Waste to Energy Center

The OMV Waste to Energy Center (currently in planning stages) will be a centralized processing facility where all “waste” material will be collected and processed to extract available energy before recycling the remaining byproducts. (“Waste” is in quotes because the term, meaning “misplaced resource”, is obsolete). In addition to ‘waste’ products, the facility will also be used as a collection and processing center for fuel crops.

Components include:

  • Two stage biogas digester (produces methane gas from energy crops, kitchen and yard waste, tilapia pond sludge, etc.)  The gas can be burned in a generator to provide electricity, or for cooking, to heat water, etc. Or it can be used in some of the other processes, like the plastic -> diesel conversion process.
  • Biodiesel conversion plant (converts vegetable and animal fats into diesel fuel). Can be used to power the generator or sold to residents for use in vehicles.
  • Plastic to diesel (thermal depolymerizer) unit. (converts waste plastic to diesel fuel).
  • Three stage composter (closely integrated with the biogas digester. Leachate from composter is returned to digester, solids from acid modules returned to composter. Compost is then returned to land as rich humus.)
  • Diesel/gas powered generator (feeds electricity back into OMV micro-grid. Augments other RE (Renewable Energy) sources, e.g. solar, micro-hydro.
  • Lab/office space. (For WVO titration,  biogas monitoring, pH, etc.)
  • Staging area: space for trucks to unload drums (WVO, kitchen/yard waste, compostables, etc.)

System Integration:

Sub-processes are designed to be tightly integrated with each other, to provide multiple benefits from each. Compost, for example, before being returned to the land, will also receive sludge and digestate from the biogas digester, while the “compost tea”, the liquid that collects at the bottom of the composter, will be returned to the digester for use as a bacteria-rich inoculant.

Glycerol from the biodiesel processor, normally considered a “waste” byproduct to be disposed of, will be added to the biogas digester, to enhance methane production. Sludge and digestate from the digester will be used to ‘fertigate’ crops and fish ponds. Biogas and biodiesel fuel generated will be used to generate electricity, while “waste” heat from the generator will be used to support both processes.

Wherever practical, agricultural waste from the food crops, gardens, animal pens and permaculture areas (e.g. prunings, weed control, etc.) will be brought to the center, (rather than composted on site) to extract available energy from it, before returning finished compost back to the land.

Energy crops:

In addition to ‘waste’ products, the facility will also be used as a collection and processing center for fuel crops. Various crops are being investigated for highest yield, suitability for the climate, soil, rainfall, and best use of the land. Crops considered so far include hybrid sweet sorghum, giant cassava, jerusalem artichoke, duckweed and jatropha curcas. (Use search tool above for more info on each…)

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