Talking Trash for Clean Power: Verus Energy is Changing the Waste in Landfills

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I was struck by the trash talk spotlight on Green is Sexy this month with Verus Energy Ltd. Co-Founders Tim Jervis and David Diracles because they truly understand that the global energy generation infrastructure is requiring colossal changes to sustain the planet.

Verus Energy is a new form of development company that focuses on building renewable power plants that use waste as the feedstock: “In the same way that a property developer might develop a new residential or commercial property, Verus develops a power plant. Between the core team at Verus and our strategic partners, we can design, build, construct, and operate power plants that use waste rather than fossil fuels as the source of energy.” Jervis and Diracles explain.

Verus states on their website that they are out to change the way power plants work. Their mission is to help the UK (and soon the US) address waste and energy challenges by developing clean and efficient energy from waste plants.  Energy from waste encompasses many processes where trash is converted into electricity, heat, or transport fuel.  On top of providing a clean and secure source of energy, the process provides an environmentally friendly alternative to dumping waste in landfill.

Instead of polluting the air with the (traditional power generating) burning of waste for fuel, they are creating much cleaner trash power with anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis

Verus has created a cleaner way to generate power from landfills that utilizes the new science of sustainability. They explain that with both anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis

“technologies produce very clean emissions. The US and the UK have very tight limitations on power plant emissions and both of these technologies fall well below the allowed rates.

With anaerobic digestion, waste is converted into biogas via the age old process of decomposing organic matter with bacterial digestion. As the bacteria digest the waste, they naturally produce biogas. The pyrolysis process also decomposes waste but instead of a biological process, it relies on the application of high heat. Waste is exposed to high heat in the absence of oxygen. Because oxygen is not present, the material does not burn. The high temperature environment converts the waste into a synthetic gas.

The biogas and synthetic gases created in anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis can then be combusted in much the same way that natural gas is combusted to produce electricity and heat.”

Some of the technology providers that Verus is working with are based in the US and a number of municipalities and companies are seriously considering or constructing advanced energy from waste plants. Right now, Japan has been the leader in deploying these technologies because as an island nation with little landfill space, the solution fits.

Source: Green is Sexy

Image Credit: Above image of an island landfill is by Leslie under the the GNU Free Documentation License,

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