The Waste to Energy Center, as the name implies, is a centralized processing facility where all “waste” material will be collected and processed to extract available energy before recycling the remaining byproducts. (“Waste” is in quotes because the term, meaning “misplaced resource”, is obsolete.) In addition to ‘waste’ products, the facility will also be used as a collection and processing center for fuel crops. Various crops are being investigated for highest yield, suitability for the climate, soil, rainfall, and best use of the land. Crops considered so far include hybrid sweet sorghum, giant cassava, jerusalem artichoke, duckweed and jatropha curcas.
Energy conversion processes, and their respective inputs and outputs include:
• Two stage hybrid biogas digester (produces methane gas from energy crops, kitchen and yard waste, tilapia pond sludge, etc.) The gas can be burned in a generator to provide electricity, for cooking, to heat water, and/or used in some of the other processes, like the thermal depolymerizer (described below).
• Biodiesel conversion plant (converts vegetable and animal fats into diesel fuel). Fuel will be used to power the generator and/or sold to residents for use in vehicles.
• Thermal depolymerizer (converts waste plastic to diesel fuel).
• Ethanol production (feasibility and cost still under investigation).
• Three stage composter, closely integrated with the biogas digester (where leachate from the composter is returned to digester, solids from acid modules returned to the composter. Compost is then returned to land as rich humus.)
• Diesel/gas powered generator (feeds electricity back into OMV micro-grid), integrated with solar PV and other renewable energy sources.
Sub-processes are designed to be tightly integrated with each other, to provide multiple benefits from each. Compost, for example, before being returned to the land, will also receive sludge and digestate from the biogas digester, while the “compost tea”, the liquid that collects at the bottom of the composter, is returned to the digester for use as a bacteria-rich inoculant.
Glycerol from the biodiesel processor, normally considered a “waste” product to be disposed of, will be added to the biogas digester, to enhance methane production. Sludge and digestate from the digester will be used to ‘fertigate’ crops and fish ponds. Biogas and biodiesel fuel generated will be used to generate electricity, while “waste” heat from the generator will be used to support both processes.
Below are some links to get further information on each of the above. Please note that the “OMV deeptech” site is intended as a design collaboration space – a place where OMV buyers can share comments, discuss details, ask questions, etc. so don’t be shy… join in.
Link to info on various energy crops (including Cassava, Sorghum, Jerusalem
Artichoke, Jatropha Curcas, etc.)
DIY Thermal Depolymerizer plans (convert plastic waste to diesel)