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Wet Biomass Converter

Biomass gets turned to energy in this device.
  [vote for,

I have tons of leaves and grass clippings to get rid of this fall. I would love a "tank" that I could put all my biomass in that would extract the energy. Before anyone says "there is such a thing you idiot - it's called a stove" - I am thinking of a wet solution. Burning leaves causes a lot of pollution, plus they are usually wet and burn inefficiently (let alone fly all over the place and start other fires). I would like to put my leaves and grass clippings (and other biomass) in a water-filled tank that has some sort of bacteria or microbes that would break down the plant life and produce a burnable gas like methane. The tank could probably pay for itself in the money saved on garbage bags, and perhaps there would be a good residue that could be used to fertilize.

Don't know if this is feasable, but it seems like it to me, and I could not find anything like it online.

trekbody, Nov 05 2004

Sample configuration of an anaerobic digester http://www.enviro-c...y/configuration.htm
[zen_tom, Nov 05 2004]

A UK company (also called ECL) do the same thing http://www.gleeson-...techinfo/index.html
[zen_tom, Nov 05 2004]

Stirling Engine and Composting. http://travel.howst...stirling-engine.htm
[trekbody, Nov 23 2004]


       Septic system?
Shz, Nov 05 2004

       The method you describe is exactly how waste water is treated throughout the world. (See links) Many of the newer plants harvest the methane, which is stored and later used to power the facility.
zen_tom, Nov 05 2004

       There are "anaerobic digester" tanks available for sewage pretreatment. One of the byproducts is methane gas, which could easily be put to use in a small generator. Baked.
Freefall, Nov 05 2004

       Anaerobic digestion is a good idea, but it is slightly bulky and expensive. There are systems available out there that can cleanly burn wet biomass or turn it into a combustible gas without the use of microbes. It's called a "gasifier". Wet biomass is difficult to gasify, but it is possible.   

       High temperature steam will produce hydrogen and carbon monoxide from any organic material, from coal to sewage sludge. This has been widely practiced for over a century.   

       There is also a new technology developed by the unvisity of hawaii called "flash carbonization" which partially burns wet biomass waste in a compact high pressure vessel, producing clean burning charcoal fuel. (this in my opinion is much better than anaerobic digestion, unless you want to generate electricity)
anticyclone, Nov 07 2004

       Another term to do a web search on: Thermal Depolymerization
Madai, Nov 08 2004

       not to mention the flux capacitor, fueled by Mr. Fusion.
lintkeeper2, Nov 08 2004

       Actually - I just found an article that mentions using the heat from decomposing biomass along with a Stirling Engine to produce electricity. Check it out in the "links" section. Maybe we could call the whole contraption the "flux capacitor" OK Lintkeeper2?
trekbody, Nov 23 2004

       I have been pondering this problem also. Consider Southern California. Many many green lawns, much agricultural waste etc. It must be collected. Most areas now seperate this stuff from real garbage. Perhaps it could all be trucked out east to the desert, where it would dry in no time. Then it could be burned as fuel. Or maybe....
bungston, Nov 23 2004


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