An unlikely green energy story: from waste to jet fuel
TAHOE INDUSTRIAL CENTER RENO, Nevada (KOLO) -Take out the trash. It’s something we do every week.
Even the most environmentally friendly households have waste that recyclers don’t want. It goes in green bins, left at the curb for collection, destined for landfill.
The last end result any of us could expect from this joint act would be fuel in the tanks of an airliner, which could take us on our next getaway. But in fact, that’s the purpose of an impressive-looking factory off the United States Parkway in the industrial heartland of Tahoe Reno, east of the city.
Fifty trucks a day carrying ordinary household waste will arrive here. And, through a complicated tangle of pipes and tanks using a sufficiently complicated sounding process called “high-temperature, low-oxygen gasification”, a substance is produced which, like crude oil, can be refined into jet fuel for planes.
In fact, it’s not your standard jet fuel, but something better,
“It’s a clean fuel,” notes Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. “There is little or no carbon from this clean-burning fuel. That’s what it’s about. How to reduce this carbon footprint? And this is one of the companies showing how it can be done. “)
The senator toured the plant today with Fulcrum BioEnergy officials who credit her with helping clear the way for federal bureaucracy for their fuel and the process that produces it.
“We needed this regulation so we could have this biofuel company here that actually takes the landfill and turns it into fuel, which makes sense,” the senator said. “But we had to get the EPA on board and change the rules for that to happen,”
The result is this factory which will employ 120 people, more when the refinery is built next door.
Green energy from the most unlikely sources and produced in what would be the first plant of its kind on the planet.
“It helps our economy. It’s good for the environment and good to have this advanced technology right here in Northern Nevada. “
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