People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Friday, June 26, 2009

By George, It Might Work

Kilo made reference recently to an article in the Coalfield Progress ("Supervisors hear pitch for $200M trash-to-ethanol plant") (requires paid subscription) that gave us some details about a proposed project over in his neck of the woods (Wise County). I had read the same article and was - shall we say - a bit skeptical. In an email exchange, I asked Carl if the technology behind the effort was really reliable, wanting to know if it might take more fuel to burn the trash to make the ethanol than was produced in an end-product.

Well, I was reading an interesting piece in Popular Mechanics last night entitled, "6 Bright Ideas for the Future of Energy," and came upon this:
Turn Trash Into Power

The Green Energy Machine, or GEM, is an unlikely alt-fuel hero. Yet the dumpster-size cargo container jutting from a building in Waltham, Mass., can heat and power 200,000 square feet of space on a daily diet of 3 tons of garbage. The $850,000 system, which incorporates a Rube Goldberg–like array of devices, can pay for itself in three years, according to Michael Cushman, vice president of IST Energy, which makes GEMs. It can save some 540 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually and—unlike much alt-energy tech—it’s ready now. “We welcome revolutionary technology, but this is an evolutionary solution with substantial potential for high impact,” Cushman says. “We don’t need a 10-year-off solution, we need a today solution.”
So maybe it's possible.

Trash to fuel. Who'd have guessed.

Keep us informed, Carl, as this progresses. This could be big.