$6.8 Million Air Force Waste Facility Showcases Gasification

– by Arlene Karidis, February 24, 2016, Waste Dive


Photo: Waste Dive

A demonstration of a $6.8 million Air Force waste-to-energy (WTE) project at Joint Base Pearl Harbor in Hawaii will showcase how gasification technology can convert 10 tons of waste per day into electricity.

Sponsored by Hawaii’s High Technology Development Corp., the demonstration will leverage WTE gasification system Turnw2e that process animal and crop wastes, cellulosic biomass, tires, non-recyclable plastics, and industrial waste.

The system has completed initial testing, and following more trials will generate liquid jet fuel from waste. Phase 1 of a microgrid project late this year will incorporate a gasifier.

Dive Insight:

Gasification is a waste-to-energy process being more frequently implemented in the industry. According to a report published by the Gasification Technologies Council (GTC), gasification combines carbon-based materials in MSW (known as feedstocks) with oxygen to break them down into a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, while removing pollutants. This process leaves clean, “synthesis gas” that can be converted into usable energy or products.

Some military branches are exploring ways to turn landfill gas into energy, generating revenue for municipal utilities while reaching for renewable energy targets. The U.S. Army and Air Force joined the movement early, launching a landfill gas-to-energy project in Alaska.

Speaking of the Joint Base Pearl Harbor project, Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz said to Pacific Business News, “[The] effort to develop a microgrid testbed in Hawaii will help ensure that the Air National Guard has access to the energy it needs to execute its defense and homeland security missions, while providing a proof of concept that clean energy and microgrid technologies can support the Air Force’s broader energy security goals.”

Renee Comly, president and CEO of Biomass Energy Systems Inc., the engineering firm that designed the system, said to Pacific Business News, “We are pleased to demonstrate how … this can be a real asset as we move towards a world run on clean energy.”

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