Waste management is a necessity wherever people live, but traditionally waste is viewed as a problem, something that pollutes and needs reducing or mitigating. What if this mindset could be changed such that we value our waste as a source of bioenergy? Waste contains significant quantities of energy and, if we could harness this close to where the waste is generated and convert it to a useable form, it could provide both a distributed source of electricity and contribute to solving the global problem of waste.
Biogas is widely produced from processed municipal waste using anaerobic digesters and then is usually combusted. However, biogas can be fed to a fuel cell to produce electricity and heat.
This information sheet explains the key benefits that fuel cells can offer in this application, the fuel cell types used in the application today, and a case study of the Orange County Sanitation District in the USA.