Saturday, July 09, 2005

Carpet Gasification!

As we have gasified coal, so now (via do we have gasified carpet scraps:
The Carpet and Rug Institute says 4.7 billion pounds of carpet is dumped in U.S. landfills each year, filling up almost 1 percent of the country's total landfill space.


Now a shiny, high-tech plant stands in contrast behind the old factory it helps power -- a gray, sprawling building that once made parachutes for World War II paratroopers.

When the power plant goes on line later this summer, truckloads of carpet will be stacked three stories high in a cavernous warehouse, waiting to be sent through an imposing shredder. The remnants will then be shipped to the gassifier, which is much like an oven and converts the scraps into a synthetic gas. The gas is then pushed through two pollution-controlling processes before it's funneled to the factory, where it can be burned much like natural gas to help create 2 million yards of new carpet each year.

I wonder how many other industrial waste products could be successfully gasified. I know I've recently read about producer gas to methane processes, one of which sounded like an outright fraud. But these guys are owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, about as far from fraudulent as they come.