Saturday, July 29, 2017

Modern-day alchemy: waste-to-energy

I tell you.  They were dreamers.  Some had high intentions, while others were subversive.  The alchemists of old.  They sought a childish dream: to turn waste into gold.

I was a student(and still am) in the dawn of the conservation push.  We, as seven-year-olds were shown VHS films of large front-end-loaders trudging around the landfill.  Trash, as far as the eye could see.  We were being told this was our future.

Thirty years later it hasn't happened.  We have not become overrun by garbage, yet.

In the Back To The Future sequel, Doc Brown needed fuel for the fusion reactor in his time-traveling exotic(and highly customized) automobile.  He had a slot on the back of the car labelled "Mr. Fusion", into which he put anything he could find, like in the film he put common garbage from an alley, banana peels, empty potato chip bags, anything.

The trick to waste-to-energy is take the approach of making it a zero-waste proposition, like carbonized material being made into inks or something, preferably something that need not be sanitary, or sewn/hewn into building materials, something of a carbon fiber, instead of "wood products", which are our nice trees.

We don't appreciate the trees until they are gone, you know.

Whoever finds a usage for the waste gases will be declared the winner of the whole thing, I guess.

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