OK, I´ve looked up the MPS system of Alba and the BSR. I will translate what I believe is most important. The quoted text can be accessed via
1st, there are two of these MPS (Mechanisch-Physikalische Stabilisierungsanlage, or Mechanic-physical Stabilisation plant). Both are scheduled to
achieve full activity within the next year. The plants are an reaction to a german law that gets active this year. This law says (among other things)
that no untreated garbage may be dumped anymore. The burning pellets are only a "side product" of the whole recycling system. The plant can process
over 70 different types of materials, mostly found in normal garbage and non-poisonous industry waste.
The first two steps are purely mechanical and consist of various magnet, sieves, baths, mixers to split up the different materials (mostly into
iron-metallic waste, non-iron metallic waste, non-reactive or nonusable waste, and the subsidiary fuel materials)
Next step is the RTO (Regenerative Thermische Oxidation, or Regenerative Thermic Oxidation). With heats of 150°-300°C the now non-metallic waste is
dried, the produced gasses are directly transferred to combustion chambers.
Step 4 is the "Sichtung" (can be translated as sifting or sorting). With further mechanical-physical techniques the waste is divided into the
non-usable parts, the top-burning waste and the waste with medium burning characteristics.
Step 5 is the conversion to hard pellets of good burning quality and 2nd degree softer pellets (the ones from the picture in the first post). The
energy value is 14-18 MJ/kg, in comparison to 17 MJ/kg for brown coal and 33-35 MJ/kg for hard coal. These pellets are used for power- and heating
plants called "Zuckerkraftwerk" (Sugar power plant), because another waste product from sugar production is used as "glue" for the pellets.
Today, about 56% of german/berlin household garbage is in one or the way recycled. The goal is to erase the need for ANY sort of waste dump for
household waste by 2020.
The exhausts do not pollute the air very dramatically, because german technology is not only leading in recycling knowhow, but also in filter systems,
although a certain pollution cant be neglected.
PS, its also possible to extract usable crude oil from certain types of plastics, but the technology is not energy efficient yet, and may never be
[edit on 6-6-2005 by Lonestar24]