Dec 19 - 25, 2011

Generating energy from waste does not harm the environment. Municipal wastes to energy plants offer many benefits to people and the environment. These energy plants require no fossil fuels.

Municipal wastes to energy methods are very popular because of the unlimited fuel sources. With all the wastes generated around the world and refuse in many landfills, there is enough trash to create the electricity needed.

The energy power plants of municipal waste must go through very strict emissions testing, and every aspect of the process is to be monitored meticulously. These energy power plants must meet stricter operating standards.

The waste can be burned and the heat from it can be used to create steam and electricity, or the waste can be used to create synthetic gas from burning of waste materials.

No matter which method is used to generate energy from waste, it is a better choice than just throwing the waste in a landfill, where it pollutes the earth. With millions of tons of municipal solid waste being disposed off each year in Pakistan, this is only a large alternative source of energy that can be used to meet national energy needs.

Food waste is another important resource for energy. The bioconversion of food waste for energy production can lead to production in bio-fuels like ethanol and biodiesel as well as other types of energy.

These bio-fuels burn much cleaner than fossil fuels, and do not cause a lot of harm to the environment.

Energy from waste programs may play a vital role in the future, both for waste disposal and as a source of green renewable energy that does not rely on fossil fuels.

In 2012, a large chemical plant in Edmonton, Canada, will start in turning garbage into 36 million liters of ethanol per year. Using "fluff" from municipal solid waste, i.e. textiles, plastics and wood, the factory will make chemical byproducts and fuel that could compete against corn-based ethanol, which supplies 10 per cent of the US's domestic fuel demand.

In order to go green, British Airways has announced that by 2014, some of its fleet would be powered by bio-fuel derived from household trash. It announced that it has signed a deal with Solena Group to establish Europe's first sustainable jet-fuel plant.

The airline is expected to convert 500,000 tons of waste per year into 16 million gallons of green jet fuel through a process that offers lifecycle greenhouse gas savings of up to 95 percent compared to fossil-fuel derived jet kerosene.

It is observed that many biodegradable plastics are harmful to the environment so finding options to plastic is becoming essential for environmental sustainability.

Dublin scientists have come up with the technology claim that out of each ton of plastic waste, 175 gallons of diesel, 50 gallons of gasoline, and 25 gallons of kerosene can be produced. The fuel generated has been considered as safe and clean. According to these scientists, diesel fuel costs about $1.25 to produce, while this fuel made from plastic waste costs about 75 cents.

For more than a decade, the use of waste as an alternative fuel in cement production has been a well-established process in many of the European cement companies. On the other hand, cement producers in Pakistan rely mostly on rice husk as an alternative fuel.

Pakistan has a large potential of waste that can be used as fuel to energy intensive industries. It should utilize this outstanding resource to avert the energy crisis. Instead of burning the waste on the open spots causing various heart and respiratory diseases to children and old people, the waste can be converted into cheap fuel.

In view of the unending energy crisis in Pakistan, foreign investors signed an agreement with the authorities to set up a Refuse Derived Fuel plant in Rawalpindi worth 10 million Euros.

The Punjab government allowed a private company to set up a plant in the city for lifting and converting waste into fuel. The entire garbage materials generated in the city will be lifted and converted into fuel, gas, and fertilizer through the refuse-derived fuel plant.

Cement industry in Pakistan plays a vital role in the country's economy. It contributes significantly to the national gross domestic product. The cement industry transformation process is highly energy intensive. Each ton of cement produced requires not only large amounts of fuels (coal, fuel oil, natural gas), but also a significant quantity of electric power.

Cement producers in Pakistan are currently examining the possibilities of using alternative fuels from waste.

At present, cement industry depends on imported fuel that costs 40 percent of cement production. Therefore, it is in interest of the cement industry to increase energy by reducing the imported fuels consumed in the cement manufacturing process.

Alternative fuels of different nature and types can be used in the cement manufacturing process. Wastes from all industries, including chemical wastes, agriculture waste, healthcare waste, outdated consumer products, industrial and municipal solid waste etc. can be used as fuel.

In 2008, Fauji Cement Company Ltd. became the first cement plant in Pakistan to set up a refuse derived fuel processing plant having a capacity of 12 tons per hour.

The refuse derived fuel processing plant at Fauji Cement Company mainly processes municipal solid waste of cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

The company realized that the use of optional fuel in cement production could bring numerous environmental benefits, such as reducing the need for natural resources and allowing for proper disposal of community waste.

There is an urgent need to find out all alternative sources of energy for the economic developments. In the present difficult circumstances when other sources of generating energy are taking a lot of time to give results, then works of waste to energy should be speeded up since its plant gets operational in a shortest possible time.