American Chemistry Council, Ohio Chemistry Technology Council event highlights investments in the growing energy-from-waste industry.
The American Chemistry Council (ACC), Washington, D.C., and the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council (OCTC), Columbus, Ohio, co-hosted a policy forum Sept. 20, 2012, which brought together state officials and business leaders to highlight the growth in recycling as well as innovations and investments in energy recovery in Ohio. The forum was held at Rumpke’s material recovery facility in Columbus, Ohio.
Jack Pounds, president of the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council told attendees that Ohio is a world leader in plastics manufacturing and technologies, but the amount of plastics that are going to make their way into the landfill—90 percent by some estimates—is unacceptable.
“We consider that as an industry as a failure on many fronts,” Pounds said. “It means we have to consign to landfill materials that could have value if recycled. It means we are losing a large potential for energy recovery from the materials that can’t be recycled and end up in landfills, and it means we burden Ohio taxpayers with the cost of landfill structure, maintenance and other costs associated with that.”
Russell Cooper, vice president of business development for Vadxx Energy, Akron, Ohio, told attendees, “The polymer is all around us, we just have to think about the public policy and good business ideas to bring it to these energy developing facilities.”
Cooper was part of a panel of representatives from Ohio companies that have invested in new technologies that transform waste into energy which also included Vexor Technology, Medina, Ohio, and RES Polyflow, Akron.
RES Polyflow has been able to take advantage of state programs to help move its technology forward. “With the help of the Ohio Third Frontier, RES Polyflow is building our first production processor that will be demonstrating at 5,000 pounds per hour a solution to this polymer opportunity we are blessed with,” said Jay Shabel, CEO, RES Polyflow.
One of the issues Shabel brought up is the need for RES Polyflow’s transportation fuel—which he estimates will be produced at a rate of 3 million gallons of per year—to be classified as a renewable fuel source by the state.
In addition, Terrie TerMeer from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and Dale Arnold from the Ohio Farm Bureau noted that energy recovered from waste is an abundant, local source of alternative energy that can help power homes, businesses and transportation, while jumpstarting local economies.
The forum included a discussion of recommendations to help state regulators and legislators develop programs and enact policies to promote energy recovery in Ohio.
“Ohio’s energy entrepreneurs are on the cutting edge of investments in energy recovery, and their story of innovation and homegrown energy should be retold in communities all across the country,” said Cal Dooley, president and CEO of the ACC. “Energy recovery in the United States holds the potential to power homes and businesses and can help address our growing population’s challenges of energy independence and waste diversion.”
“Today’s event showcased innovators in our state like Vexor Technology, Vadxx Energy and RES Polyflow who are helping to drive job growth and sustainable energy production in communities like Columbus, Medina and Akron,” said Jack Pounds, OCTC president. “Ohio’s success in generating energy from waste is possible by companies investing in these new technologies, which are already reducing waste that would otherwise be sent to landfills, as well as forward-thinking policymakers and supportive local governments in Ohio.”
The forum is a part of ACC’s campaign titled, “From Chemistry to Energy.”