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Are Waste To Energy Plants Environment Friendly?

By Author: Kapil Rathod
Total Articles: 62

A Waste to Energy plant takes solid waste and converts it to electricity or heat through a highly ecological and cost-effective process of energy recovery.
This plant runs by burning waste at high temperatures and using heat from boilers to make steam. The steam produced drives a turbine which creates electricity.

Some proven benefits of using a waste to energy plants are:

1)Eliminates methane emissions from landfills
2)Offsets greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil fuel electrical production
3)Recovers/recycles valuable resources, such as metals
4)Produces clean, reliable base-loaded energy, and steam
5)Uses less land per megawatt compared to other renewable energy sources
6)Sustainable and steady renewable fuel source
7)Destroys chemical waste
8)Results in low emission levels, typically below permitted levels

Waste to energy is a tremendously robust and effective alternative energy option that produces minimal CO2 emissions.

About 2/3rds of household waste is biomass. This means that 2/3rds of CO2-neutral energy can be produced from this waste, reducing dependency on fossil fuels.
Let us understand how a waste to energy plant works.

Trucks carrying waste are first weighed and monitored for safety. They then enter an enclosed tipping area where waste is unloaded into a concrete storage pit. An overhead crane mixes the deposited waste. Then the crane lifts the residue to furnace hoppers that are placed above the back wall of the pit. Air from the pit and tipping area helps in burning the waste. This prevents dust and odour from escaping the building.

Metal grates transport the waste in the furnace. A minimum temperature of 1800 degrees is used to ensure complete combustion and reduces chances of releasing unburned pollutants. Hot gases are carried up from the grates through the tube section of the boiler where heat is absorbed, and steam is produced. The gases pass from the boiler to a scrubber, where a water mist that has lime is mixed with these gases. The gases are cooled, and acids are neutralised as a result of the chemical reaction of lime with gases.

A baghouse that works like a huge vacuum cleaner is used in the next step to collect particles produced in the boiler and scrubber. The cooled and purified gases are vented through a stack flue topping out at 275 feet above the ground.

The entire process is guided and monitored from a central control room.

All the processing activities take place indoors so that dust odours are controlled and rainwater doesn’t come in contact with either the waste or ash. Metals in the ash are removed and recycled while the remaining ash is sent to the landfill.

Steam from the boilers power a turbine generator, producing electricity to run plant equipment. If you are in search of quality Waste To energy plants, make sure to visit Thermax. These plants are a huge part of Thermax's Green energy portfolio. Thermax's waste to energy offerings encompass a diverse range of energy solutions that are categorised according to the form of the source of energy resides, namely solid, liquid or gas. The source of energy in these byproducts or wastes is substantial and can be utilised to provide process heating demands or can be converted to electrical power.

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