Transfer of waste to recover resources – terminology, infrastructure, organization and standards

Towards the new hierarchy

It seems pointless throwing our national resources into a hole and pushing them to keep them there, just to pay again to bring the virgin resources back into the one-way flow of our supply chain. However, anyone who witnessed the random "garbage" of our environment realizes that management best practices today are a significant improvement over previous disasters.

If the sole goal is to reduce the size and toxicity of this residual waste, then sanitary waste disposal can be managed through modern landfills, or by incineration, where "the waste is converted into ash". But burning remains a form of disposal, and disposal does not restore the resource, but rather permanently puts it "out of sight". What a waste.

We now have a way to carefully "empty the cake" of the accumulation of complex residual waste with a variety of methods that we may collectively perceive as reverse manufacturing. These processes dismantle waste components at the molecular level, and prepare the base resources for recycling in new goods. When this ability is used correctly as a last resort instead of disposal in the waste management hierarchy, molecular reclamation can be called Recover .

The European Union recently modified the waste management hierarchy. They have now added a fifth step of preference to their overall waste management plan by choice: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle … Recover … Dispose . Logic reigns hopefully, our own patriotic common sense will follow suit.

The lines are drawn, but accurate estimates between the steps of the waste management hierarchy tend to represent a continuous chain, rather than presenting distinct and distinct categories of actions.

What is being "Recovery", and how can this step be cleanly and economically accomplished? What should we do to firmly establish this model not only in institutional law, but also more broadly as a global part of our social and industrial structure?

Conversion for optimal recovery

The transformation of waste material at the molecular level to recover internal resources requires two parts: (1) Technology by design must allow access to intermediate products, so that samples of these explosive materials and / or liquids and / or gases can be taken in samples, classified and modified as needed to produce Ultra-pure finished products; and (2) this interception, characterization, and modification process must be carried out by the operational mode, so that the information feed loop that facilitates the intermediate sampling is actually performed.

A decade ago, the requirements for real-time sensing and computer analysis of the complex changes taking place inside explosive reactions of a heat treatment unit were very expensive, and required massive data processing capabilities not available outside of universities and military facilities. Today, inexpensive small computers can absorb that same data, algorithms can be applied, and the resulting analyzes become feedback to programmable logic controls (PLCs) that direct the process moment by moment for equipment.

energy It is the prerequisite, when molecular bonds are separated. The surrounding particles must be activated enough to overcome the strength of each bond to be disassembled, and the amount of inputs varies depending on the inherent bonding persistence. This energy can be supplied in several ways, some of which are more suitable for managing specific waste residues than others. Some resources hold more value at the molecular level than others on the market. Of course the market will promote a cost-effective recovery. Those who believe that the economy should only be market-based may argue that this guideline should be sufficient. But cheaper is not necessarily better.

Some methods of activating and breaking molecular bonds are more expensive than others. Technical designs and operating methods that can recover resources from effectively homogeneous waste types may not be strong enough for heterogeneous feedstocks. Technical specifications become important, as they define "envelopes" for design and operation according to the inputs and the intended final product. Allow operations to direct proper use, and restrictions apply to the wrong tool being used for the current job. These audits of market forces should only be conducted when improved hygiene and recovery rates outperform the primary economy.

The greater the molecular diversity of the feedstock, the different the nature of the bonds requiring disassociation. Some of the most toxic residues are also the most difficult to transport; to maximize environmental hygiene, the conversion process must be improved to reduce these more conservative fractions effectively to their non-toxic components. Environmental concern should lead to the design and conversion technology in the direction of maximizing resource recovery and maximum toxicity; these responses to appropriate environmental concern become performance standards.

Many technologies available to convert waste into recoverable resources have been around for half a century or more. Our industrial ability to design, operate, monitor, and modify the "fast" process is now able to meet our modern and stringent environmental hygiene standards. Design advancements and operational control allow us to extend transformations to suit our communities. Converting waste at source (not regional) can lead to a significant decrease in the volume and weight charged, thereby reducing transportation cost and impact. Extensive and very clean transformation of municipal solid waste waste after recycling to restore our natural resources in a cost-effective way: This is new. Because it is new, there is still a lot to be developed to define, ensure, and integrate properly within this changing paradigm that now marks the waste management hierarchy.

Integrated Transfer Platform

What are the new recovery trade tools? What do these systems look like? Where can it be found? How "clean" is Clean ?

First, there is no “silver bullet,” and there is no single system or method of operation that can deal with every challenge to recover particles. Our waste stream is simply too complicated. Our best hope is to choose the "best grade" carefully, in a number of chapters, each of which is set to manage a wide range of materials as feedstock. We can then combine a combination of these modules into a single integrated process flow, capable of obtaining the maximum amount of resources available for optimization, processing and restoration, in any given area. optimum Conversion platform Hence, it will be an integration of subsystems, dedicated to material handling in the area that requires effective conversion and recovery.

As part of its AgStar program, the Environmental Protection Agency has provided one of the basic waste transfer guidelines for: If the waste is wet, leave it wet; if it is dry, and keep it dry.

Of course, "waste" comes in all degrees of humidity as well as molecular diversity, and conversions have evolved over time to meet these widely differentiated properties. Three basic categories of a transfer platform, or integrated mechanisms: Thermal, microbial, chemical / kinetic . Each category contains artistic supplements that are versatile in converting across a combination of moisture and molecular.


Science Should Leading the transformation field for recovery, whether in the necessary research and development, or in designing and operating integrated platforms for transformation technologies. The guidelines developed as an environmental safety net need to be tested and installed performance Certainly not based on specific mandatory standards. The fully operational environmental control structure that is implemented through authorization and authorization should also facilitate an ongoing process of data collection and analysis, on which this science can persist in exploration products.

If "converting for recovery" requires meeting both design and operational parameters, this is the second step that is usually skipped, or it is only employed at the minimum. This is perhaps most evident in the thermal conversion supplement. Doing anything with hot liquids and explosive gases is costly and dangerous. However, there is a difference we can make between carefully designed "product" gas and carefully designed "syngas", just as there is a difference between raw biofuel and "biodiesel".

If the technological design allows this, but the processes are not ready to work according to the circumstances of the escalation at times, all that remains is to "clean up the mess" after it occurs, and this is not unlike what can be done with a world-class incinerator. Any system can be run in a range from clean to dirty. It is the human factor that we continue to ignore, and in general, its operation is more clean than dirty work costs.

If the transformation technique can be operated without intrusive sampling, by doing nothing more than taking sensor readings and preparing to act as necessary, both points are covered, and the system is a transformation technology that is operated for transformation, not for destruction or disposal. This is usually the case when electricity and / heat are the products required for conversion. Molecular recovery does not occur, when the transformation only captures the energy emitted by the broken molecular bonds. The harvested electrical and thermal energy may be renewable, but this does not limit the conversion for molecular recovery.

But when Molecular Recovery is the goal, the difficult and dangerous industrial step of sampling, separating and isolating it in intermediate process products must always be considered a necessity.

To reach this most sustainable conversion goal in order to recover molecular resources, all factors must be considered:

Technology by design should allow access to and modification of intermediate products;

The operating mode used collects physical data in real-time of the process. The computerized system performs the necessary analyzes, and it works immediately and continuously to correct the process operations.

• Conversion technology and operational mode are chosen to improve recovery of molecular resources present in feedstock, including as needed to separate and characterize constantly changing feedstock products.

In this way, our emerging industrial efforts can incorporate any technical conversion units that may be required to address the diversity of feedstock materials provided, and to perform optimal resource recovery, at the molecular level.

© JDMT, Inc 2011. All rights reserved. You are free to reprint and use this material as long as no changes are made to its content or references, and credit is given to the author.


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