Garbage: Cogeneration's Third Dimension

by Rita Robison, Assoc. Ed.; Civil Engineering—ASCE, New York, NY,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1987, Vol. 57, Issue 7, Pg. 58-61

Document Type: Feature article


Burning garbage or refuse derived fuels (RDF) is becoming more common in cogeneration plants being constructed in the U.S. The three-for-one concept turns one fuel into two products (steam and electricity) and also helps solve municipal solid waste disposal problems. Siting these plants is a major problem because potential neighbors no longer believe promises of clean burning, safe, unobtrusive installations and their objections can seriously impede planning and design. The 12 year old mass burn incinerator at Nashville, however, has been so successful that cogeneration capability was added to it in a 1986 expansion. Detroit has a 4,000 ton per day plant under construction that will separate the municipal solid waste stream into recyclable materials and RDF for cogeneration. A cogeneration plant at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard burns RDF produced by a public/private county agency. A large design/construct firm is now building several trash-fired cogeneration plants for its own account as owner/operator.

Subject Headings: Refuse derived fuel | Municipal wastes | Solid wastes | Solid mechanics | Construction materials | Recycling | Building design | Steam power | United States | Tennessee | Detroit | Michigan

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