Stored Energy

Waste/Energy Impacts | Reusables | Recycling | Stored Energy

Releasing the Stored Energy

Following Europe’s lead, a number of U.S. communities already convert much of their garbage into energy that then is supplied to our electricity grid, powering homes and businesses.  Some garbage burns easily—some does not.  The “hydrocarbons” that make up Plastic foodservice products supply more than 16,000 BTUs (similar to the really big burner on your stove) per pound in these waste-to-energy facilities.  That’s twice as much energy per pound as coal. 

These plastic foodservice products help these facilities burn their garbage more efficiently and cleanly.  And rather than burying this stored energy in a landfill, communities can recapture it for their own use. 

What Does the Future Hold? 

Who knows?  One interesting twist...Based on the stored energy in plastic foodservice products (those hydrocarbons that are fuel sources), researchers are looking at the possibility of turning these and other plastic packaging products into biodiesel fuel.  Check out these stories... 

 

 

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