A Breakthrough in Waste Management

By Bryan Sims | November 21, 2011

Efficiently reducing waste while lowering greenhouse gas emissions at landfills has become epidemic, and Florida-based Eco Energy Management LLC may be at the forefront of bridging the gap between economic and ecological waste management solutions through its new Wastech system, a fully-integrated microprocessing unit that can dispose of, recycle and convert virtually any waste material into saleable byproducts such as fuel oil, biogas and carbon black char.

The key behind the Wastech’s conversion process lies in an advanced double pyrolysis steam injection technology that processes waste material at temperatures reaching 850 degrees Celsius (1,562 degrees Fahrenheit) under normal pressures, making it easier to control explosive fuel gas that contains hydrogen discharged during the pyrolysis process, according to CEO Ed Faraone. He adds that a single Wastech unit is capable of processing up to 50 tons of waste material continuously in a 24-hour period, doesn’t need to be shut down to cool and is much more energy efficient than traditional pyrolysis batch systems because the biogas produced in the process is used to power the machine. By incorporating self-generated biogas and steam, the feedstock is heated uniformly throughout as the steam penetrates to the center of the material. This, Faraone says, is much more efficient than the limitations of one single heat source. “The reason we have the double pyrolysis is because of the high heat necessary to crack certain organic and inorganic materials,” Faraone says. “We didn’t feel that single pyrolysis was sufficient enough to effectively crack those high degrees of temperature.”

EEM’s Wastech unit, according to Faraone, can handle all types of organic and inorganic waste material typically found in MSW such as plastic, rubber, medical waste, tire chips, industrial sludge, agricultural residues, coal, food waste and wood waste.

Depending on the variables such as flash point setting, needs of the customer and feedstock used, Faraone says the two-stage system can dial in the amount and quality of each byproduct a user desires. The unit, he says, is capable of producing a fuel oil similar to diesel fuel with a sulfur content of less than 1 percent, which is suitable for use in furnaces or diesel generators straight from the reactor without the need for further upgrading. The carbon black byproduct can contain less than 0.1 percent oil that meets N220 or N330 specifications, which can be pelletized and bagged for sale to the industry for a variety of uses such as for air and water filters, tire production, laser printer carbon and ink, to name a few. If left untreated in the reactor, the carbon black is classified as biochar, he adds, which can be sold as fertilizer.

Faraone says EEM provides turnkey installation of the Wastech system with a typical turnaround time of six months. A base Wastech system carries a price tag of about $5 million, but with a typical return on investment of around 20 months after start-up of production, Faraone says the system more than pays for itself.

“Because the machine provides high-value byproducts and usable forms of energy it’s able to gain ongoing revenue streams,” he says, “which plays into the rapid ROI.”

—Bryan Sims