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Low Emissions Waste to Energy Disposal


Island bases and other remote forward operating bases (FOB) have limited land and energy resources to dispose of municipal solid waste (MSW). Open air pits are discouraged and congressionally required to be nearly-eliminated. Due to the high volume of generated MSW and limited amount of real-estate, landfills and bio-digestive approaches are impractical. Incinerators currently being used require expensive, complex scrubbers in order to meet air quality standards. Existing incinerators in use also consume excessive amounts of fuel (diesel or JP8) and require waste characterization and sorting to ensure proper operation. On island bases and other remote FOB’s, fuel is costly to import - not only in monetary value, but manpower and lives as well. Current DoD waste disposal practices for contingency bases involves trucking away waste or bringing in additional fuel to burn the waste, which adds to the transportation burden and increases risk to personnel. An Army Environmental Policy Institute (AEPI) study reported than a soldier or civilian was wounded or killed for every 24 fuel resupply convoys in Afghanistan during FY 2007 [2]. Thermal approaches to MSW disposal are sought that would generate energy in the form of a fuel, useful thermal energy, or electrical energy. The goal is to achieve net zero consumption of energy in the disposal of MSW, while meeting air quality standards (see Ref 6). However as a minimum the results of this project must show quantifiable improvement in energy consumption. The new incinerator system must be simple to operate and maintain in all climate conditions. The system must be able to be setup and operational within 24hrs. Fuel or energy generation must be produced within 24 hours of operation. Typical thermal approaches that may be considered in developing the incinerator system include but are not limited to: combustion, gasification, pyrolysis, and thermal depolymerization. Plasma arc gasification concepts should address energy intensity of the process, include simplicity and robustness of the hardware to be used. Bio-approaches are not ideal, but will be considered. Any bio or chemical system must be robust and capable of functioning in all global climate conditions. GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS: The proposed incinerator system, when developed into a working system, should meet the following logistics foot print and capacity: For transportability to remote island bases or FOB, as well as ease of assembly, the system should be contained in TRICON size containers that can be reassembled and dismantled like modular building blocks. Each TRICON must weigh not more than 10,000 lbs, the maximum capacity of the material handling equipment within the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion’s Table of Allowance. The system should be contained in no more than eight TRICON containers. The proposed incinerator system should be able to deliver at least a 95% reduction in volume of waste, be flexible in handling solid waste to include food, waste oil, and damp wood or vegetation. The system should be able to handle at least 1200lbs of waste a day and be able to be operated with a minimum of two personnel. Effluents and any char from the process needs to be environmentally safe for easy disposal. The system must be able to be setup and operational within 24hrs. Fuel or energy generation must be produced within 24 hours of operation. PHASE I: Determine feasibility of developing a portable incinerator system capable of MSW disposal with the goal of achieving net zero energy consumption while meeting air quality standards. Provide simulation and design plans for fabrication of working prototype waste disposal incinerator system. Laboratory scale demonstration would be desirable but not required as a Phase I deliverable. PHASE II: Fabricate and demonstrate a fully functioning incinerator system prototype with measurable energy consumption improvement. The measurable improvement should be close to or at the goal of net zero energy consumption. Air quality measurement will be tested to quantify emissions. Prototype system should be delivered, sized and fitted into TRICON containers, meeting specifications as discussed in the Description section. PHASE III: Based on the results of Phase II, the small business will manufacture an incinerator system with measurable energy consumption improvement close to or at the goal of net zero energy consumption and transition the system for Navy use in an operationally relevant environment. The small business will support the Navy with testing and validation of the system to certify and qualify it for Navy use. A system capable of handling a small 150 man camp will be field tested and evaluated. Standard MSW will be consumed with targeted >95% reduction in volume. Portability and ease of setup will be evaluated. The primary application will be fixed facilities at remote Naval locations. Simple system operation and maintenance will also be considered in evaluating possible wider DoD implementation.

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