Denmark’s garbage-turned-biofuel to power homes

July 20th, 2011 - 10:55 am ICT by IANS  

Copenhagen, July 20 (IANS) A Danish city is experimenting on turning household garbage and waste water into biofuel that can power homes and public transport, Xinhua reported.

“Our goal is to change the management of wastewater and household rubbish from a costly problem into a valuable resource for local energy production,” said Thomas Banke, mayor of Fredericia city on Denmark’s Jutland peninsula.

“Rubbish will be turned into gas, which will be sold and become an asset for the (city) council’s budget,” he said.

If the plan succeeds, Fredericia would become the first city in Denmark to turn its waste into a storable and portable biofuel that can eventually be used to run city buses and provide heat for homes.

The venture is a public-private initiative based on a new bio-refining process called REnescience. It was developed by Danish utilities company Dong Energy and enzyme maker Novozymes.

The process involves spinning and heating household rubbish and wastewater in a cylindrical tank, while enzymes that digest the organic components in the mixture are added, Dong Energy said on its website.

After 12 to 20 hours, a brown, combustible biofuel is left over, which can be then refined to produce biogas and bioethanol, heat and electricity.

About 800 kg of waste per hour could be treated and turned into biogas.

Any non-organic waste in the mixture, such as plastic, metal and glass, that are not digested by the enzymes, can be separated from the biofuel and recycled.

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