Sunday, May 4, 2008

Israel: Turning Garbage Into Energy

Like most countries, Israel has to deal with the problem of land fills. While recycling helps reduce the amount of trash that ends up in land fills, its affect is minor at best in countering how much garbage people put out (especially for cities).

However it looks as if a new Israeli startup called TGE Tech has found a unique way of turning trash into gas--which is good news for major cities everywhere.

(Israel 21st Century) But with the TGE system, "the trash is turned into syngas, which can be burned for fuel like any other material. The trash is gone, and in its place is electricity, which can then be used to supply power to a whole neighborhood or small city," says Ohayon.

Syngas is not as effective as oil or coal, Ohayon realizes; it only has about 15% of the calorie (energy) power of its authentic siblings. However, Ohayon explains, that level of energy is more than enough to power the gasifier, the waste treatment plant, and probably all the streetlights and traffic lights in a city on any particular day.

"One ton of garbage can generate 0.4 kilowatts of electricity an hour, which isn't a huge amount, but can definitely contribute somewhat to the energy pool in a locality," he says. And at the same time - the garbage is gone.

Even though this technology would do nothing to help lower gas prices (something Israel's scientists are trying to do via hydrogen), it may help lower taxes for citizens paying for garbage pickup.

Energy benefits aside, this technology may help many communities remove the ever expanding problem of landfills, making our planet a greener place for future generations.