Technologies that convert waste into fuel or raw materials more beneficial than landfill disposal

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Technologies that convert waste into fuel or raw materials more beneficial than landfill disposal

Greentech Lead America: Emerging new technologies that
convert waste into fuel or raw materials offer environmental benefits and cost
savings over landfill disposal, States News Service recently reported from a
study by American Chemistry Council (ACC).

The study titled, Environmental and Economic Analysis of
Emerging Plastics Conversion Technologies, examined two types of advanced
conversion technologies: gasification and pyrolysis. Gasification technology
deals with all municipal solid waste (MSW), including non-recycled plastics
while pyrolysis handles non-recycled plastics only.

The study found that gasification of MSW saves 6.5 to 13
million Btu per ton and 0.3 to 0.6 tons of carbon equivalent emissions per ton.
Similarly, pyrolysis, which converts plastics to oil or gas, saves 1.8 to 3.6
million Btu per ton and 0.15 to 0.25 tons of carbon equivalent per ton over
landfill disposal.

RTI reports having identified 41 advanced conversion
technology facilities that are under development or undergoing demonstration in
North America that that will accept MSW or non-recycled plastics as feedstocks.

Waste conversion  technologies offer several benefits
as it has the potential to produce a range of energy, fuel, feedstocks, and
chemicals; lower capital requirements than traditional waste-to-energy
facilities; and waste diversion benefits. They are expected to become much more
attractive in North America in the next five to ten years.

As the range of conversion technologies continues to
develop, each variant differs in its requirements, economics and potential
benefits.

Direct comparisons of the costs and environmental
benefits of gasification and pyrolysis technologies are not recommended due to
differences in the energy value of the different feedstocks they use and
differences in beneficial offsets. These beneficial offsets are explained in
further detail in the study.

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