Today we return to the subject of landfill, or as we like to think of it, the Island of Misfit Feedstocks. We’ll continue the storyline with a welcome technology breakthrough, and begin with the observation that of all the things that people throw into a landfill, no one ever throws dollars. Were trash to acquire a substantial uplift in value, that’s the end to the landfill crisis.
In Japan, Sekisui Chemical and LanzaTech have successfully demonstrated the production of ethanol from unsorted municipal solid waste — which can be used directly as a fuel or as a precursor to butadiene (a key raw material in the production of synthetic fibers and rubber), isopropanol, and isoprene — which themselves are used to make anything from tires to sneakers, cell phone covers to yoga pants.
۲۰۱۳, Sekisui launched a project with LanzaTech to find an economically viable way to recycle the carbon in garbage into useful products, such as plastics and rubber. With a pilot scale facility outside of Tokyo, Sekisui has succeeded in demonstrating stable plant operation and high ethanol yields.
According to Sekisui, the plant’s performance demonstrated conversion efficiencies approximately four times that of conventional material recycling in Japan. With such efficiencies, Sekisui estimates that it would be possible to produce the equivalent amount of plastic and rubber products used in Japan today, applying to technology across Japan’s waste resource.
And, let’s look at the global footprint of waste. “Globally we could make around 60 billion gallons of fuel from existing landfill waste,” LanzaTech CEO Jennifer Holmgren told The Digest.
Next steps in Japan Sekisui will collaborate with many local governments and waste incineration companies who are the main operators of incinerators as potential partners and utilize government support targeting technology commercialization by 2019.
Sekisui Chemicals, LanzaTech break-through in MSW-to-ethanol demonstration – اخبار زیست فناوری