US Department of Energy researchers partner to pelletize waste materials

By Lynn Wendt, Idaho National Laboratory
Biomass Magazine
February 13, 2023
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

IDAHO — The idea of using biomass or non-recyclable materials to produce power has been around for a long time, but techniques for developing a consistent feedstock to produce a fuel that is economical compared to coal, resistant to moisture, and has no spontaneous combustion in storage has been a daunting challenge. Researchers at Idaho National Laboratory, working with Michigan Technological University and Convergen Energy, a company based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, have pioneered a technique for combining non-recyclable plastics and paper fiber that would otherwise end up in landfills to form pellets with an energy content like bituminous coal. …On the other side of the equation, paper products, while biodegradable, decompose in landfills to create methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Combining paper and plastic to form stable feedstocks that can substitute for coal and reduce landfill mass would be a green energy win-win.

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