Tuesday, April 25, 2017

USNA Midshipmen Work to Produce Renewable Energy from Everyday Waste

By MCSN Kaitlin Rowell

A class at the U.S. Naval Academy is working to convert what we think of as everyday garbage into usable energy, a project that supports the Navy’s energy independence goals and potentially changes the way we view waste.

The average American throws away five pounds of trash each day which adds up to 258 million pounds of waste each year according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 2014 more than 89 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) were recycled and composted, the highest percentage recycled in the U.S. to date. Unfortunately, even with these efforts, 136 million tons of MSW still ended up in landfills.


 But it turns out, through emerging process in which this waste is collected and process, landfills could be a valuable source of renewable energy.

Patrick Caton, a USNA Mechanical Engineering professor, and the students in his Waste-To-Energy Conversion class are attempting to determine just how much energy can be harnessed from everyday waste.

“This class is about engineering systems that can turn anything that we might consider to be waste into a usable energy source,” said Caton. “We try to take a broad view of waste. The obvious thing people think of when they hear waste is trash, but very quickly I hope students learn to view that more broadly.”


They first collect and sort waste into different categories. They then estimate how much energy each category of trash can produce by weighing it. The samples are then sent to an external lab for further testing, where they will be analyzed by first drying the waste to determine its moisture content, and then put into an oven where its mass loss is measured as it burns. With this information, the lab determines how much ash is produced as well as how much energy is released by measuring the amount of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur and nitrogen. The lab will then send the results back to the students to compare with their original estimates.

“We waste a lot of energy with trash,” said Midshipman 1st Class James Shadow. “Most people don’t do a whole lot of composting, and you can get a lot of energy out of that. You can get a lot of energy out of the trash that’s just sitting in the trash cans. That’s kind of enlightening.”

Using trash as an energy source is a gateway to a healthier environment and allows us to limit our use of fossil fuels, as well as reduce the cost of living.

“One of my goals for my students is to leave this class with a mindset … where the things that may have before been considered unusable or just complete waste actually have value,” said Caton. “I think that's a really important part of managing our energy going forward as a people, as an earth.”


Another project the class is working on is experimenting with food waste from King Hall, the dining facility for the Brigade of Midshipmen.

Midshipman 1st Class Scott Davids explained that by taking the food waste, grinding it up, adding some small bacteria to it and removing the presence of oxygen, an environment is created forcing the bacteria to produce gas. That bio-gas is about sixty to seventy percent methane.

The goal of this is to take decomposing food waste and collect methane to be used for energy.

“The benefit of these projects is getting midshipmen involved and showing opportunities for energy generation in the future,” said Davids. “This is something that is not only really applicable here to learn about in class, but also something that could play a part in our roles in the Navy.”

In 2009, then Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus issued several goals directed at transforming the Department of the Navy’s (DoN) energy use. Among them were to increase total energy consumption from alternative sources to fifty percent by 2020 and reduce petroleum use in the commercial fleet by fifty percent by 2020.

This project provides yet another possible method for achieving those goals.






14 comments:

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    ReplyDelete
  6. MOORE LOANS SAVE ME WHEN THERE WAS NO HOPE {mooreloancompany@yahoo.com}

    Hello everyone in this forum, I am Luis Root from USA, I cannot believe that God really exist not until i was Redeemed and saved from Financial bondage.. l was into financial crisis and needed to pay some bills. l tried seeking help from banks but all to no avail,l also tried seeking help from the internet only to meet scammers who pretended to be private lender and made away with my $15000 and did not get my loan, not until GOD introduce me to Moore Robbinson through a friend who was rescued from financial problem and a loan of $100,000.00 was granted to him by Moore Robbinson, so l took his advise and contacted Moore Loan Company and in the space of one week my loan of $200000 was granted to me.so my advise to everyone seeking for loan at low interest rate of 2% .l am doing this because l am so happy am out of financial bondage and am once again full of joy and life is easy all thanks to GOD and Moore Robbinson. You can contact Moore Loan Company via {mooreloancompany@yahoo.com} OR Text (414) 454-9493

    ReplyDelete
  7. Divine Loan Opportunity Offered By CHESTER BRIAN LOANS That Save My Family From Financial Bondage {Brianloancompany@yahoo.com}

    Hello Everyone, I am Rosie Rhoma a single mom from Texas USA, I will like to share this great testimony on how i got a loan from Chester Brian Loans, when we were driven out of our home when i couldn't pay my bills anymore, After been scammed by various companies online and denied a loan from my bank and some other credit union i visited. my children were taken by the foster care, i was all alone in the street. Until a day i shamefully walked into an old school mate who introduced me to Daisy Maureen. At first i told her that i am not ready to take any risk of requesting a loan online anymore, but she assured me that i will received my loan from them. On a second thought, due to my homelessness i had to take a trial and applied for the loan, luckily for me i received a loan of $80,000.00 from Chester Brian Loans. Am happy i took the risk and applied for the loan. my kids have been given back to me and now i own a home and a business of my own. All thanks and gratitude goes to CHESTER BRIAN LOAN COMPANY for giving a meaning to life when i had lost all hope. If you currently seeking for a loan assistance, you can contact them via: {Brianloancompany@yahoo.com} OR text +1(803) 373-2162

    ReplyDelete
  8. Testimony of financial breakthrough from GOD through the help of Funding Circle Loan INC. (fundingcapitalplc@gmail.com OR Call/Text +14067326622)...

    Hi I'am Evelyn Russell resident at 808 NE 19th St Oklahoma City, I am a single mother blessed with 2 daughters. For a while now I have been searching for a genuine loan lender who could help me with a loan as I no longer have a job, all I got were hoodlums who made me trust them and at the end they took my money without giving me any loan, my hope was lost, I got confused and frustrated, it became difficult for my family to feed with a good meal, I never wanted to have anything to do with any loan lending companies on the internet again. Not until I met a Godsent loan lender that changed my life and that of my family Through the help of a fellowship member "a lender with the fear of God in him Mr JASON RAYMOND, he was the man God sent to elevate my family from suffering. At first I thought it wasn’t going to be possible due to my previous experience until I received my loan worth $135,000.00 USD in less then 24hours. So my advise to anyone out there genuinely in need of a loan is to contact Funding Circle Loan INC through this official email:- fundingcapitalplc@gmail.com OR Call/Text +14067326622 and be financial lifted.


    ReplyDelete