The Shift to alternative Waste Management Technologies

Waste management methodologies vary from one region to another due to economic factors and population density. Nonetheless, many Canadian local authorities and waste disposal Surrey experts are in support of one cause: the need to adopt sustainable waste management practices—and for good reasons. Emissions and hazardous fumes continue to build up, landfills are surpassing their capacities, and waste treatment facilities are grappling with increased operational expenses.

Alternative waste management technologies are, therefore, needed more than ever to contribute to improving the current systems. There are numerous innovative practices that Canadian authorities and waste treatment experts can adopt to reduce the environment impact of the current waste treatment technologies:

1. Biodrying: involves heating up biodegradable waste rapidly through compositing. This is done to remove moisture and reduce the weight of the waste materials.

2. Bioconversion to mixed alcohol fuels: involves the conversion of biomass into useful chemicals such as ketones, biofuels, and carboxylic acids (acetone, ethanol, butyric acid, and propanol).

3. Anaerobic digestion: use of micro-organisms to break biodegradable materials in the absence of oxygen. This method of waste management is commonly used for industrial waste. Insoluble organic polymers such as carbohydrates are broken down into materials that bacteria can access. The bacteria (mostly acidogenic bacteria) converts amino acids and sugars into hydrogen , carbon dioxide, ammonia, and other organic acids.

4. Gasification: involves the conversion of organic materials into carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and hydrogen by reacting the organic materials at high temperatures using steam or oxygen.

5. In-vessel compositing systems/aerated static pile composting: use concrete bunkers or plastic/metal tanks to control temperatures and to circulate air through buried tubes in the organic materials.

6. Pyrolisis: involves decomposition of organic materials in the absence of oxygen. The organic materials are converted into industrial fuel such as carbon black, pyrolisis oil and hydrocarbon gas, which are in turn used to generate steam, heat, and electricity.

7. Waste autoclave: uses steam, heat or pressure from specialized industrial autoclave to process waste materials in a continuous flow (or batches). Steam is injected into the industrial autoclave at about 160 degrees for about 45 minutes.

8. Mechanical biological treatment systems (or MBT): This is a combination of a recycle or sorting facility with aerobic digestion or composting. It is mostly used in processing commercial waste, mixed household waste, and industrial waste.

The waste treatment industry that we see today has come a long way. Unlike the conventional approaches of managing waste which involved compositing, incineration, recycling, and land filling, the emerging waste management models continue to focus on reducing waste production and diverting excess waste from landfills, recycling more materials, generating energy, and recovering heat and useful gases and other materials. Learn more information at Revolution Resource Recovery, which has more online resources available.

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