10 February 2005
Putting this crap to work
The Oklahoma Department of Commerce has reported that three biomass-processing firms are contemplating facilities in Soonerland.
The companies were not named. One is apparently is targeting slaughterhouse wastes; another is interested in more general livestock waste; a third seeks to recover natural gas from landfill.
Inasmuch as we're not likely to run out of any of this stuff any time soon, I've got to assume that these biomass firms are coming in for a long stay, and, well, we're talking alternative energy here, which is generally considered to be a Good Thing.
Posted at 8:10 AM to Family Joules
» My dream job from Dan & Angi have something to say
Three companies have "targeted" Oklahoma for "biomass processing" plants. These plants take animal waste - stuff that would otherwise go to waste, and turn it into energy. Good idea, no? Myers declined to disclose the compani......[read more]
Meanwhile, in my north Florida county, the locally owned utility is planning on constructing a coal-fired plant so as to meet the future energy needs of a rapidly expanding population. You can imagine that the population cohort harboring greener sentiments is lobbying for a more progressive and earth-friendly energy source.
The company is looking 10-20 years down the road, which is something many of us fail to do, so one can't fault them for that.
Biomass is perhaps the simplest, most beneficial energy source we could get involved with. While landfill gas is nice, digesting animal wastes is even better. The process not only produces a fuel that fits in well with our existing natural gas infrastructure (use, transport and storage), but also renders the leftover solids in a much more palatable state for disposal.
We've been experimenting with mixing landfill gas with natural gas in firing one of our boilers for the past couple months. Even though the energy value of the landfill gas is about half that of ONG gas, our biggest problem has been with the small volume of gas the landfill can supply.
There doesn't seem to be too much of a downside to these endeavors: even if their energy-production potential proves to be limited, just getting these wastes cleaned up has to be considered a boon.