India produces abundance of waste biomass and trash that could be profitably converted into ethanol and other valuable products like furfural, urea, acetic acid, levulinic acid, glycol and liquid CO2. The wastes suitable to Gravity Pressure Vessel (GPV) treatment are septic tank wastes, wastewater treatment plant screenings and sludge, harbour and street litter, landscaping wastes and food processing wastes.
The GPV is a continuous pressure cooker without moving parts. By using high transient pressure it is practical to work at higher transient temperatures in a fast reaction chamber. By rapid quenching of the hydrolysis reaction, high yields of saccharides from cellulose are possible. This is the key to the needed reaction to convert cellulose fibres to sugars for subsequent fermentation to ethanol.
The GPV is unique, in the sense, that most of the heat used in the cooking procedure is recovered and used in the Vessel. The Vessel hangs in a vacuum chamber within a steel and concrete casement protected by the earth strata. The GPV capacity to process simplicity, efficiency and hundreds of tones of cellulose materials per day makes it the most economical and practical solutions to converting waste materials to ethanol. By processing cellulosic wastes in water, the entire production facility can be designed as a diminimus emission procedure, readily permitted under environmental regulations.
Establishing local joint ventures with corporate entities specialising in treatment of waste based on GPV can offer multiple advantages.
- Money paid for this service stays in and re-circulates in the municipality in the form of wages paid for labour and support services. It is estimated that if a city’s waste were converted to Ethanol, as much as 25% of vehicular fuels needed in the city could be produced in the city itself. The other products generated are Furfural (an industrial chemical), Yeast (a protein food supplement), Liquid Carbon Dioxide (used for flash freezing foods), Urea (used as fertilizer), Lime (used for road foundations and agriculture), Acetic acid (used in industry), and other products. The reduction in wastes volume will exceed 96% of truck weight.
- Ethanol as a gasoline additive is an effective alternative to either Tetra Ethyl Lead or MTBE, both of which have serious environmental side effects. The process can be built in the city as it has no emissions or odours, with obvious economic advantages in collection and efficiency.
- The process converts a cost to an income. Local people will be employed to prepare, sell and transport these products.
- The city would not have to export wastes to other jurisdictions thereby gaining control over liabilities and reliability of wastes management practices. Because the process is based on free enterprise incentives and costs benefits, no flow control or artificial legislative regulation is mandated. The entire capital cost is privately sponsored. The process meets and sets the standard for present and anticipated regulations.
- It also does not require separation of wastes by the citizens or businesses of the community. Wastes separation as necessary for the process will be accomplished at central service centres, increasing efficiency, safety and efficacy in both collection and salvage yield. Timely, clean and efficient collection will reduce vector health complications associated with rodents and insects.
- The image of the city will be enhanced as a centre for quality urban management and services, using free enterprise resources.
- Given ultimate disposal of the waste materials, insurance companies for the first time can quantify the risk of wastes management. The open ended liabilities of wastes storage are avoided with clear cost predictions relating to insurance coverage without liabilities transferring to the public domain.