[Gasification] Sweden's trash project

Greg David earth1st at me.com
Mon Nov 5 17:08:04 PST 2012


Hi Folks,

I've never posted to this list serve, but followed along for years. When I saw the discussion of Sweden's trash project, I had to weigh in.

In 2006, I traveled to Sweden as part of a Municipal Leaders Tour of Sustainable Sweden. As part of that tour we toured the Dava heat and electrical plant near the city of Umea. The Dava co-gen plant supplies the city of Umea with 85% of it's heat needs and a good portion of its electrical needs (I forget the exact amount). We we treated to a presentation about the DAVA plant and then got to tour the place. As a long time tinkerer, I was green with envy of all the intricate contraptions used to incinerate garbage and produce heat and power.  see:  http://www.umeaenergi.se/om-umeaa-energi/foeretaget/summary-in-english.ept  I have lots of pictures of the plant, the .ppt the presenters used and also filmed of the tour and presentation.

They presenters made a good case as to how the Dava plant actually cleaned up the air quality around Umea, a city that has frequent air inversions that can trap air pollutants near ground level. Before the installation of the Dava plant, air quality was often horrendous because of all the individual heat plants in homes and businesses, many of which  were inefficient and polluting. The Dava plant improved air quality immensely, while creating heat and power and reducing waste. While it may not be perfectly clean, they made a good case about how clean it burned. It looked like a good deal to me.

We also got to tour the Helsingborg landfill, which diverted 76% of its waste stream into recyclable materials (21 categories of separation, a portion of that going into an anaerobic digester, which powered the extensive city bus fleet and the excess methane was sold on the open market to owners of bi-fuel cars ). 20% of the waste stream went  into the incinerator, and the remaining 4% went  into the landfill. Amazing!

It was an eye opening experience for me. Thanks for letting me share it.

Greg David
W4512 Riverdale Lane
Watertown, WI 53094
(920)262-9996 home
(920) 988-5629




On Nov 5, 2012, at 5:25 PM, LINVENT at aol.com wrote:

> Dear John,
>      I have repeatedly stated that the major issues with gasification lie with the developers of the technology relying upon engineering, not innovation. There are no degrees granted for innovation at schools and engineering by itself does not lead to innovation. I have seen the same flow diagrams for systems for decades and they don't work. A list of the failures is on our website on the homepage, Comparative Gasification. Simple solutions exist as we have developed and they are very successful, partiularly in cleaning the gas, even removing sulfur from tire derived gas without standard S removal systems used. 
>      Other innovations include higher throughput, better range of fuels, improved energy efficiency, all of which are needed for economic operation. 
>      The US Army has attempted for at least 7 years to develop a mobile 2 ton/day MSW to power system to replace the handling, diesel use for mobile incinerators, and had dropped the program until they saw two of our systems operating last summer, in which they reinstated the program and reissued the Broad Agency Announcement to include this program as no one had been able to do it after many years and millions of dollars including General Atomic, SAIC, and others trying to. Unfortunately, due to a partnering arrangement with a DoD Contractor that didn't work out, the Army is still in need of a satisfactory solution. 
>      Unfortunately, without these innovations in the field, other benefits such as synfuels, inexpensive energy production, use of broad based biomass or other feed is limited, and so is the field. Because of the string of highly capitalized failures and lack of deep technology personnel, read: lots of PhDs, the investment community doesn't believe it can be done. 
>      The investment community is putting money into renewable energy projects that are going to take major hits from the NG pricing and government subsidies going away, similar to what happened when Reagan took office to the Carter renewable energy programs. 
>      Thermogenics has received major inquiries from various countries, this morning alone, Ghana, Uganda, India, Cyprus, Greece for our systems to be used for their energy needs. India has massive waste problems and their expensive incinerators or other systems don't work. One Indian group sent me a list of gasifier companies fhey investigated on the internet and found them to be bogus, to the point of having hefty fines for emissions when they claimed not to have emissions. Some were greater than incinerator operations. 
>      As to your specific interest, we can address it better than anyone else and if you want to have some idea of what can be done, send me the specifics. 
> 
> In a message dated 11/5/12 5:05:47 PM, john.pearce at manildra.com.au writes:
> 
> 
>> 
>> Dear Robert, Tom , and other knowledgeable people
>> 
>>  
>> 
>> Your responses to the Swedish trash importing and energy production business raise two particular issues that I believe need to be responded to separately, and I invite comments on both. These are
>> 
>> - technological adequacy
>> 
>> - economic viability
>> 
>>  
>> 
>> On the first, an internet search delivers a range of quite low tech to ultra-high tech solutions to delivering Energy-from-Waste, each claiming to be the solution to the challenge - few seem to have large commercial scale plants operating on biomass such as forest waste/ MSW/ or similar. How do you select the sheep from the goats?
>> 
>>  
>> 
>> On the second, it seems to me that economic viability can only be assessed on the basis of local issues and constraints together with the CapEx and OpEx aspects of the technology selected plus likely energy outputs and usage efficiencies.
>> 
>>  
>> 
>> Of these cost of feedstock, haulage costs to plant, local environmental constraints, local taxes, local incentives, etc - all these can be accurately determined at the proposed E-f-W site but how do you get reliable CapEx/ OpEx and energy outputs?
>> 
>>  
>> 
>> I am investigating potential replacement of a major portion of coal and natural gas usage for steam/heat generation in a food processing operation with MSW amd maybe some forest waste. Gasification and co-firing of the boilers is being proposed. Technologically, does this seem "sensible" with presently available plant? Does it really need high-end technology?
>> 
>>  
>> 
>> Kind regards
>> 
>>  
>> 
>> John Pearce
>> 
>>  
>> 
>> Manildra Group
>> 
>> Australia
>> 
>>  
>> 
>>  
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Dr R. John Pearce
>> R&D Manager
>> Manildra Group
>> Phone:  61.2.4423.8259
>> Fax:      61.2.4423.8258
>> Mobile:  61.4.1291.9000
>>  
>> 
>> 
> 
> 
> From: Gasification [mailto:gasification-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org] On Behalf Of linvent at aol.com
> Sent: Tuesday, 6 November 2012 4:29 AM
> To: gasification at lists.bioenergylists.org
> Subject: Re: [Gasification] Sweden's trash project
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Dear Robert,
> 
>     Los Angeles hauls it's green waste to east of Phoenix and dumps it. Getting a permit for an outhouse in the South Coast Air Quality Management District (Los Angeles area to San Bernadino and south) is virtually impossible. We had spent $300,000 on a waste to ethanol project (cellulosic ethanol) in the Cabezon Indian tribal land area only to find out there were no air credits available and the tribe adhered to the SCAQMD standards although they didn't have to.
> 
>     Several groups have tried to do gasifiers in cities and have run into permitting, zoning, NIMBY issues and given up. In other instances, Occidental Chemical build a 200 tpd plant near San Diego, ran it for 8 hours and scrapped it after spending huge sums on it. With the failures of many attempts at gasification, in particular MSW, the investment world is very leery of getting involved.
> 
>     One group I have been working with spent 5 years working on a PPA (not in this country) and it was issued in September.
> 
>     In areas where there are mandated renewable energy portfolio mandates where the utility has to supplement with renewable energy purchases, you may not be able to get a Power Purchase Agreement as they don't need to issue one if they are mandated to buy one, or they will not give you renewable energy premium pricing as they can buy credits cheaply and the DoD has used this to keep their renewable energy pricing down, at least one branch of the DoD claims this.
> 
>     It is a very complicated and in many cases, stupid process. As an example, if distributed systems were in the Los Angeles area, the truck traffic would be greatly reduced, reducing the emissions from truck traffic, but this doesn't matter in the emissions counting. 
>     With natural gas pricing low, it is creeping into the power costs even in the East Coast and will shelve many renewable energy projects.
> 
> 
> Sincerely,
> 
> Leland T. "Tom" Taylor
> 
> Thermogenics Inc. 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robert Gersch <Robert at rkgenterprises.com>
> To: Discussion of biomass pyrolysis and gasification <gasification at lists.bioenergylists.org>
> Sent: Mon, Nov 5, 2012 10:12 am
> Subject: Re: [Gasification] Sweden's trash project
> 
> 
> 
> Tom,
> 
>  
> 
> Thanks for the input.  The NPR story makes us sound like idiots for not having similar programs in the US.  Somehow, I had assumed that only with tax incentives, could such a program be viable.  I am probably the most ignorant member of the group, but I have wondered why each city in the US doesn't install a gasifier plant to deal with the waste brush.  For the ignorant, it would seem viable and reduce some of what we bury.  Waste wood from homebuilding, old concrete forms, old fences, Christmas trees, old pallets and all the trees that are knocked down for new construction plus the trees that are trimmed equate to a lot of BTU's.  I am in San Antonio and we at lease make mulch from so of the waste wood.I assume most other US cities do at least that.
> 
>  
> 
> Thanks
> 
>  
> 
> Robert Gersch
> 
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> 
> From: linvent at aol.com
> 
> To: gasification at lists.bioenergylists.org
> 
> Sent: Monday, November 05, 2012 10:57 AM
> 
> Subject: Re: [Gasification] Sweden's trash project
> 
> 
> 
> There are quite a few waste incinerators in Europe. Italy has sent it's trash by train to Germany to be incinerated. There are some gasifiers there also. One Norwegian firm has an incinerator design that doesn't produce dioxins above regulatory limits, but all are very expensive, one 300 tpd gasifier system is valued at $300mm. Some of the existing incinerators do not meet emissions levels, but the government has not shut them down as there is no option otherwise. EU capital and sale of electricity pricing is heavily subsidized by the government and does not compete in other parts of the world. One group had 4 dual stage "gasifier" but actually combustor systems in Europe, all have been shut down for emissions reasons, lack of continuing subsidies, expense of operation and the only remaining one operating that I know of is in Japan.
> 
> 
> Sincerely,
> 
> Leland T. "Tom" Taylor
> 
> Thermogenics Inc. 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robert Gersch <Robert at rkgenterprises.com>
> To: 'Discussion of biomass pyrolysis and gasification' <gasification at lists.bioenergylists.org>
> Sent: Mon, Nov 5, 2012 9:47 am
> Subject: [Gasification] Sweden's trash project
> 
> 
> 
> Below is a link to a NPR story on Sweden's conversion of trash to energy.  There is no mention of the method used.  Does anyone know if this is gasification?  If you read the article, other countries are paying Sweden to take their trash and Sweden produces energy from it.  Is there a chance that this could actually be cost effective?
> 
>  
> 
> http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/10/28/163823839/sweden-wants-your-trash?ft=3&f=111787346&sc=nl&cc=es-20121104
> 
>  
> 
> Thanks
> 
> 
> _______________________________________________ Gasification mailing list to Send a Message to the list, use the email address Gasification at bioenergylists.org to UNSUBSCRIBE or Change your List Settings use the web page http://lists.bioenergylists.org/mailman/listinfo/gasification_lists.bioenergylists.org for more Gasifiers, News and Information see our web site: http://gasifiers.bioenergylists.org/
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> 
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> Sincerely,
> 
> Leland T. "Tom" Taylor
> President
> Thermogenics Inc.
> 701 Madison St. NE
> Albuquerque, NM 87110
> project site: 511 Ave. G
> Lubbock, Texas 79401
> 505-463-8422
> www.thermogenics.com
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