By Connie Kwan
Is zero waste a pipe dream? This video interview from the recent Going Green 2010 conference with Mike Hart and Laura Carroll of Sierra Energy profiles their technology for converting waste into syngas and liquid slag. Syngas, which comprises of 70% carbon dioxide and 30% hydrogen, can be further processed into fuels such as ethanol and clean diesel. Solid waste contains a lot of energy that can be recovered. In fact, Sierra Energy’s process only requires 2-5% of the harvested energy, leaving plenty of fuel to use on other applications. The system cost is also low enough that should solid waste increase to a positive price, the system will continue to generate enough fuel to generate positive revenue. That is certainly good news for cities in debt trying to manage their solid waste.
Connie Kwan is a GreenTech Marketing professional based in Silicon Valley, CA. She is pursuing an MBA in Sustainability at Presidio Graduate School and blogs about sustainability and business at Sustainable Thinking: Applied.