Bio Energy: Today’s Trash, Tomorrow’s Energy
Where you see waste, we see treasure…the power to provide bio energy.
With more than seven billion people on the planet, and counting, the need for sustainable waste disposal is on the rise. Every individual and business in the world contributes trash directly or indirectly, adding immense pressure to already overburdened landfills. But what if that waste from homes, factories, offices, or hospitals could be harnessed to power those very same buildings with clean, safe energy?
That is the promise of biomass and waste-to-energy facilities.
Waste to Energy
Waste-to-energy technology creates energy in one of two main ways: either through controlled combustion of bio waste, or through conversion into synthetic gas (syngas) which can, in turn, directly fuel an internal combustion engine or be used as an intermediate to produce liquid or gaseous fuels.
“The technology available today has increased efficiency and lowered emissions way beyond traditional combustion methods,” said Paul Klammer, director of bio energy for Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training. “Every part of waste can be turned into something useful, from sorting out recyclables on the front end to capturing and reusing even the minimal leftover ash on the back end.”
But waste is not exclusive to trash. In Owego, N.Y., the company uses wood chips from local sawmills in its biomass plant to create steam to help heat and cool a nearly two million square foot campus.
“Up to 40 percent of raw material from a lumber milling process ends up as waste in the form of wood chips and sawdust,” said Dan Heller, vice president of new ventures for Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training. “We are leveraging these wood chips from locally-harvested trees to create a local energy source, supporting local businesses and helping sustain area jobs.”
The biomass plant has helped reduce carbon emissions by 9,000 metric tons per year in Owego – the equivalent of removing 1,764 passenger vehicles from the road – and reduced the site’s heating and cooling bills by half, saving approximately $1 million in fuel costs annually.
The innovative, carbon neutral solution has led to a local partnership with the Veteran Affairs Hospital in upstate New York to develop a wood-fired biomass system of its own. In addition to producing heat, the system will also provide electrical power for the hospital.
Taking the Show on the Road
Through a partnership with waste solutions innovator Concord Blue, we are working to address these global challenges – the current burden on landfills and the desire for green baseload energy – on a global scale.
“Our alliance with Lockheed Martin will allow Concord Blue’s innovative waste recycling technology to positively impact more communities around the world,” said Charlie Thannhaeuser, chairman and chief executive officer of Concord Blue. “This collaboration will enable us to deploy a compelling solution to a significant environmental, social and safety issue that affects every region of the world.”
Concord Blue’s Reformer technology converts nearly any kind of organic waste into clean, sustainable energy. Because the waste material is heated in an oxygen-free environment, and not incinerated, this process far exceeds environmental requirements.
The technology presents a strategic advantage for both military and civilian operations. Traditional incinerators not only have emission concerns, but are generally much larger systems and not conducive to smaller grid-scale requirements.
The advantage of Concord Blue’s technology is its scalability down to 250 kilowatt systems. A 250-kilowatt system can power small campuses such as hospitals or forward operating bases. The system is also modular, allowing for incremental additions to power larger fixed installations.
Learn more about our biomass and waste-to-energy technologies.
January 6, 2014
- Biomass and waste-to-energy facilities harnesses waste to convert it to clean, safe energy.
- The biomass plant in Owego, N.Y. has helped reduce carbon emissions by 9,000 metric tons per year.
- The innovative, carbon neutral biomass solution has led to a local partnership with the Veteran Affairs Hospital in upstate New York to develop a wood-fired biomass system of its own.
Wood waste helps power Lockheed Martin’s 1.6 million-square-foot plant in Owego, N.Y., reducing heating and cooling bills by half.
Speaking of the Future: Energy