Transform Non-recyclable Municipal Waste Into Green Fuels & Chemicals

1. Sustainability Problem: Non-Recyclable Solid Municipal Waste

Most large cities have heaps of municipal waste that they are unable to deal with. Even more worrying is the fact that a significant percentage of this waste is non-recyclable. Landfills are quickly losing their charm as an efficient way to manage this waste due to their ability to pollute surrounding soils and water bodies, the NIMBY phenomenon quickly spreading across communities and the rising cost of land.

2. Technology: Enerkem’s Exclusive Thermochemical Process

  • Enerkem, uses a thermochemical process to convert non-recyclable waste into green chemicals and biofuels i.e. methanol and ethanol
  • Enerkem’s exclusive process is environmentally sound and requires relatively low temperatures and pressures, which reduces energy requirements and costs
  • The technology is able to convert multi-feedstock – this is to say Enerkem’s system is able to transform an indiscriminate mix of solid municipal waste.
  • The technology replaces the use of petroleum for the production of liquid transportation fuels and chemicals


3. Organizational stakeholders that will need to use the technology:

  • Municipal Authorities in order to handle the waste of cities
  • Businesses that generate a lot of waste
  • Green Energy companies

4. First 3 steps in deploying this technology:

  • Create an efficient aggregation program for bringing the waste to designated points
  • Partner with Enerkem to arrange for installations
  • Have a distribution system in place for immediate distribution of finished products (Fuels and Chemicals)


Comment on the “ArchiBlox Positive House” post by WEN1215

The ArchiBlox Positive House merges urban farming and insulation by incorporating sliding edible garden walls to reduce sunlight infiltration and a green roof for increased thermal insulation.


3 thoughts on “Transform Non-recyclable Municipal Waste Into Green Fuels & Chemicals

  1. HI! I strongly believe in this technology. As a matter of fact, I spent some months working with some guys at the Municipal level in Chile, and I concluded that one of the great challenges is the lack of technical skills for managing technology at the Municipalities. Even when you can lead the project by external companies such as the one you mentioned, you need people that understand the complexities of the technology and the managerial issues. I also believe Municipal Leaders are taking this opportunity to move towards an integrative solution for waste management.


  2. While this is a very interesting technology that can help with waste management as well as energy problems, the article does not talk about the GHG emissions that would result from burning these biofuels and how they compare to conventional fuels.
    By deploying this technology we may be “shooting ourselves in the foot” if it ends up promoting waste generation (rather than reducing waste and consumption) and not having a significant enough effect on GHG emissions from the energy sector.


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