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There are various methods for transforming waste into energy, not only waste-to-energy and large biomass plants; L'US Air Force is seeing the effectiveness of a compact machine that converts waste into energy. The protagonist is the Edwards base of the US Air Force, it is in this structure that the most important research in the field of production of renewable energy. The base is located in southern California.
The machine that the US Air Force is testing is called GEM, an acronym for Green Energy Machine, produced by IST Energy. At first glance it looks almost like a simple container, inside the machine "hides”A production cycle that takes the type of as“ fuel ” wet waste. There Green Energy Machine can handle up to three tons of waste per day, resulting in a daily production of 100 Kilowatts. The device self-produces the energy it needs: of the 100 kilowatts produced, 72 kilowatts can be fed into the electricity grid, the remaining 28 will serve to meet the energy requirements of the machinery.
How does GEM a transform waste into energy?
The exploited process is that of gasification. Wet waste undergoes a preliminary process, it is dried and heated to over 600 degrees in a housing containing a limited amount of oxygen.
Under these extreme conditions, matter (wet waste) is transformed into a synthetic gas (syngas) composed mainly of carbon monoxide, hydrogen and methane (CO, H2, CH4). This gas mixture is perfect for powering an engine or a kettle.
From a point of view environmental, are produced less greenhouse gas emissions in treating waste with GEM rather than with storage in special landfills. Using the Green Energy Machine at full capacity (three tons of wet waste per day), for one year, the clean cut of harmful emissions would amount to 540 tons.
Preliminary experiments are promising, the machine can boast an efficiency of conversion of waste into energy equal to 95 percent. As it is organic matter, 5 percent of the “unconverted” waste can be stored in landfills without any complications.