The objective of this project is to identify a waste-to-energy thermal destruction unit suitable for Forward Operating Bases (FOBs). The project effort includes a market survey and a solicitation to find commercially available technologies (or near commercially available status) that meet the performance objectives. While gasification will be the primary focus of the market research, the project team will consider other thermal destruction technologies that can handle the feedstock at FOBs while also being slightly net energy positive. Many gasification technologies work, but none have been identified that can handle the waste stream at FOBs, process at most 1 ton of solid waste a day, and be net energy positive at the same time. Several small-scale demonstrations may take place before down-selecting to the best technology.
To fill the information gap in suitable thermal destruction units for FOBs, market research will be conducted to identify potential thermal destruction units for demonstration. First, SERDP gasifier principal investigators will be contacted for their final reports. The final reports will be reviewed, and potentially successful gasifiers will be included in the market research database. Next, a sources sought solicitation will be issued requesting information from vendors that meet the technical performance objectives. Additionally, Internet-based market research will be conducted as well. The results of the market research will be compiled into a spreadsheet database. The list of vendors will be evaluated on how well they meet the project’s technical objectives. The project team will view a small-scale demonstration of the top thermal destruction units at the vendors’ sites. Upon viewing the demonstration, the best thermal destruction units will be recommended for full-scale demonstration.
Using a waste-to-energy system would be of great value for FOBs. The system would provide a self-sustaining waste disposal method and not rely on imported diesel fuel for eliminating solid waste. By decreasing the volume of imported diesel fuel, the risk to soldiers for transporting the fuel is reduced. In addition, environmental benefits include better air quality in the vicinity of the gasifier (compared to the current technology) and elimination of rodents feeding on the solid waste. The environmental benefits also enhance public health. If this effort is successful, the NAVFAC EXWC team plans to submit an ESTCP proposal that incorporates both the thermal destruction technology and anaerobic digestion. (Anticipated Project Completion - 2016)