Report: anaerobic digestion preferable for Haiti

A waste to energy opportunity analysis for Haiti, published last Fall by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory, provides a useful framework for evaluating waste to energy opportunities not only in developing countries but also in communities around the world.

The analysis was conducted with full recognition that improving management of waste materials is essential for the economic renewal of Haiti. The analysis recommends against mass burn waste to energy plants and supports both local and larger scale bio-digesters which would produce heating and cooking gas from waste materials as well as a soil amendment useful to Haiti’s agriculture. Financial analysis of the proposed system indicates a positive net present value (NPV) in all scenarios. Waste in Haiti contains a much higher percentage of organics than waste in North America and would not perform efficiently in a combustion or gasification system.

GallonDaily notes that the report provides a useful methodology for evaluating waste management options and may highlight a business opportunity in developing countries for manufacturers, installers and operators of anaerobic digestion systems as well as those who provide training in operation of such technology.

The NREL report is available at http://www.haitiregeneration.org/sites/hri7/files/attached_files/Haiti_Waste-to-Energy_Final_Nov-14-2010.pdf

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