Ted Pytlar, Vice President of the Solid Waste Management Group, returned from China in April after representing D&B at the Sino-American Technology and Engineering Conference (SATEC). Ted spoke on waste-to-energy (WTE) issues, especially the feasibility of using gasification technology to replace a portion of the fossil fuel used in cement manufacturing. Ted is a national expert on gasification and this process has applications to other waste products such as sewage sludge.
Approximately 50% of the world’s annual cement making capacity is in China. The burning of fossil fuels (primarily coal), along with the heating of limestone to produce cement releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Cement production is estimated to contribute 5%-6% of the world’s man made greenhouse gases. Also, China has recognized the need to improve the nation’s solid waste management system. The use of WTE to displace some fossil fuel is seen as a potential mechanism to reduce greenhouse gases and improve solid waste management. Ted was part of a team that developed recommendations for on-going consideration and presented the recommendations to the Provincial and National Chinese Governments at SATEC in Beijing. The Chinese Government has invited Ted to propose further investigations necessary to make a determination on feasibility for the concept.