Municipal Solid Waste

A core market focus of Novo in the renewable energy marketplace is waste to energy (“WTE”) projects that utilize municipal solid waste (“MSW”) as the principal fuel source and recover the energy for sale in the form of steam and/or electricity.  WTE projects are classified as renewable energy sources and are better environmental alternatives for the following reasons:

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  • Reduced CO2 Emissions - The majority of MSW is comprised of biomass material; that is material that originated from a biological life source including trees or plants.  The U.S. EPA estimates that approximately 70% of typical MSW composition in the U.S. is biomass.  Plant and trees consume carbon dioxide (CO2) during their growth and the principal emission from combustion of these materials in a WTE project is CO2.  As a result, WTE projects are “net zero” CO2 sources to the environment from the combustion of the biomass portion of the fuel stream.
  • Reduced Methane and Fossil Fuel Emissions – WTE projects reduce the amount of waste going to landfills by approximately 90-95% on a volume reduction basis.  When landfilled, the primary emission from the anaerobic digestion of the MSW is methane, which is estimated to be 21 times more reactive than CO2 from a greenhouse gas standpoint.  Additionally, WTE facilities often offset energy production from fossil fuel based facilities.  Therefore, efficient combustion of MSW is far better with respect to greenhouse gas emissions than landfilling.
  • Renewing Fuel Stream – MSW is a fuel source that has steadily grown throughout the history of the United States and other developed countries.  The U.S. presently generates approximately 225 million tons of MSW on an annual basis.  Only 15% of the MSW in the U.S is presently utilized as fuel, compared to roughly 50% in Europe.

Other benefits of WTE projects include:

  • Energy Recovery – WTE projects recover a significant portion of energy content in the MSW which is otherwise lost when the material is landfilled.
  • Lower Overall Environmental Emissions – WTE projects employ modern state-of-the-art emission control technology that virtually eliminate hazardous pollutants that otherwise create significant levels of air toxics when the material is landfilled.
  • Higher Recycling – Communities that employ WTE projects have consistently demonstrated higher recycling rates than those who don’t.
  • Reduced Landfill Space – Because WTE projects reduce the volume of material that must be landfilled by as much as 95%, far less land area is required for solid waste disposal.  Existing landfills with 5 years of capacity for example can extend that remaining space to as much as 50 years with a WTE project by utilizing the remaining space for ash disposal.  In addition, the potential for contamination of ground water from landfills is dramatically reduced.

The Novo Technology Package can be scaled to accommodate as little as 100 tons/day of municipal solid waste to as high as 1,000 tons/day based upon the available waste for processing and disposal.  Multiple combustion/boiler/air pollution control system trains can be added for redundancy and increased processing capacity.

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