How to turn waste into electricity?
Energy from organic waste can be captured through anaerobic digestion (“AD”), which involves converting sugars and starches from food residues into biogas, and then using this biogas to produceelectricity.
Heated to 800°C, the plastics give off a gas that turns motors to generate electricity. Thanks to this innovation, one kilo of material offers the same calorific value as one kilo of fuel oil.
The start-up OsmoBlue, based in EPFL’s Microsystems Laboratory, is developing a process based on the principle of osmosis to transform heat over 30 degrees into electricity.
It will soon be possible to produce electricity from heat above 30 degrees, emitted by a waste incinerator, a refinery or a data center. The OsmoBlue start-up has just validated its feasibility. A high proportion of the energy consumed, between 20 and 50% according to some studies, is dispersed in the form of heat.
Converting heat into electricity: discovery of a new high-performance material. A team of researchers has developed a thermoelectric material presented as the most efficient in the world for converting wasted heat into electricity, an advance that opens up a new perspective in the field of renewable energy.
The mechanical energy of this flow can be converted into electrical energy using a turbine and an alternator. Heat is used to separate the fluid again into two separate solutions, one being more concentrated than the other. It is therefore a closed circuit (see computer graphics) that does not consume water.