By the Webmaster/ Lee Gregory
November 17, 2013 9:00 PM
For every human being born on the planet Earth equals the resources needed for them to have a comfortable life. Any new gadget or gizmo that can fulfill not only the wants but the basic needs of human beings is constantly developing yet we sometimes rarely acknowledge where and what it takes to maintain this steady development. The joy of pushing or pulling a switch to power all of our appliances has been a blessing in the civilized world. But this magic we call technology comes with a hidden price; every natural element on the periodical chart is the ingredient behind these impressive innovations. These materials have been used to fabricate all of the gizmos that have eased our daily roles. Businesses and industries use the earth’s natural elements to fuel their markets not even realizing that a shortage can occur at any minute. Americans are notoriously known for consuming too much of the world’s natural resources. Accounting for only five percent of the world’s population, America creates half of planet’s solid waste. They are most likely to own and use an automobile thereby consuming the most petroleum. Seven percent of Americans ride public transportation. One in three Americans walks or bikes to their destinations, as opposed to three quarters of Chinese.
According to reports by the Sierra Club;
“A child born in the United States will create thirteen times as much ecological damage over the course of his or her lifetime than a child born in Brazil,” reports the Sierra Club’s Dave Tilford
“With less than 5 percent of world population, the U.S. uses one-third of the world’s paper, a quarter of the world’s oil, 23 percent of the coal, 27 percent of the aluminum, and 19 percent of the copper,” he reports.
“Our per capita use of energy, metals, minerals, forest products, fish, grains, meat, and even fresh water dwarfs that of people living in the developing world.”
“Use It and Lose It: The Outsize Effect of U.S. Consumption on the Environment.” Scientific American. Scientific American, Inc, 14 Sept. 2012. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
A CNN article published on October 12, 1999 cited studies by Emily Matthews of the World Resources Institute, and other scientists concluding that 16 percent of the world’s wealthiest use 80 percent of the world’s natural resources.
Utley, Garrick. “World’s Wealthiest 16 Percent Uses 80 Percent of Natural Resources.” CNN. Cable News Network, 12 Oct. 1999. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
The concept of recycling in America has its roots in the rationing of food during the Great Depression and second World War. There were limits of distribution on foodstuff to cope with the escalating shortages of sugar and coffee caused by restrictions on imports. Travel restrictions such as sightseeing driving and automobile racing was banned. A national speed limit of 35 miles per hour was imposed to save fuel and rubber for tires. Regulations on a certain size of clothing such as belts wider than 2 inches and the wooly lining on coats were even made. The US Government issued more than 100 million copies of handbooks that covered rationing across the country. Different posters were designed and plastered throughout communities to remind them the importance of saving food, gas, and other items.
Go to the source link to see the pictures;
Davidson, Vicki Mclure. “World War I, World War II, & Great Depression Era Frugality Makes a Comeback — Recycling, Thriftiness, & Cool Food Posters of the Era.” The Frugal Cafe. Frugal Cafe, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
The scarcity of raw materials during World War 1 increased the demand for recycling programs. The federal government established the Waste Reclamation Service, with the motto “Don’t Waste Waste—Save It.” The economic collapse and depression in the 1920s and 1930s encourages Americans to reuse of materials within homes. The concept of reuse became necessary when the second World War began in 1939. War Production Board created a Salvage Division, which had 20,000 committees with some 400,000 volunteers retrieving metal for war use in campaigns that encouraged people to “get in the scrap.”
Wooddellver, David W. “Recycling in the 20th Century.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 11 Feb. 2008. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
The Industrial Revolution expanded the role of international trade and if a company wants to keep manufacturing their products at a continuing rate, there needs to be plenty of raw materials to go around. One generates wealth by mass innovation of new products or distribution of goods at a fraction of the cost is how technological innovation can continue. That helps companies maintain a competitive edge. The manufacturing industry is not always sustainable. The development of technology that would replaced society’s common modes of operation is an economic factor. The loss of competitive advantage also causes a shift in industrial development. To constantly innovate and update product designs, a new production process, a new marketing approach, or a new way of conducting training are characteristics of economic progression. Companies gain advantage against the world’s best competitors because of pressure and challenge. They benefit from having strong domestic rivals, aggressive home-based suppliers, and demanding local customers.
Porter, Michael E. “The Competitive Advantage of Nations.” Harvard Business Review Mar. 1990: n. pag. Harvard Business Review. Harvard Business School Publishing. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
These traits of boosting competitive advantages are absent if the country has limited resources for development. Its these reasons that many developed nations comprising of mostly European and East Asian nations need an open privatized market for raw materials that will enhance their manufacturing capacity. Countries who have no natural resources have no other choice but to make investments in factors linked to the importance of human capital. The knowledge, special skills, patents, and know-how cannot be invested without the exchange of natural resources endowment and human capital (skill accumulation) are substitutes not complements in production.
Fitzgerald, Robert. The Competitive Advantages of Far Eastern Business. Newbury Park, Ilford, Essex: F. Cass, 1994. 109. Print.
Japan has slipped to the world’s third largest economy, falling behind the blistering speed of China’s manufacturing growth. The article by CNN (Cable News Network) have contributed the expansion of multinational corporations into China for cheaper labor. Japan has the world’s fastest aging population and one of the globe’s lowest birth rates. Its GDP (Gross Domestic Product)-to-debt ratio is nearly 200%– the world’s highest among developed nations.
Lah, Kyung. “Japan: Economy Slips to Third in World.” CNN. Cable News Network, 14 Feb 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
Japan’s GDP-to-debt ratio may be directly tied to their lack of raw materials needed to make products that would increase their GDP. When these resources run out that is where all competition becomes stagnant. The important continuation of a popular commodity depends on the resources it needs to keep its existence in the markets. China’s cheap labor makes it the second largest economy in the world. China has a total resource value of $23 trillion dollars heavily based on coal and rare earth minerals. Russia is the world’s richest country when it comes to natural resources. It has the second-largest deposits of coal and the third-largest deposits of gold. It has the second-largest estimated deposits of rare earth minerals but none are currently being mined.
The Guardian listed the six natural resources that seven billion people are using up to where a shortage could occur in the near future. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States is predicting that by 2025, 1.8 billion people will experience water shortages. The oil industry will face scarcity for the next 46.2 years if global production stays at the current rate; a similar risk for natural gas exists, with enough gas to meet 58.6 years of global production at the end of 2010. The phosphate rock produces phosphorus, an element that is needed for plants to grow. Its common use for fertilizer has invoked a prediction from scientists from the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative that in the next 50 to 100 years phosphorus can disappear unless new reserves are found. China and other developing countries increasing need for coal could outstrip the Earth’s supply but there is 188 years of global production. Scandium and terbium are just two of 17 rare earth minerals that are required to build powerful magnets for wind turbines and electronic circuits in smartphones. 97% of the world’s supply comes from China and they can willfully restrict supplies. The world’s reserves of rare earth elements are not known.
Ruiz, Camila. “The Six Natural Resources Most Drained by Our 7 Billion People For How Long Can We Realistically Expect to Have Oil? And Which Dwindling Element Is Essential to Plant Growth?” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited, 31 Oct. 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
But many of these resources can be readily replenished. A shortage of Phosphorus nears as continued mining is depleting the nutrient. Its use in fertilizer is consuming the mineral faster than geologic cycles can replenish. The U.S. is already on the brink of running out of its accessible domestic phosphorus reserves while fewer other countries have substantial stockpiles. Reducing soil erosion and obtaining phosphorus by recycling human and animal excrement can only prevent the persistent mining of phosphorus.
Vaccari, David A. “Phosphorus Famine: The Threat to Our Food Supply.” Scientific American. Scientific American, Inc, 3 Jun. 2009. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
The Durham Advance Wastewater Treatment Facility of Tigard Oregon has supplied phosphorus to a firm that has developed a slow release fertilizer. Ostara, the firm built these reactors that retrieve phosphorus from sewage streams. They were able to produce pellets of a slow decomposing fertilizer sold as Crystal Green. Humans excrete some 3.3 million tons of phosphorus annually and recycling phosphate from wastewater has been considered by many nations due to a future shortage. By 2015 Sweden has mandated that 60 percent of phosphates to be obtained from wastewater. Ostaris prototype reactors to wastewater plants in Israel, the U.K. and various cities in the U.S. Shanghai.
Build up of phosphorus, ammonia, and magnesium occur as these elements become highly concentrated in the sludge and causes the formation of struvite. Struvite formation will coat pipes, valves, and other equipment which can block the flow of sewage and increases maintenance requirements. The reactor developed by Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc., diverts phosphorus and other nutrients that would otherwise become struvite. The Clean Water Services and Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies formed a partnership at the Durham facility, making it the nation’s first full-scale commercial phosphorus recovery facility. Ostara systems only markets Crystal Green to nurseries throughout Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Durham is capable of removing more than 90 percent of the phosphorus in the recycle stream and produce 40 tons of Crystal Green fertilizer per month. Clean Water Services shares a revenue from commercial sale of their fertilizer with Ostara and within five years payments for the initial investment in the technology will be due.
“Durham Houses First Full-scale Commercial Nutrient Recovery Facility in the Nation.” Clean Water Services. Clean Water Services, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
These reactors will help reduce the likelihood of struvite build-up, many sewage facilities use bacteria to remove the sludge of human waste and dying bacteria will rupture and release small amounts of phosphate back into the wastewater, eventually creating deposits of struvites. Human waste is only about 10 percent of mined phosphate rock according to David A. Vaccari, directory of civil, environmental and ocean engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology. That is because wastewater holds a small fraction of recoverable phosphate and not all facilities create struvite. The agricultural industry has greater potential for the phosphate recovery systems. Scientist are using the basic reactor to process nutrients from dairy and pig waste while removing methane.
Tweed, Katherine. “Sewage Industry Fights Phosphorus Pollution: How Flushing the Toilet Can Lead to Phosphorus for Fertilizers .” Scientific American. Scientific American, Inc, 10 Nov. 2009. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
The mass development in various electronic gadgets have further added to the problem of extensive resource extraction. Items such as computers, cellular phones, ipods, mouses, keyboards, CD players, DVD players, microwave ovens, toasters, kitchen related electronics toasters, microwave ovens, coffee makers, and blenders are difficult to disassemble and that makes it hard to recycle the item. There are companies who developed methods that make it easier to break down electronic appliances and narrow them to their individual reusable components. A company in Edmonton, Canada has a process where appliances are broken down to where individual parts are separated to be used to build new computers and other electronics. The ferrous materials and precious metals are recovered and can be reused. The facility may be the size of a football field but its worth the trouble to avoid placing these items in a landfill.
Edmonton Canada Recycling Electronics
Recycling Electronics can be dangerous due to certain minerals being hazardous to the human body. UNTHA Recycling Technology has a special materials recovery system that prevents environmentally damaging fumes in the rigid polyurethane foam insulation inside refrigerators and freezers from entering the atmosphere. The technology was invented in Europe and currently there is no other system like the URT available in the United States. Ninety percent of refrigerators in America are shredded for their metal, the shredding process releases greenhouse gas and ozone-depleting substances into the atmosphere, and the remaining foam and other materials typically go to a landfill.
The URT system thoroughly breaks down the refrigerators and freezers into streams of fine granules of recoverable materials, including copper, aluminum, steel, plastics, and de-gassed foam pellets. The URT system will capture flammable hydrocarbons such as cyclopentane, a chemical being currently introduced by US manufacturer in the production of new refrigerators and freezers. With the use of this amazing technology various harmful elements can be safely managed. Central Hudson Gas & Electric (Central Hudson) and Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) in New York, as well as Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO).
Neepenergy. “Innovative Recycling Technology. Paramount Results.” Energy Efficiency Matters. Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP), 31 July 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
The landfills of Japan could soon place the country on the list of the world’s top mineral producers. A study made by the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba, Japanese determined that these sites hold three times as much gold and silver and six times as much platinum as the world consumes each year. The Japanese should retrieve all of the gold, silver, and platinum buried in their landfills.
Spangler, Adam. “Buried Treasure.” On Earth Magazine. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 1 Dec. 2008. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
There are facilities in the United States that can. A Big Green Box will be shipped to anyone’s home, office, or business completely with the price of shipping to one location’s. All batteries can be placed in separate clear bags to avoid certain chemicals mixing with one another causing a bad reaction. Alkaline, NiCd, NiMh, Lead, Silver, Mercury, and Lithium batteries can be handled by this company. They also recycle portable electronics like cell phones, power tools, calculators, cameras, PDA’s, and laptops.
Umicore, an industrial scale recycling facility a plant out of Hoboken, Belgium invests in recycling Lithium-ion, Lithium-polymer and NiMH rechargeable batteries. The number of hybrid electric vehicles are increasing on the world’s roads and those end-of-life rechargeable batteries in cars would eventually be discarded. The practice of recycling batteries has been restricted to primary batteries, lead acid batteries, and NiCd batteries until now.
Technicians working for IBM in Burlington, Vermont, are recycling their defective silicon wafers for use in solar cells. Eric White, an engineer working for the Burlington factory created a method of polishing all of the semiconductor etchings that turn a silicon wafer into a microprocessor or any type of chip off the wafer. He is extracting all of the silicon off wafers which turns it back into polysilicon material. IBM sells its monitor wafers they use to calibrate its machinery to the solar power industry after it gets a little worn out. IBM has saved more than $500,000 in 2006 and is estimated to save $1.5 million in 2007 during its recycling of monitor wafers. Silicon that is recycled can save between 30 percent and 90 percent of the energy that is expended to build solar cells.
Cloudblue recycling company figured out a way to recover all metals from electronics so every part can become reusable. But there are ways to recycle e-waste, reducing the need to mine more of the metals that go into high-tech items, and preventing the environmental consequences of poorly processed electronics. CloudBlue, based in New Jersey, helps tech companies take care of their e-waste, arranging for direct pickup and processing, ensuring that valuable metals can be reused and recycled for future electronics. For customers like banks that have to worry about sensitive data that might be encoded on old computers, CloudBlue can also process the waste onsite.
Walsh, Bryan. “Recycling E-Waste.” Time. Time Inc, 6 Dec. 2010. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
A zero landfill policy for recycling electronic waste products will enable it to be more profitable. Broward County resident can drop off used electronics at no charge at their processing center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The company holds one-day collection event held from January through May at different cities throughout Broward County. All equipment requiring the state-of-the-art data destruction and asset recovery such as: computers, servers, networking, telecommunications, monitors, printers, and other IT related equipment get recycled in an environmentally friendly fashion or is refurbished for re-sale and re-use.
The Department of Energy has gave a $9.5 million grant to Anaheim-based Toxco, a company who plans on building America’s first recycling facility for lithium-ion vehicle batteries. Concerns over a future lithium shortage in the United States were foreseen which is why the recycling and recovery of batteries may be important. They have machinery like the hammer mills that will shred the batteries and allow the easy separation of individual components made of aluminum, copper, and steel. Bigger batteries that may still retain a charge are cyrogenically frozen with liquid nitrogen before being hammered and shredded; at -325 degrees Fahrenheit, this process reduces the batteries conductivity. Flooding the battery chambers in a caustic bath that dissolves lithium salts and filtration of these salts produces lithium carbonate. Cobalt, which is used to make battery electrodes can be recovered from the rest of the sludge.
Hamilton, Tyler. “Lithium Battery Recycling Gets a BoostThe DOE Funds a Company That Recycles Plug-in Vehicle Batteries.” MIT Technology Review. Jason Pontin/ Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 12 Aug. 2009. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
There are companies and even inventors who have figured out how to convert old plastic materials into usable oils that can heat buildings and run vehicles. Abstaining from digging for oil and natural gas using these forms of extracting petroleum from garbage can reduce the world’s carbon footprint. JBI global, a company based on Niagara Falls has invented a process of producing gasoline, diesel fuel, and home heating fuel. The plant located on 20th Iroquois Street now produces 109 barrels of fuel a day.
Editorial Staff. “Plastics-to-oil Firms Move Forward.” Resource Recycling. Resource Recycling, Inc, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2013. <http://www.resource-recycling.com/node/2999>.
Falls business turns plastic into fuel WIVB.com.mov
Ventana Cleantech : Converting Waste Plastics to Petroleum Fuels
P&M recycling depot in Whitehorse, Yukon imported a machine from Japan that converts plastics into diesel that can heat up to 70 homes. The company wants to use the machine to help save money on their heating bills. Joy Snyder, executive director Raven Recycling claims that the machine helps reduced the use of oil being extracted to create new “virgin” plastic. The company is more likely to use junk plastics to make these petroleum based oils. This is why the machine appears to not be that practical according to Synder feeling that the machine isn’t all its cracked up to be.
Kane, Laura. “Whitehorse Recycling Machine Will Turn Discarded Plastic into Home Heating.” Toronto Star. Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd, 8 Oct. 2012. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
Recycling old plastic back into fossil fuel
Plastic waste into Diesel fuel production, Plastic Depolarisation Unit PDU
Easy way to make your own diesel from plastic waste
Fuel from garbage;
Plastics aren’t the only waste byproduct that can be recycled into usable fuels. Our everyday trash that is hoarding of Earth’s living space by plugging up giant man made craters called “landfills.” If one can take all of the rubbish and use a safe method of not disposing it properly but procuring fuel sources that can power vehicles and heat homes. Jeff Surma, a 1985 Montana State University graduate and co-founder of S4 may have finally figured out how to do plasma gasification that doesn’t produces emissions when converting into usable fuel sources. Hired by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a research facility in Richland, Washington.
To clean up the Hanford Nuclear Reservation after the US Government made a huge mess for cooking up most of the plutonium for America’s nuclear weapons arsenal at the facility. Earning the reputation as one of the most contaminated nuclear waste sites in the Western Hemisphere. Surma was working on so-called joule-heated melters, an experimental method for processing nuclear waste. Surma’s came across a chemical process known as vitrification, immobilizes radioactive materials in an inert form of glass. Muddy slurry goo is poured into a heated chamber that was heated with coils. The system itself worked and was able to convert waste into more than 30 four-foot-tall canisters of vitrified glass. It was the failures of using joule-heated melters to clean the huge quantities of more heterogeneous trash containing low-level radioactivity; it couldn’t go into a landfill and also wasn’t suited to vitrification because the trash still retained its radioactive properties. To find a solution to this problem Surma sifted through literature for other waste-treatment techniques and soon was reading about a device known as the plasma torch. The plasma torch was developed by scientists at NASA to create the same effects of extreme heat on manned spaceheat reentering the atmosphere. Surma learned about the practice of using plasma for processing waste not only existed for decades in the metal and chemical industries but the high energy costs and risks of toxins in heavy metals would make another form of pollution. Materials from busted televisions, microwave ovens, dead batteries, broken thermometers, old paints aren’t broken down by plasma and could leak into the water supply.
Surma knew how to handle hazardous substances and his specialty made him be apart of a team consisting of MIT physicists at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center named Dan Cohn, who was searching for plasma technology’s possible environmental applications. Both men met through a phone call Cohn made asking for anyone who at lab doing plasma research. The two men showed concern over the billions of tons of common household garbage and to them plasma technology will work. Surma and Cohn collaborated with a retired engineer from GE named Charles Titus. Titus’s, an expert in high-voltage engineering recognized that metal torches become damaged from the very heat they deliver plus it was improper technology. Titus’s thought about the idea of using an Electric arc strung between two graphite electrodes as a much better way to create plasma. They merged the vitrification and plasma-zapping processes land have combined AC/DC (Alternating Current/Direction Current) to generate enough power to operate it without using a hydroelectric charging station. Leaving the glass in a molten state and preventing it from cooling down saves energy costs; reheating the unit will take in more electricity.
Integrated Environmental Technologies (eventually InEnTec) didn’t finish their prototype melter until 1997. In 1999 their commercial units aimed for handling hazardous waste were sold to manufacturers including Boeing and Kawasaki. Large sums of money was saved when they used the melter because they not only produce useful gases and materials but they did not have to pay someone else to dispose of their hazardous waste. InEnTec’s first operations began to slump once they tried to move into markets beyond the manufacturing and chemical industries. A melter unit was sold by Surma to a company in Hawaii that processes medical waste but that firm became defunct. The second step for Surma was to assemble a medical waste processing operation in Northern California, being ran under InEnTec. People in that area didn’t want a medical waste treatment plant in their community. That opposition from regular citizens wouldn’t even allow Surma and his team the chance to further explain the science of plasma gasification and how there would be no emissions of harmful fumes.
The process can create three beneficial substances: gases and liquids that can turn into solids. Gasification involves both oxygen and steam that’s heated to 1,500 Fahrenheit that exudes a mixture of gases which is sequestered out of pipes into the syngas chamber. Syngas is comprised of carbon monoxide and hydrogen that can converted to diesel and ethanol that produces electricity onsite and elsewhere. Other parts of the trash are melted and the atoms would separate and form a taffy-like ooze where metals and glass-like waste is separated. The metals can be recycled into steel and the molten glass drawn out of the gasifier can be made into a type of road aggregate content.
Surma temporarily discontinued the project until him and InEnTec’s chief engineer Jim Batdorf made plans on making the process of trash-to-fuel recycling much easier on budgets if they were to use the melter on household garbage. Fortunately, there were Waste Management executives from Houston, Texas who sent out a team of experts and consultations to study plasma gasification. They came across InEnTec and their two year old review identified them as one of the only few in the world who mastered the capabilities of capturing useful gases without producing non-biodegradable fluids in addition to leaking harmful fumes into the atmosphere.
Carl Rush, the senior vice president at Waste Management is realizing the value of InEnTec’s plasma-enhanced melter over the price of sending trash to landfills rising and buried trash is imploding into backyards slipping towards local water tables. Rush and team started to research about technologies to invest in. They found more than two dozen companies including one that has their own distinct method for producing compost, a firm that uses gasification to turn biomass into synthetic gas, and a company that converts mixed and contaminated waste plastic into synthetic crude oil.
Currently at the INENTEC Hydrocarbon Conversion Test Facility in Richland, WA, Surma and his team are continuing to make the technology more practical through a series of upgrading experiments. They melt an assortment of materials from everyday trash to asbestos, PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards), hazardous chemical sludge, and discarded electronic equipment. These sessions are made to improve the quality of S4’s next commercial melters. They are recently testing a chemical called Toluene, one of the most stable organic compounds in existence. It is a great substance for assessing the melter’s proficiency at stripping and dissolving waste. Toluene has a high rate of stability and couldn’t be easily changed or altered without undergoing any other intakes such as a blast of superhigh heat.
Wolman, David. “High-Powered Plasma Turns Garbage Into Gas.” Wired. Conde Nast Publications, 20 Jan. 2012. Web. 17 Nov. 2013. <http://www.wired.com/magazine/2012/01/ff_trashblaster/>.
The Startech Corporation in Wilton Connection and the Solena Group in Washington, D.C., also use molten hot plasma to scorch garbage in an oxygen-depraved container. Garbage can be broken down into solids and separate energy-producing gases. If heated to 30,000 degrees or temperatures three times as hot as the sun it causes molecules in the trash to break down, forming stone-like material that can become pavement or kitchen tiles, hydrogen-rich gases that can be used as fuel. Its use has not become mainstream due to high costs of introducing newer technology. Charles Russomanno, a renewable energy expert at the U.S. Department of Energy claimed that the risk of demonstrating these technologies have a higher operating costs in America than overseas and constructing a plant would be more expensive plus regulations are a barrier to its development.
Author’s note~ If you go and read the summary I made with the previous article Jeff Surma, Dan Cohn, and Charles Titus are amongst the only ones who made the use of plasma technology more practical and are currently using this new process to rid the piles of landfills in America. There is no identifiable publishing date for this news reports by ABCNews.
Plasma technology has been used for a long time by manufacturers including Ford, General Motors and pharmaceutical companies to vaporize hazardous materials forbidden to enter landfills. Changing World Technologies of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania combines waste with water and applies extreme heat and pressure to separate the mixture into gas, light oil, heavy oil and solid carbon. Changing World Technologies of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania combines waste with water and applies extreme heat and pressure to separate the mixture into gas, light oil, heavy oil and solid carbon. Tighter environmental standards have made the decision for some countries in Europe and Asia to test these cleaner methods of recycling and disposing of waste.
Plants using the plasma technology are currently operating in Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia, and Japan. Facilities that are in cities with large garbage-producing populations need processors that can handle almost endless piles of trash at a time. 3,000 tons of waste is produced in the City of Chicago and New York City collects up to 12,000 tons. Joe Longo, CEO of Startech has been trying to persuade U.S. municipalities to use his technology. The sophistication of the technology also makes it hard for them to put it to effective use according to Longo. Landfills are expensive to keep up not only financially but geographically. They are a waste of land and Longo offering free pilot plants to cities who want to reduce the costs of running landfills is the best way to persuade the implementation of plasma technology to recycle trash effectively.
Onion, Amanda. “Technologies Promise to Turn Garbage Into Gold.” ABC News. ABC News Internet Ventures, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2013. <http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/FutureTech/story?id=99557&page=1#.UM7X2qxMdOA>.
Russia, Japan, and several European countries are very aware that nuclear energy can be reprocessed to recover fissile and fertile materials in order to provide fresh fuel. Recovering unused uranium and plutonium in the used fuel elements closing the fuel cycle will gain between 25% to 30% more energy from the original uranium in the process and will boost energy security. Reducing the volume of material that is to be disposed as high-level waste to about one fifth is important and the level of radioactivity in the waste from reprocessing is lesser and after 100 years quickly decreases than used fuel itself.
These nuclear leftovers are just recovered long-lived actinides containing plutonium that are recycled in fast reactors which will eventually end up as short-lived fission products. Retrieving all of the actinides will reduce the possibility of plutonium being diverted from civil use thereby increasing proliferation resistance of the fuel cycle. Unprocessed used fuel that is lasting a century or two still has built-in radiological properties that will allow the plutonium to be recovered for illicit use but one doesn’t have to worry about weapons since only non-fissile isotopes are only present.
“World Nuclear Association Processing of Used Nuclear Fuel.” World Nuclear Association. World Nuclear Association, Sept. 2013. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
Since the last four decades, America’s reactors have produced about 56,000 tons of used fuel; enough to power every U.S. household for 12 years. The United States developed the technology to recapture nuclear energy decades ago, then banned its commercial use in 1977. France has 59 reactors that generate 80 percent of the country’s electricity reduce its dependency on foreign energy by safely recycling its nuclear fuel. The discarded portions of fuel are removed from French reactors and packed into containers. Its safely shipped by either train or road to a facility in La Hague. In that building, energy producing uranium and plutonium are removed and separated from other waste and made into new reusable fuel. The entire process adds only 6 percent in fees for the French.
America’s nuclear material is transported to the Yucca Mountain and produces enough waste to nearly fill Yucca’s legal limit of 70,000 tons– estimates have also concluded that the amount is much larger than its required limitations. 20 percent of the America’s electricity is powered by nuclear reactors and 95 percent of the used fuel from America’s 104 power reactors can be recycled. To generate power, reactor must have 3-5 percent burnable uranium and the burnable uranium that being reduced at a percentage level lower than its recommended rate then it must be replaced. The fuel retains about 95 percent of the uranium its starts with and that uranium can be recycled.
Spencer, Jack. “Recycling Nuclear Fuel: The French Do It, Why Can’t Oui?” Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation, 28 Dec. 2007. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
Recycling Co2 as gasoline
CO2 or carbon dioxide, a gaseous element that is the product of burning fossil fuels could be captured from thin air and reused. Isolating hydrogen and carbon atoms and combining them recreates the fuel. The methods for this technology are only sustainable if the energy input to create the hydrocarbon fuel comes from a non-petroleum source. The Sunshine to Petrol project at the U.S. DOE’s (Department of Energy’s) Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Livermore, California is working on building a high-efficiency chemical heat engine based on concentrated solar energy to power its process for making CO2-based fuels.
Lavelle, Marianne. “Carbon Recycling: Mining the Air for Fuel.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 10 Aug. 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
Jim Miller, a scientist at Sandia National Laboratories has been working on converting Carbon Dioxide to usable fuels. Years ago, scientists demonstrated that carbon dioxide can be converted into liquid fuel by breaking it apart and combining the carbon with hydrogen. That process builds the hydrocarbons that form oil and coal, and feed stocks such as corn and sugar cane.
Davidson, Paul. “Carbon Dioxide Gets New Life as It’s Recycled into Gasoline.” USA Today. Gannet Co. Inc, 25 Feb. 2009. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
Recycle Natural Gas
Georgia Natural Gas has used these new technologies to capture landfill gas and prepare it for consumer. The company obtained their garbage from the Live Oak Landfill in DeKalb County, Georgia. Landfills produce a natural gas called methane when organic material decomposes over time. The methane gas is generated during the natural process of bacterial decomposition contained in municipal landfills. The heat and pressure from the earth will cook the rubbish into an organic matter and the gas can be siphoned from the rubble.
Easy recycling practices can improvise employment opportunities for anyone. Environmentalist Leslie Adogame of Lagos, Nigeria gathered piles of sawdust from local factories and converted these tiny specs into briquettes, which are used as a cheap and efficient alternative to firewood for both home and business cooking. Items relating to arts and crafts and even flower vases made from sawdust can be sold for income. 8,000 jobs can be created in Lagos while the amount of sawdust is reduced by 92 percent.
Recycling Silicon, a company whose information can only be at <http://www.recyclesilicon.com> is the only industry that reclaims silicon wafers to the highest quality with minimal loss of wafer thickness. The company will take Silicon Wafer, Ingot, Broken Wafer, Scrap Silicon Top & Tails, Silicon Wafer Granule, Pot Scrap, Poly Silicon Granule & Chunk, Broken Solar Cell, Dice Tape with Silicon die attached Material (Blue Tape), et cetera.
A petroleum refinery in Kenai, Alaska, recycled sulfur by transporting it into bags and selling it to China. They received help from AIMM Technologies Inc., a Texas-based petroleum service company. Brooks Bradford, the president of AIMM noted on the dangers of recovering sulfur over its flammability. The facility had to be mobile and easy to dismantle for use at another sulfur recovery site once the cleaning at Kenai was complete. After the sulfur was removed, most of bags were sent to the Port of Homer, Alaska, about three hours from Kenai and sold to a third party who shipped them to an inland river port in China where the sulfur will be used mainly as fertilizer.
Simpson, Keith. “Case Study: Recycling Sulfur Material Kenai Refinery Overcomes Handling Logistics to Move 36,000 Tons.” Environment Protection Agency. 1105 Media Inc, 9 July 2009. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
The Argonne National Laboratory is recapturing and recycling sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), a gas used in industry as an anti-arcing agent. Reducing SF6 emissions will prevent potent greenhouse gases from leaking in the atmosphere. Recycling the gas also saves taxpayers over $208,000 each year.
All of the non-perishables that appear to useless must be addressed. There are instances where items that are in line to be dumped into landfill still can be reused. Bottle caps are one item that are common thrown into the trash despite them having the same recycling capabilities as many other items. Shoes and other footwear is another common item that ends up in the landfill but parts of the shoe can be made into other things.
Huntsville Schools in Alabama collected all types of plastic bottle caps including ones for plastic water and soda bottles, milk jug caps, lids to peanut butter jars, laundry detergent caps, vitamin bottles, and more. KW Plastics in Troy, Alabama took the plastic bottle caps and turned them into plastic paint buckets. The company is the largest recycler of plastics in the world. Stephanie Baker, director of Market Development, thanked principles, teachers and students for gathering all of the bottle caps and container lids. The effort helps keep 500 people employed. The schools in Huntsville won $16,000 for their efforts and one parent even had her husband deployed in Afghanistan mail plastic caps.
Aiello, Claire. “Huntsville Schools Win $16K For Bottle Cap Recycling.” WHNT News. WHNT, 30 Apr. 2013. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
When it comes to recycled plastic, they are ended up in landfills. The Englewood Sun Herald reported a story about students at L.A. Ainger Middle School collecting bottles caps and getting paid 20 cents a pound for their 5-plus tons of plastic caps. These plastic caps are melted down and made into plastic benches are replacing the wooden version which needed constant maintenance. Retirement homes, supermarkets, restaurants, other schools, the local hospital all delivered or mailed bottle caps to the school once they found out about their recycling program.
Nike, the famous shoe company has a program where if people turn in their worn out shoes they will become high-quality sports surfaces includes courts, turf fields, tracks and more. Since the year 1990, 28 million pairs of shoes and 36,000 tons of scrap material was used in more than 450,000 locations around the world. By taking in these worn out shoes and grinding them the products that were made with the shredded material cover 632,000,000 square feet and that is 23 square miles. Old usable shoes that no one is wearing are being resold in West African markets. The small enterprises and business can prosper and unemployed people can have an opportunity to earn an income.
“REUSE-A-SHOE.” Nike. Nike Inc, 29 May 2013. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
Recycling Shoes for Reuse – Rerun Shoes
ReKixx is a new shoe brand that prides itself on making shoes from lab certified 100% recyclable materials. The company make shoes from footbed, padding, lining, stitching, glue, and special polyresin “rubber” that are all recyclable. They encourage uses to return their worn out Rekixx footwear to them to reproduce more shoes. They make the only wholly recyclable shoe on the market. Customers can sent the shoes back for a special discount on their next Rekixx purchase.
A zero waste policy is one way to sustain the economic longevity of any nation. All of the trash that is thrown away can be made into the same item and resold or morphed into something else that is marketable. The shoes made by Rekixx will save them tons of costs in developing their shoeline if they can retrieve every single worn out footwear from their customers. Japan’s notoriety of being a nation who developed the latest electronic gadgets must use readily available tools to recycle cast off electrical products and salvage all of the precious minerals in their landfills since they do not have the raw materials to continue growth in the technology field. The Japanese may be able to slightly nudge their GDP-to-debt ration in the opposite direction. The Chinese being able to stop the supplying of scandium and terbium, the metals needed to build smartphones and solar panels. Countries should take all of the technologies made by companies who can recover every part of into consideration.
As stated previously mining resources in its virgin form are already costly operations and industries can reduce these expenses through recycling routines. Many of the plastics that end up in landfills can probably make more petroleum that would rival the oil fields of the Middle East. Reducing the expansion of landfills through these plastic-to-oil conversions and garbage-to-fuel procurements can spare a country tons of usable acreage. The piles of trash can be an almost endless source of renewable fuel sources that can power transportation and heat homes. The oil industry who’s in danger of facing a shortage of petroleum and natural gas should take advantage of incorporate the use of these junk-to-fuel conversion machines.
Increasing of pollution has been a contributory factor in the shortage of waterways. The aquifers below landfills can be polluted when the area is hit with rainfall. Many of items that couldn’t be recycled and tossed into landfills have hazardous chemicals like mercury, sulfur, sodium, et cetera leaks into groundwater sources. Hot Springs, Arkansas is already working on keeping pharmaceutical and personal care waste from seeping into their local water systems and other countries should be doing the same. The production of methane should motivate communities to divert the use of water as a component for handling human and animal wastes. Liquid graywater must be thoroughly cleaned to avoid contamination before irrigation practices. Jobs and employment can be increased as the amount of money saved can allow companies to not only increase the wage for their employees but even hire new people as the demand for recycling grows. Sawdust residue already employs 8,000 Nigerians and many cities in America received grant money for recycling projects which are putting citizens back to work. If a nation adopts a complete anti-waste doctrine then they will cope with the crisis of unemployment.