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Bio Energies

Trash to Grid: The Technology of Waste-to-Energy

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011, 8:30am - 11:30am PT

The trash heap: unsightly, odious, costly to dispose of, and, valuable? Technology providers, designers and operators are capitalizing on solving two of our most pressing problems: waste management and energy needs. The technologies being employed are not new. They include combustion, gasification, pyrolysis, anaerobic digestion, fermentation and esterification. How do these technologies compare in terms of cost-effectiveness and environmental impact? According to Pike Research the market for waste to energy will reach $13.6 Billion by 2016. Landfill-Gas-to-Energy (LFGTE) and Waste-to-Energy (WTE) currently represent 14% of the US non hydro renewable energy mix (EPA). Which companies are successfully bringing these solutions to market? At what price-point? Following the installation of a waste-to-energy (WTE) solution, what is involved in getting the distribution and transmission of the electricity? Can WTE equipment be integrated directly into a waste management facility? What is the impact of these technologies on the environment?


08:30am:    Reception, Networking and Continental Breakfast

08:50am:    Welcome and Introduction

09:00am:    Panel Discussion Begins


1.    Overview of Waste to Energy Technologies

  • Is combustion or direct incineration a solution to municipal solid waste (MSW) and at what scale? Are thermal processing plants compatible with current environmental regulations?
  • What are the technical and physical requirements for bio-chemical waste processing? Are there risks for surrounding urban development? What are the limits of anaerobic digestion in terms of waste stream and energy generation? Is the technology scalable?
  • Have WTE technologies improved in the past decade? Are they more cost effective? What are the current projects being developed?
  • R&D and Innovation: what will the next generation of WTE facilities look like? What are some of the technologies that are being developed in the fields of Gasification, Pyrolysis, and Plasma arc waste disposal?


2.    Energy Capture and Distribution

  • What is the energy content of each type of waste? Are conversion technologies an efficient way of treating hazardous waste, industrial waste and agricultural waste?
  • What does the contractual framework look like both for the operator and for the designer of a facility? What are the obligations on both sides?
  • Who buys the energy generated from WTE plants? Is transmission a barrier? Will the smart grid provide any incentives for WTE technology?


3.    Pricing & Cost Considerations: Bringing the Technology to Market

  • What are the financial incentives for the adoption of Waste to Energy Technology?
  • Which companies are succeeding in bringing the technologies to market?
  • Is Carbon Offset an incentive for the adoption of these technologies?
  • How does WTE compare to other potential uses for waste? Is Waste-to-Byproducts more cost effective? Is Cogeneration a viable option? What about Methane-to-Markets Programs?
  • Who decides where the waste goes?


10:30am:    End of Panel Discussion: Q&A, Networking

11:30am:    End of Conference



Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, Inc., Ronald Pon, District Sales Engineer
Covanta Energy, Jeff Ruoss, Facility Manager

Enventix, Inc., Monem H. Alyaser, President & CEO

Sierra Energy, Michael Hart, President & CEO



HDR, Inc., Tim Raibley, Vice President


Download the Agenda


Location and Directions:

Garden Court Hotel @ 520 Cowper St. in Palo Alto, CA

Driving: From 101 (North or South): Exit University Avenue, go west. Make a left onto Cowper Street. Hotel is on the right-hand side on the first block.
From 280 (North or South): Exit Sand Hill Road, head east. Turn right onto Arboretum Road. Make a left onto Palm, which turns into University Avenue. Turn right onto Cowper Street. Hotel is on the right side on the first block.

Public Transit:Take Caltrain to the Palo Alto stop. Upon leaving the train station follow University Avenue 0.4 miles (6 blocks) to Cowper St. and turn right. The Garden Court is half of a block down on the right hand side.



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