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John Waffenschmidt- Covanta Power

November 20, 2009 @ 12:00 am EST


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This morning we had a presentation from John Waffenschmidt, Vice President of Covanta Energy. Covanta is an energy from waste
operator. The plant in Hempstead is a state of the art facility that converts some of Long Islands waste stream into energy. The recovery of electric power from waste has been done successful elsewhere. In Europe they are way ahead of us in various conservation measures. According to John, the pollutants from energy to waste are substantially less than that which would be emitted by trucks if the waste stream were carted off-island and landfilled.

The plant is able to segregate metals and recover them. One of the most cost effective recovery of metals is aluminum. Making new metal from recovered aluminum uses 85% less energy than making aluminum from bauxite ore. But other metals are successfully and profitably recovered as well, and metal coins are found every day in the recovery process and that too is part of the salvage stream.

 The co2 that is emitted in burning is of course a by-product of the process, but no methane is created. This is important because landfills do create methane, and methane is many more times more damaging to the atmosphere than co2.
Mr Waffenschmidt did not limit his talk to his project but spoke about the larger problem of global warming and the potential for improvement. The United States has the potential of reducing greenhouse gasses by a giga ton. That’s a huge amount, but it also tells us that we have not been doing as good a job as we could. Waffenschmidt made these remarks after going through the dangers of global warming, and the exposure this area has to it.

Covanta is building an extension to it’s present operation and made reassurances that the new plant as well as the old one will not contribute to producing odors in the surrounding area. The plant contains odors by creating a negative pressure inside the plant. As air is sucked into the building it is fed to the burning process. The air leaves the plant after the burning has taken place.

The existing facility creates a net of 600KW/ton and the new facility will produce 675KW/ton. The plant itself uses a lot of power to operate all its equipment, but these figures are net after all that is considered.

To see this entire meeting on video go to http://proimagegroupinc.com/limba/11-21-09