Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Florida County Discovers Perpetual Motion Machine!

The county government of St. Lucie County in Florida, has decided to build a US $425 million facility that will run on the energy produced on site, plus produce twice as much electricity as is consumed--and sell large quantities of steam and solids as lucrative byproducts. Where did this Florida county find such an energy gold mine? In its landfills.

The $425 million facility expected to be built in St. Lucie County will use lightning-like plasma arcs to turn trash into gas and rock-like material. It will be the first such plant in the nation operating on such a massive scale and the largest in the world.

Supporters say the process is cleaner than traditional trash incineration, though skeptics question whether the technology can meet the lofty expectations.

The 100,000-square-foot plant, slated to be operational in two years, is expected to vaporize 3,000 tons of garbage a day. County officials estimate their entire landfill - 4.3 million tons of trash collected since 1978 - will be gone in 18 years.

No byproduct will go unused, according to Geoplasma, the Atlanta-based company building and paying for the plant.

Synthetic, combustible gas produced in the process will be used to run turbines to create about 120 megawatts of electricity that will be sold back to the grid. The facility will operate on about a third of the power it generates, free from outside electricity.

About 80,000 pounds of steam per day will be sold to a neighboring Tropicana Products Inc. facility to power the juice plant's turbines.

Sludge from the county's wastewater treatment plant will be vaporized, and a material created from melted organic matter - up to 600 tons a day - will be hardened into slag, and sold for use in road and construction projects.

"This is sustainability in its truest and finest form," said Hilburn Hillestad, president of Geoplasma, a subsidiary of Jacoby Development Inc.

This Peswiki page provides more details and links for exploring and evaluating this intriguing concept. It requires a great deal of energy to create such a very hot environment, but apparently once you reach this level of energy, you can harvest twice as much energy as you use in the first place. Very interesting.

Here is a Free Energy News directory of Waste to Energy projects all over the world. This idea is likely to spread to more regional governments, as the economic benefits of turning a liability into a source of profic sinks in.


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