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Assunto: Landfilled Plastics Could Power 5.2 Million U.S. Households
País: USA
Fonte: http://www.waste-management-world.com/index/display/article-display/0090724233/articles/waste-management-world/waste-to-energy/2011/10/Landfilled_Plastics_Could_Power_5_2_Million_U_S__Households.html?cmpid=EnlWMW_WeeklyOctober212011
Data: 11/2011
Enviado por: Rodrigo Imbelloni
URL: http://www.waste-management-world.com/index/display/article-display/0090724233/articles/waste-management-world/waste-to-energy/2011/10/Landfilled_Plastics_Could_Power_5_2_Million_U_S__Households.html?cmpid=EnlWMW_WeeklyOctober212011
Curiosidade (texto):
19 October 2011 Scientists at Columbia University say that the energy potential in non-recycled plastic is at least enough to fuel 6 million cars or power 5.2 million homes each year. A recently published study conducted by the Earth Engineering Center (EEC) of Columbia University, while mechanical recycling of plastics has continued to grow in the U.S., with 2.1 million tons (1.9 million tonnes) of plastics recycled in 2009, less than 15% of the U.S. post-consumer plastics are being diverted from landfills by means of recycling and energy recovery. The study, sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), has found that that just 6.5% of the used plastics generated in the U.S. are recycled, 7.7% are combusted with energy recovery, and the remaining 85.8% are landfilled. According to the authors, in 2008 the states closest to sustainable waste management of plastics in 2008 were Connecticut, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Maine, Virginia, and Minnesota - with the diversion rates of Non Recycled Plastics (NRP) from landfills in these states, by recycling and combustion with energy recovery, ranging from 65% for Connecticut to 32% for Minnesota. Although in the U.S. plastics are made primarily from natural gas, the study says that a growing number of technologies are being deployed in Europe, Canada and Asia that effectively turn non-recycled plastics into crude oil, electricity and other fuels. In 2008 he amount of NRP plastics landfilled in the United States in 2008 was estimated at 28.8 million tons (26.1 million tonnes). The chemical energy contained in this material was 807 trillion Btu - equivalent to 139 million barrels of oil or 36.7 million tons (33.3 million tonnes) of coal. "Plastics have a significantly higher energy value than coal," explains professor Marco J. Castaldi of the Earth and Environmental Engineering Department of Columbia University and associate director of EEC. "Capturing the energy value of non-recycled plastics-and municipal solid waste in general - makes good sense because it provides a good domestic form of energy while minimizing impacts on the environment," adds the professor. Oil and energy recovery The study claims that if - hypothetically - all the NRP currently landfilled were source-separated and converted by pyrolysis to a fuel oil, it would produce an estimated 87 million barrels of oil per year (13.6 billion litres), enough to power six million cars for one year. Aside from the potential recovery of crude oil, the study further claims that if all landfilled NRP were to be source-separated and used as fuel in specially designed power plants, the electricity produced would be 52 million MWh, enough to supply 5.2 million households. Furthermore, if 100% of all landfilled MSW were diverted to new waste to energy facilities, it could reduce coal consumption by 108 million tons (98 million tonnes) and produce 162 million MWh of electricity - enough to power 16.2 million households for one year. "As the United States seeks alternative fuel sources, research like this is crucial to helping identify alternative fuel sources for policy makers," notes Dr. Nickolas Themelis, director of the Earth Engineering Center at Columbia University. Steve Russell, vice president of Plastics for the ACC adds: "Whenever possible, plastics should be recycled. But when plastics aren‘t recycled, there is still a tremendous opportunity to recover this abundant energy source to power our homes, vehicles and businesses." The full study - Energy and Economic Value of Non-Recycled Plastics (NRP) and Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW) that are Currently Landfilled in the Fifty States - summarises information on non-recycled plastics and total municipal solid waste in each of the 50 states and quantifies the potential energy and economic value of recovering this material.