The UK will start exporting domestic waste converted into fuel pellets to mainland Europe as it struggles to recycle the growing amount of household waste. The generation of domestic waste seems to have exceeded the capacity of the British municipalities to recycle them.
In addition, with limited resources, landfills are also completely exhausted. Thus the municipalities have decided to turn the domestic waste into fuel pellets and export them to neighboring countries like Germany and Holland.
Britain is struggling to recycle its domestic waste which consists mainly of recyclable organic matter, an potential energy resource. Municipalities would convert this household waste into dense fuel pellets through a series of conversion processes like densification, removal of water and pressing. The resulting pellets can be directly used to generate heat which can then be used directly for heating purposes or convert water into steam to run a steam turbine for power generation.
Domestic waste can become a major source of energy if the conversion processes are made more ‘environmental-friendly’, that is, engineered and modified in such a way that the net energy content is increased while the potential of carbon emissions decreases. Modifications may include further treatment of waste before being turned into fuel pellets or using microbial action to modify the waste’s properties to reduce its final carbon footprint.
It is obvious that the waste production would increase tremendously as the population increases and recycling and using landfills for its disposal cannot provide a complete solution. Thus if we could develop better ways of making use of waste as energy source in an environment-friendly process, a whole new dimension could be added to the concept of energy independence.