How Recycling Generates Alternative Energy Sources

Different Methods to Generate Energy From Waste

With resources on Earth being quickly used up, we are having to look at alternative energy sources to keep our world running as it currently is. One way to generate this is through waste-to-energy, where different methods are utilised in order to create heat or light.

As a society, we have started to explore the options we have to lessen our impact on the world. Using alternative energy sources is one of the best ways we can preserve our planet whilst still making technology, medical, and social advances.

Waste-to-Energy Techniques

There are a few ways we can use waste in order to produce energy. Some methods are more suited to different types of rubbish and vary in terms of their ‘greenness’. We’re taking a look at just three of these techniques: gasification, anaerobic digestion, and pyrolysis.

Gasification

Gasification is the process of making gas from waste. It does this by combining rubbish (packaging, clothing, garden waste, furniture and home accessories) with oxygen to produce synthesised gas. This gas can then be used as a fertiliser or transport fuel, and it can even be turned into electricity to power a number of different items.

It is not the best alternative energy source, as the process that occurs before gasification requires a large amount of energy, almost cancelling out the total produced from the method, but it is a step in the right direction.

Anaerobic Digestion

This is used as an alternative energy source by breaking down organic waste (food or animal products) in an oxygen-free tank. At the end of this process, you are left with fertiliser and biogas.

This useful energy can be used to serve numerous households and reduces the amount of waste filling up landfills - although organic matter is also often taken out of landfills in order to carry out this process.

Pyrolysis

Pyrolysis is a method that still operates at a high temperature, but due to the absence of oxygen, it is able to work at lower temperatures than combustion. This means it produces lower emissions of air pollutants than some other processes.

There is much debate about whether pyrolysis can be classed as a renewable energy source as the process releases CO2 (a greenhouse gas), but it is much better than sending your waste straight to a landfill.

Waste Management and Recycling

In order to do any of these methods, the disposal of waste (link to /solar-energy-waste-removal/) needs to be carried out in a specific way. Our throwaway mindset needs to be changed and our society needs to make the change to using reusing waste or turning it into alternative energy sources.

In order to achieve this, it can be easier to seek the advice and talent of a professional removal team. Not only will they be able to tell you exactly what aspects of your waste will be able to be recycled, but also know where the best recycling sites are in order to reduce the impact on your local environment.