PURWOX (USA), Inc. C 1997Feed Source Potential
Most of these processes were conceived as commercial alternative fuel plants, competing only in the market only as replacements of conventional energy sources such as oil, natural gas and direct coal combustion. Though the PURWOX process could do this as well, the tactic chosen for initial development is to assume feed value as well. The process eliminates 100% of the volume of a municipal, hazardous organic, or bio-medical waste material. Yielding significant product revenue potential while generating but a small amount of air pollutant with fewer emissions typical of a commercial steam boiler such as might be found at a laundry, hotel, or other commercial energy delivery process.
Recent problems with opening or expanding municipal landfills have made the viability of waste volume reduction plants as great as ever. Tipping fees for most commercial metropolitan landfills range from $25 to $ 60 per ton of delivered trash. The prospect of accruing at least part of this amount, along with sales of either syngas, syngas products, or power make the PURWOX process a strong alternative to conventional waste disposal. The ability to add portions of used tires, battery casings, and hazardous wastes makes the economic prospects for the process even brighter. Disposal costs of these latter materials will run as much as an order of magnitude greater per ton than typical municipal waste.
The feedstock versatility of the PURWOX process combined with a nearly unlimited supply of potential feed materials that otherwise represent environmental nuisances or hazards make for an outstanding process investment opportunity. Current solid waste dumps are being phased out in large numbers due to serious pollution of groundwater and surface water in some areas of the country.
Las Vegas and Clark County, as one example, generate over 2000 tons of trash per day which is significantly less than the expected capacity of the planned PURWOX test facility. In the entire United States, the EPA estimates that by the year 2000, nearly 200 million tons/year (550,000 tons/day) of solid municipal waste will be generated. The average US citizen currently discards 4.4 lbs of waste each day, a number which is also expected to rise. At the same time the number of landfills available to dump this waste have declined from 20,000 in 1978 to less than 5000 at this time with another 2000 dumps scheduled to be closed in the next five years. The waste will still have to processed somehow.
The average citizen in third world countries generates about 25% of this amount which is still a considerable amount by anyone’s standards. A sales advantage to the process in many of these countries is a lack of fossil fuel to generate power. PURWOX can readily use indigenous waste and biomass effectively to make power available in these areas.
Medical Waste disposal has been a headline media issue in recent years. In the United States, over 500,000 tons of potentially infectious wastes are dispatched at great cost to both the generator and the disposal firm. Our love for the automobile generates 120,000 tons per year of used tires that are stockpiled in unsightly and often hazardous fashion around the country. PURWOX can be used to eliminate the storage problems and the combustion hazards of these sights without the expense of grinding, cutting, freezing, chopping, or burning. Waste coal and coke, refinery resin, biomass and agricultural waste are also ideal feed materials, alone or in combination, for the process.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) has classified huge amounts of organic waste into “hazardous” wastes. The amount is on the same order of magnitude as that of municipal solid waste. With most of the world following the lead of the US and EC on environmental issues, its disposal will provide opportunities for a process such as PURWOX. Thus the future value of a PURWOX plant can be expected to increase proportionately with the amounts of all organic waste, hazardous or otherwise.