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Transfer Stations
Conversion of MSW Transfer Stations into Renewable Energy Centers
Municipal Solid Waste Transfer Stations (MSWTS) play an important role in a community’s total waste management system, serving as the link between a community’s solid waste collection program and a final waste disposal facility. W2E has developed an innovative system of converting municipal solid waste (MSW) into a slate of usable energy and energy-related products.

MSWTS currently provide the standard intermediate handling step in MSW disposal, preliminary to the disposal of non-recyclable wastes at a landfill or incinerator. MSWTS facilities can make MSW available in large quantities, on a continuous basis. W2E has targeted these sites to become Alternative Energy Centers, which will eliminate MSW disposal issues and make energy from one of the most available domestic sources of renewable power worldwide
In a landfill the biodegradable components of MSW (e.g., paper and food wastes) decompose and emit methane – a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Other components (e.g., leachate) can also cause significant pollution in air and ground water.

Incineration, another disposal option for this waste, is already restricted in the USA. A known source of air emissions pollutants, such as dioxins and furans, incineration is under close scrutiny and can face resistance in other parts of the world. These options waste a valuable resource by not making use of it.
The conversion of these transfer stations into Alternative Energy Centers (AECs), to use the MSW onsite to produce a variety of energy and energy-related products is a practical alternative to the standard disposal options for this material. These AECs could achieve a significant reduction in dependence on imported fossil fuels by making use of these domestic resources. They will also increase energy security by creating geographically dispersed distributed energy centers, and at the same time, provide a more realistic waste disposal option for a growing world population that is demanding and using more goods and services and as a result, producing more waste.
At an MSWTS, the material is received and the recyclables separated out, collected and sold to the appropriate recycler (scrap metal, plastics, etc). After the recyclables are removed, some MSWTS will take the remaining MSW and shred it to make a “fluff”. The fluff has a heating value of 7000 BTU/lb to 9000 BTU/lb. The moisture content of the fluff is 30-35%, which is in the ideal range for processing it into alternative energy products using a W2E process.
Potential of Energy Products generated from 100 Tons/day of MSW delivered at the Transfer Station
Steam 100 Tons/Day 23 Tons/Hr
Electricity 100 Tons/Day 5 MW (Gross)
Hydrogen 100 Tons/Day 6000 kg/day
Ammonia 100 Tons/Day 35 Tons/day
For the production of electricity, the solid MSW fluff is reacted with air under substoichiometric conditions to produce clean fuel gas – a process known as gasification. This clean fuel – often called syngas - is then utilized either in a gas engine, a gas turbine, or in a steam boiler to produce electricity and/or steam.
For the production of hydrogen, the solid MSW fluff is reacted with air under substoichiometric conditions to produce clean fuel gas– the gasification process. The clean fuel gas, or syngas, contains CO, H2, CO2, H2O, and N2. After adding more water to it, this gas is further reacted in a “shift reactor”. In a shift reactor, CO is shifted to H2 and CO2. The hydrogen component is then separated from the gas mixture by using a pressure swing absorption (PSA) unit to yield pure hydrogen. This pure hydrogen can then be compressed for use in a hydrogen fueling station.
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