Zero Waste Energy CEO outlines how to build a successful waste conversion facility.
Processing waste to create energy or fuel requires attention to detail in order to maximize operations and minimize costs. During the Waste Conversion Congress East Coast held in mid-June in Boston, Eric Herbert, CEO of Zero Waste Energy (ZWE), Lafayette, Calif., shared his first-hand experience in planning, building and operating such facilities.
|Eric Herber, CEO, Zero Waste Energy
ZWE is involved in the developing the city of San Jose’s dry fermentation anaerobic digestion and in-vessel composting facility utilizing KompoFerm technology. The facility is producing electricity from biogas.
Herbert outlined four main areas of consideration that a facility must take into account to “set it up right.” They include:
- Facility throughput;
- Equipment and operation and maintenance (O&M) applications; and
- A detailed operating plan.
Feedstock issues that need to be accounted for include source collection and delivery; waste characteristics and variability; and tonnage and delivery schedules, according to Herbert. He warned that not preparing for municipal solid waste (MSW) feedstock variations can cause failures. Facility and systems equipment should take into account throughput and material characteristics, he added.
As for operations are concerned, Herbert said, “Be able to give a good operating narrative.”
Herbert also suggested weekly and daily planning on the management of inbound and outbound material, scheduled cleaning and maintenance of the facility and equipment, continuous monitoring of materials processing and leadership review. He reminded attendees that “waste material is some of the harshest material in any operating environment.”
The Waste Conversion Congress East Coast was held June 17 and 18 at the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston.