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Feasibility analysis of gasification for energy recovery from residual solid waste in Humboldt County

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Title: Feasibility analysis of gasification for energy recovery from residual solid waste in Humboldt County
Author: Hervin, Kirstin
Abstract: This analysis investigates the feasibility of implementing a gasification system to process residual solid waste in Humboldt County. The Humboldt Waste Management Authority manages 70,000 tons of municipal solid waste annually, which is transported over 180 miles for landfill disposal. This makes the cost of waste management three times higher than the national average. Two alternative management scenarios were investigated as a way to reduce the cost and environmental impacts of waste disposal. This first scenario uses a solid waste material recovery facility to divert hazardous, recyclable, and compostable materials from the waste stream, landfilling only residual wastes. The second scenario locally processes separated residual waste for energy recovery using a gasification system. For this analysis, a plasma arc gasification system was selected from an evaluation of five companies offering a range of gasification technologies. The results of this analysis indicate that implementing these management systems could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60% (17,400 metric tCO2e/year). A material recovery facility could increase diversion up to 65% and reduce management costs by 5% ($226,000/year). Integrating a gasification system could increase landfill diversion to 99% and provide 3.4 MW of electricity capacity. This system could reduce management costs by 8% ($360,000/year) to 30% ($1,280,000/year) if electricity is sold at the higher renewable rate. This study demonstrates that developing waste as a resource is an opportunity to progress Humboldt County’s energy, environmental, and economic security.
Description: Thesis (M.S.)--Humboldt State University, Environmental Systems: Energy Technology and Policy, 2013
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2148/1494
Date: 2013-05

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  • Masters Theses [874]
    A collection of selected Masters Theses in electronic format.

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