean?

Re:Thinking Creativly About Energy (1)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526435)

rural folks in india have been doing that since forever.

http://www.vatanappally.com/images/yp_cow.jpg [vatanappally.com]

Rural folks in India must have got the idea by watching Meatloaf in the 1980 musical 'Roadie'.

Re:Thinking Creativly About Energy (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526569)

Yeah, sorry I didn't mean to suggest such technology is new, just an example of thinking outside the box in regards to energy. It was new to me, and I think interesting alternatives to nuke, solar, bio, and geo are often forgotten on Slashdot and other discussions. It is nice to hear such tech is common, I had no idea.

Re:Thinking Creativly About Energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26526967)

It's actually not a good idea, since the smoke from the fires contains carbon monoxide and lots of particulate emissions and is rather detrimental to the health of those inhaling it, especially for young children.

Re:Thinking Creativly About Energy (4, Interesting)

umghhh (965931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526445)

I suppose there is no one single way of dealing with shortage of fossil fuels so we will need many methods if one of them deals with big part of our garbage that is only good.
Plants that process manure are maybe not a common thing but their use is getting more and more popular. The advantage is there also that the processed thing can be used as fertilizer and it does not stink as terrible as the original thing. Why the method is not more popular I do not know. Seems to be no brainer.

Re:Thinking Creativly About Energy (2, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527581)

I don't know about Burning them for power but we used to take dried cow chips and pack them with us on camping trips. You could light them with fatwood (sawdust and wood splinters mixed with wax or oil and presses into sticks with wicks on one end for lighting like a match) and they would stay lit long enough to dry out wet wood. It doesn't smell like crap at this stage and if you can't find wood, several pieces of this would give you a fire big enough to cook on. Also, it was relatively light so it made packing firewood to remote places rather easy.

I wonder if they are using dried cow chips or if they are doing something with wet ones? The dried ones, we just picked them up out of the field. I don't think they dry when cleaned from a barn, but then again, they are soaked with piss too so I'm not sure it would be odor neutral.

The solution is a distributed architecture (5, Interesting)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526093)

This is a nice idea. In fact I think all solutions which work by localizing energy distribution is the way to go. Minimizing needless transportation of energy and waste is a huge improvement over the current situation.

I don't think there will ever be a single "silver bullet" tech to solve our energy and environment issues. The solution is lots and lots of small local (even house-level) improvements.

Re:The solution is a distributed architecture (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26526927)

The solution is lots and lots of small local (even house-level) improvements.

Mostly true. Need to keep in mind all costs and benefits however. There's a reason why centralized, large scale factories etc. developed.

Economies of scale at a central plant, including centralized transport and centralized construction, may outweigh the benefit of distributing the plant and reducing the costs of product transport. It depends on many different factors. e.g. The A380 is one of the most efficient passenger aircraft ever produced but it requires a big factory to build it. Ditto oil tankers. On the other hand there is currently much energy waste in the average first world suburban home with room for significant improvement. Just improving building codes would help a lot.

Re:The solution is a distributed architecture (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26527167)

I think women are the problem. I would be happy to have an energy efficient house made of concrete that is built like a bunker and partially subterranean. My wife however insists on having a pretty house with lots of windows facing all the wrong directions.

Re:The solution is a distributed architecture (4, Informative)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527039)

How do you know that the gains from distributing your capabilities will offset the increased inefficiencies of larger numbers of smaller operations, not to mention the set-up costs? Economies of scale isn't just a fancy word....

Re:The solution is a distributed architecture (3, Funny)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527649)

Economies of scale isn't just a fancy word
No, it's three words.

Always something to forget about... (5, Insightful)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526135)

Not sure about the emission standards of Massachusetts, but I know that California was a stickler for oxides of nitrogen emissions.

It sounds like the temperatures involved here are high enough to form oxides of nitrogen (the cylinder of an automobile can be) and these are precisely the gases that are responsible for "Acid Rain".

Trading one problem for another?

Re:Always something to forget about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26526583)

I call bovine excrement... Last time at school I was taught the culprit was mostly suplhur dioxide.

Re:Always something to forget about... (2, Informative)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526629)

Sulphur dioxide dissolves in water to form sulphuric acid. Nitrogen oxides dissolve to form nitric acid.

Please keep those cattle farming by-products to yourself.

Re:Always something to forget about... (1)

martinX (672498) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526695)

Perhaps the thought underlying that teaching (and this is something I'm guessing at) is that the sulphur impurities in fuel more readily form oxides when burnt, and as a part of the overall mix of exhaust gases, nitrogen oxides didn't contribute much.

However (if this is indeed the case) this may be different for different fuels and different combustion temperatures.

Re:Always something to forget about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26528035)

Hydrate the resulting NOx to get nitrogen acids, and then send the acids through KOH. The result will be saltpetre, a useful fertilizer.

Carbon Monoxide? (3, Interesting)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526145)

CO to me usually means toxic and dangerous, not fuel source. I'm willing to believe it could be used to produce power, but I'd want to be quite sure it was well contained. It doesn't take much concentration of that stuff to kill a person, and the toxicity means you often lose consciousness before you know you're suffocating (and end up on the floor, where the air quality will be worst).

Re:Carbon Monoxide? (1, Offtopic)

McWilde (643703) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526199)

Just Posting to undo offtopic mod. Stupid onchange event handling.

Re:Carbon Monoxide? (4, Insightful)

berzerke (319205) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526391)

CO burns to CO2 with enough O2. It can be used as fuel, albeit a dangerous one. However, there are ways to deal with that. Gasoline, for instance, isn't a health drink, but we still use it everyday.

Re:Carbon Monoxide? (4, Informative)

j. andrew rogers (774820) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526497)

CO to me usually means toxic and dangerous, not fuel source.

Then you will be pleased to discover that carbon monoxide is not only an ubiquitous industrial chemical used for more things than you are likely to imagine, but that it has been used as automotive fuel in times past, a bit like how compressed natural gas is used in some vehicles today. Yes it is toxic, but then so are most industrial chemicals and commonly used gases. This is actually pretty retro fuel technology, used when petroleum distillates were in short supply since you can produce it from damn near any organic matter (wood waste was a popular source). It says something about educational systems that you do not know that carbon monoxide has a long history as a fuel, since that was its primary application for a long time, usually by converting a carbon rich source into "water gas", a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. We have long since replaced water gas with natural gas and short-chain hydrocarbon gases from mined sources, which is far more cost effective in bulk.

I am not really directing this at you, but we need to get past the "gosh, it might be toxic!" over-reaction to some really basic chemistry. We have used "water gas" and carbon monoxide systems for a very long time as chemistry goes, and long before anyone really properly characterized its asphyxiating properties. If they could use it in the 19th century without killing everybody, then we can certainly use it in the 21st century without killing everybody. There is more truly nasty chemistry waiting to happen in your average household than any normal person likely imagines, and yet we somehow survive as a society.

Chemical toxicity is becoming like "nuclear" and "radioactive", bogeymen perceived as ineffable evils that will kill us all. It betrays a deep disconnect with the reality of the situation that, if allowed to drive political decisions, really will kill us all even if indirectly in a carefully designed hypo-allergenic padded cell. Fortunately, biology evolved in environments filled with radioactive, toxic crap, and is pretty good at mitigating the damage except in the most extreme cases that only a human could engineer. Yes, carbon monoxide is toxic, but it is also easily managed with some fairly primitive engineering.

Re:Carbon Monoxide? (4, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526847)

It's not that long ago that the UK changed from the CO / H mixture (it was called "town gas") to natural gas.

Re:Carbon Monoxide? (5, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526649)

Err, it's pretty obvious that they'd build some kind of safety mechanism. If you're going to point out dangers of various power sources and assume there are no safety measures being taken, here's a bit of airy scary information for you:

* Nuclear fuel, uranium, is radioactive and will cause cancer or direct radiation poisoning.
* Coal is full of mercury, and eating it will cause people to call you a mad hatter.
* Oil is bad because you can drown in it.
* Solar power is bad because the sun can give you sunburn.
* Wind power is really nasty because all those spinning blades can chop you up into teeny tiny pieces.

Re:Carbon Monoxide? (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527019)

CO to me usually means toxic and dangerous, not fuel source.

It is a fuel source and was a major part of "town gas/coal gas" which was the usual form of piped gas prior to "natural gas". Which is where they idea of people commiting suicide using gas comes from...
Also used in the Second World war were reactors which partially burned wood to fuel internal combustion engines. Often for civilian use since the German military had priority access to regular fuel.

carbon monoxide is toxic (3, Informative)

TimSSG (1068536) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526181)

From Article

The pellets are dropped into the aforementioned downdraft gasifier, which breaks them down under high heat into a mix of methane, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Finally, this "syngas" is sucked into a generator or microturbine to make electricity, or piped to a furnace to make heat.

The summary has the idea that carbon monoxide is NOT an green house gas. While, this might be true the gas is then burned which should result in carbon dioxide. Tim S

Re:carbon monoxide is toxic (2, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526399)

You could sequester the CO instead by using to gas bunnies, weighting the bunny corpses down with compacted garbage and chucking them into the ocean somewhere where it is really deep.

Oh you said a green solution. Sorry, try the next cubicle along. Chap with the pony tail will help you.

Re:carbon monoxide is toxic (1)

StupiderThanYou (896020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526403)

From Article

The pellets are dropped into the aforementioned downdraft gasifier, which breaks them down under high heat into a mix of methane, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Finally, this "syngas" is sucked into a generator or microturbine to make electricity, or piped to a furnace to make heat.

The summary has the idea that carbon monoxide is NOT an green house gas. While, this might be true the gas is then burned which should result in carbon dioxide.

Moreover, the methane will produce carbon dioxide on burning, and the oxides of nitrogen are either greenhouse gases or toxic. TFA might be glossing over a couple of things. Processing waste is a good thing, but no magic bullet.

Re:carbon monoxide is toxic (1)

PNP_Transistor (1398577) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527047)

Moreover, the methane will produce carbon dioxide on burning, and the oxides of nitrogen are either greenhouse gases or toxic. TFA might be glossing over a couple of things. Processing waste is a good thing, but no magic bullet.

I think the whole point is that putting the waste in a landfill and getting extra power off the grid produces MORE greenhoues gases than disposing of waste/generating power using the gasification device. Still, shouldn't TFA still mention that the process still DOES produce pollution?

Re:carbon monoxide is toxic (1)

adamjgp (1229860) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527965)

Wouldn't this be a "carbon neutral" power source? Meaning that the carbon that's released is equivalent to the carbon that was sequestered in the organic material in the first place. Come to think of it, even fossil fuels are technically "carbon neutral" except that their carbon was taken out of the atmosphere millions of years ago, while the carbon fueling this power source was taken out of the atmosphere more recently. Since this gasifier a carbon neutral power source there is no net addition to the green house problem. The problem comes in when you're releasing carbon that has been sequestered for millions of years all at once.

I wouldn't wanna be the guy to has to... (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526255)

... siphon out and cart off all the, ummm, residue that's left after the gasification. Can you say "shitty job"?

Re:I wouldn't wanna be the guy to has to... (1)

borizz (1023175) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527069)

Residue? That's too long. I have an idea why not call it "ash"?

Re:I wouldn't wanna be the guy to has to... (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527097)

Is that an example of syllabic simplification? And is this an example of alliteration?

won't reduce carbon emmission at all (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26526273)

Whatever this system does to the waste, it won't reduce carbon emmission. The gas it produces still contains all the C-atoms of the original waste, and when burned, will release them as CO2. Apparently it will generate much more energy from the same amount of waste, which is obviously a Good Thing, but it only reduces the carbon emmissions per kWh generated, not the carbon emmissions per ton of waste.

Re:won't reduce carbon emmission at all (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526349)

The gas it produces still contains all the C-atoms of the original waste

How do you know that? Maybe part of carbon is left in compact solid residue that can be buried, while the produced gas has higher content of hydrogen than the original waste.

Re:won't reduce carbon emmission at all (3, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526655)

i'm not a fan of the carbon is evil mindset, but producing more power while having to burn less instantly reduces emissions, genius.

It does redcue greenhouse gases (3, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527315)

The system burns methane that would otherwise be released to the atmosphere. Methane has a much higher greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide, because it absorbs more infrared radiation, therefore converting methane to CO2 has a positive effect in reducing global warming, even if the total carbon amount released is the same.

10%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26526285)

Can this be 10% of the US energy grid by converting every land fill to this?

nothing wrong with landfill. (2, Interesting)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526287)

Have you any idea how many billions of dollers there are to be made exploiting old landfill sites? Either by mining or collecting that methane for sale.

Most people who don't like them seem to think they are just holes in the ground that get filled up with crap and left to pollute. I live less than five miles from one, have done for many years, and not once has there been any smell or environmental damage. That area has some of the best hedgerows in the county, and as they cover over finished portions, the local wildlife is left alone to repopulate.

In contrast, constant development closer to me has destroyed a marsh, displacing a population of kingfishers (among other species, but they were the most prominant to my mind) and disrupting local river systes. They even redirected one river entirely, and now it floods every few years.

Re:nothing wrong with landfill. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527829)

There is a land fill not far from me that ended up polluting the local water table and made a crap load of people sick before it was discovered. The company that owned the landfill ended up putting water storage tanks in place of the wells and trucked in treated watter until it could plumb the entire country side and build a water treatment plant that those effected residents are forced to use.

Also, sometime around the 70's, the land fills started having to cover the garbage as it went in. They couldn't have more then so many square feet of exposed garbage outside of their immediate work area at any time. This cut down a lot on the debris flying away and polluting neighboring lands and waterways. They also had to build lagoons to catch the runoff and protect waterways.

Landfills weren't always this way. Their image hasn't really caught up with their required measures now. The parts that polluted the water table was from chemicals buried on site back before that was outlawed or even tracked but it's effect was in the image of the facility today not 70 years ago. I agree that in today's world, they are not that bad. S.C. Johnson actually mines Methane from a couple of landfills and powers at least one (that I know of, there could be more) entire factory from it. There is an image problem from years ago that influence how people view them today but I think that is changing slowly.

Needs "Marty!" tag (1, Informative)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526361)

But can it power a flux capacitor?

Contrast? (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526369)

There are plenty of waste-to-energy plants around the US, but most of them simply burn the waste, dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Gasification technology, by contrast, converts nearly all of the waste into gases like hydrogen and carbon monoxide that can be used to run generators and furnaces.

So what exactly happens to the carbon monoxide "used to run generators and furnaces"? Oh, it's burned and so "dump[s] carbon dioxide into the atmosphere".

Where's the contrast again?

Re:Contrast? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526821)

The end product is the same, the contrast is presumably that you get some use out of it first. That means you could save using some other fuel.

Re:Contrast? (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527405)

The original article says

There are plenty of waste-to-energy plants around the US, but most of them simply burn the waste,

"waste-to-energy" sounds like they're saving some other fuel doesn't it?

Re:Contrast? (1)

borizz (1023175) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527085)

Seriously? You have to ask this?

Yes, the same CO2 will still enter the atmosphere. But now it has heated some homes. Which in turn do not need to burn natural gas or heating oil for their heat, so that CO2 production is saved.

Re:Contrast? (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527423)

Seriously, did you read the article? They're contrasting existing waste to energy plants (which burn the crap, and use the heat, either for heating, or electricity generation, or both) with gasification, followed by burning the gas for heating, electricity generation, or both.

Where's the big win?

Re:Contrast? (1)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527931)

Where's the big win?

The big win is there are fewer toxic by products when using a plasma furnace. By use of the plasma ultra high temperatures (e.g. 30,000 deg F) everything ionizes and breaks down to their atomic levels and then recombine as much smaller and less toxic molecules. If you wanted to get rid of the US's stockpiles of chemical weapons this is the way to do it. Too bad it doesn't work for radioactive wastes as well.

http://gas2.org/2008/02/03/more-on-plasma-gasification-technology/ [gas2.org]

What about other elements contained in the wastes? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26526405)

Will they become toxic byproducts?

A Waste Gasification Plant In a Truck (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26526411)

TEN THOUSAND CRACKER COCKS SLAPPING YOUR DIRTY NIGGER FACE

You are not logged in. You can log in now, Create an Account, or post as Anonymous Coward.

Endlosung once again? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26526449)

The nazis invented this over 65 years ago. There were truck-mobile gas chambers being used on the eastern front, which were used to gasify "waste" groups, like the "subhuman" gipsy, the "semi-animal" slavs and the evil jews, of course.

This new gasification truck ideas will not sound good for politial correctness in Europe, the american manufacturer shall choose a less frightening name!

For reference: (2, Funny)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526477)

For reference, 1 kw = 3/4 hp, so this thing could almost power your car. . .

Re:For reference: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26526591)

Hmmm... 1hp =3/4 kw is what you were looking for. Unless this is the famed mosb1000 system of units...

Re:For reference: (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526933)

Equally worrysome is that he seems to think one needs 100kW to power a car. I've seen current cars with less that 50kW. Heck think of this car [wikipedia.org] ... 6.5 kW in the earliest models... Granted, it's not up to safety standards of today, but still.

Re:For reference: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26527059)

For reference, 1 kw = 3/4 hp, so this thing could almost power your car. . .

That is some fscking car if it has room for a 30x8x8 foot container in the trunk.

Re:For reference: (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527845)

Ehh, slap a compressor on it and fill 100 gallon tanks to drive around with.

Re:For reference: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26527191)

1) Name it "Mr Fusion"
2) Put it on a DeLorean
3) ???
4) Profit !

"3 tons of solid waste per day" (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526611)

nice now they just need to build one for every fucking street in my city alone.

the big factories are more efficent for a start, but the big joke is that they will need to burn oil to move the truck around. oh noes the evil CO2's will get us.

from TFA (1)

Foolicious (895952) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527385)

But he says the GEM is also ideal for commercial and municipal facilities such as industrial plants, hospitals, universities, prisons, sports stadiums, and city waste transfer stations -- "really, anybody who generates at least two tons of waste a day, which covers a huge market." (For comparison, the town of Lincoln, MA, generates 6 tons of solid waste per day, and the Prudential Center development in downtown Boston generates 11 tons, according to Haber.)

The fact that it's truck size doesn't mean you cannot permanently install it somewhere...like the end of your street.

Re:"3 tons of solid waste per day" (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527897)

They burn oil already to move the trash around. In the nearest city to me, they collect the garbage at a site then truck it to a landfill 35 miles away. Actually, about every town in the county does this except the ones closest to the landfill who take the garbage directly there. Suppose they permanently park this thing at the end of the street and instead of everyone taking their trash to the curb to be picked up by large trucks, they take it to the end of the block like they would if they had to put it in a dumpster in an apartment complex.

Over the horizon (1)

Gorgonzolanoid (1394311) | more than 5 years ago | (#26526707)

Why does everyone always point out that they "don't produce CO2" nowadays, when all they do is shove the CO2 production over the horizon, into someone else's yard?

Gasification technology, by contrast, converts nearly all of the waste into gases like hydrogen and carbon monoxide that can be used to run generators and furnaces

So instead of burning it (producing CO2) and generating energy locally, they produce carbon monoxyde that can be burned (producing just as much CO2) somewhere else, and suddenly they're "clean".

There is a benefit to using waste: if you just let it rot you get CO2 as well, so it's not a bad idea to gain some energy in the process. But gasification isn't any cleaner than other methods for getting energy out of waste.

There is a benefit to gasification, just in that you can use the gas somewhere else, closer to where the energy is needed. But mentioning CO2 as if it magically disappears is hypocritic.

A different topic maybe, but electric cars are just the same: no, they don't produce CO2. The CO2 is produced in the electricity plant that generates the current to charge your batteries instead. Or in a nuclear plant, creating its own kind of problems. And a small but growing part in clean alternative plants.
The net effect of a "clean" electric car is that the energy has to come from somewhere else, shifting the responsibility for doing it in a clean way to someone else. Electric cars aren't clean, they're hypocritic.

It's not just car manufacturers and waste gasifiers, many are making themselves "clean" today by saddling someone else up with the problems.

Re:Over the horizon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26527077)

I'm sorry to say that's how the world works. People have been absolving themselves of blame by handing other people their problems since the beginning of humanity. example:religious prayer

Re:Over the horizon (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527425)

Electric cars aren't clean, they're hypocritic.

It depends on the fuel source.

Wind
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2135/2220294203_2023ebf503.jpg%3Fv%3D0&imgrefurl=http://flickr.com/photos/12954724%40N00/2220294203&usg=__DkEq9CvwRsc7OiH5jhGtatUa4Sw=&h=360&w=500&sz=94&hl=en&start=4&um=1&tbnid=KHGmIM39nWPf3M:&tbnh=94&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3Deastern%2Boregon%2Bwindfarm%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN [google.com]

Solar
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.sciencemusings.com/blog/uploaded_images/SolarFarm-709019.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.sciencemusings.com/blog/blogarchive/2006_05_01_blogarchive.html&usg=__4M8Xi6hBoJClzTyvkokYoVT8ZhI=&h=282&w=400&sz=47&hl=en&start=4&um=1&tbnid=ORdJrubuEimFfM:&tbnh=87&tbnw=124&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dsolar%2Bfarm%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den [google.com]
Tides and waves
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.greenbizcafe.com.au/blog/content/energy_tide_newyork.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.greenbizcafe.com/blog/%3Ftag%3Dtide&usg=__nnGK5xs9BdYu1AFjKgl5bSoiFiY=&h=300&w=450&sz=76&hl=en&start=5&um=1&tbnid=sXcjq4QL8BLnxM:&tbnh=85&tbnw=127&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dtide%2Bgeneration%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den [google.com]

Hydropower
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://images.encarta.msn.com/xrefmedia/sharemed/targets/images/pho/t054/T054559A.jpg&imgrefurl=http://encarta.msn.com/media_461568445_1741500822_-1_1/Grand_Coulee_Dam.html&usg=__YPdBLSdMPOAC1OU9k7Wf9-09HSM=&h=340&w=517&sz=34&hl=en&start=2&um=1&tbnid=wnlEoGk6C5jleM:&tbnh=86&tbnw=131&prev=/images%3Fq%3DGrad%2Bcoulee%2Bdam%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den [google.com]

Re:Over the horizon (1)

Gorgonzolanoid (1394311) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527679)

Which add up to what - 10% of domestic energy in the US? 15%?

It was between 6 and 7% in 2004, I don't know how much it is today. I don't want to even attempt to predict anything in this field, but my expectation is that the goal of 100% in 10 years from 2008 [energybulletin.net] will NOT be reached. Not even by half.

Re:Over the horizon (1)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527913)

I learned this on \. or similar so take it with a bit of salt. A lot of power stations run all night long, it's not cost effective to turn them on and off so much. As long as they don't have to crank up the power plants to meet the demand placed on teh grid (at night) by the 2 or 3 electric cars out there, there's no net increase in C02 emmissions to charge them. I could be talking through my ass though, I don't know the numbers involved.

Just one more step. (1)

Geheimagent (679949) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527159)

"There are plenty of waste-to-energy plants around the US, but most of them simply burn the waste, dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Gasification technology, by contrast, converts nearly all of the waste into gases like hydrogen and carbon monoxide that can be used to run generators and furnaces."

Which then burn the carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide and dump it into the atmosphere. Not much won.

Answering quite a few needs... (1)

KenDiPietro (1294220) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527313)

Americas Waste-to-Energy http://www.aw2e.com/index.jsp [aw2e.com] generates electricity, distills potable water and gasifies trash, all the while reclaiming landfills. Is this a perfect solution? Probably not, but I would suggest it is a damn sight better than what we have now. Add to that the need to move toward a distributed generation policy, a concept that can cut down on ling line transmission losses (of up to 80% of the generated electricity we produce) and this really might be the technology of the future. http://www.eere.energy.gov/de/ [energy.gov]

The Nazis... (2, Funny)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527333)

did this back in the '40s. you don't want to be like hitler, do you? burn fossil fuels like every other red-blooded american, dammit!

following in the footsteps (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527533)

of the batmobile and the weinermobile, fartmobile promises far fewer smiles on the faces of children and far less dynamic action. instead, kids can marvel at its ability to generate heat in the winter, electricity in the summer, and a putrid stench all year round no matter where its parked.

All gases are global warming gases... (1)

teumesmo (1217442) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527615)

The only difference is the impact each one has on sun light trapping, carbon dioxide being one that affects it the least on the list of gases we would rather weren't on the atmosphere. Methane for example is 20 time worse than CO2, and has a much longer cycle if I'm not mistaking, some gases can be even 200 times worse than CO2.

So each gas impacts global warming, each affects it in different exponential factors, and each has its own cycle(2 years, 5 years, 20 years). I just can't see how we would be better off not burning syngas, and if it can be made lucrative, all its issues could be theoretically easily solved. I for one welcome our acid rain overlords, if we can avert melted ice caps and global crop failure, and spike in cooling/heating consumption(order independent).

Carbon Monoxide? Carbon Monoxide is poisionous!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26527697)

Carbon Monoxide results from and incomplete burn/oxidation. A clean burn results in H20 and CO2. Given the choice, I choose H20+CO2 The alternative is a gas that is a silent lethal killer, guaranteed to cause irreversible brain damage. Choose mild winters and warm summers with CO2 or guaranteed damage to you blood, brain and possible death with Carbon-Monoxide, CO.

Can this machine power itself? (1)

thered2001 (1257950) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527699)

Does it generate enough energy to power itself and yield a surplus? Because if it's using power from the site where it operates, then it's still increasing its 'carbon footprint'.

Produces CO2 like the other plants (1)

fgouget (925644) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527755)

There are plenty of waste-to-energy plants around the US, but most of them simply burn the waste, dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Gasification technology, by contrast, converts nearly all of the waste into gases like hydrogen and carbon monoxide that can be used to run generators and furnaces.

The summary got this wrong of course. Gasification technology produces gas, which is then burned to either produce heat or electricity. And this burning produces... drum rolls... CO2!

So as far as CO2 is concerned there's no difference with regular waste-to-energy plants. The only difference is that this produces gases as an intermediate step, which makes it possible to do the burning outside the plant. In a vehicle's engine for instance.

Jewish (0, Flamebait)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527895)

How do the jewish feel about this truck? Sounds like an eco friendly gas chamber.

Fuel, You Say? (1)

colinmorris (1400055) | more than 5 years ago | (#26527927)

And the truck itself? Runs on trash, right?

Break even point? (1)

sacremon (244448) | more than 5 years ago | (#26528091)

What is the carbon footprint for the manufacture of this item? How long does it have to be run before the amount of carbon that went into its manufacture is balanced by the amount of carbon not being released into the atmosphere?

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