Agricultural waste to solve country’s energy woes?
Agricultural wastes may actually be the answer to the country’s energy problems, and the best part is that its clean.
In a bid to boost the enforcement of RA 9003 Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 through the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) is looking to promote the conversion of agricultural wastes and recycle waste byproducts to natural gas and fuel which could be an excellent source of clean energy.
The NSWMC is eyeing the establishment of at least 16 ecology centers or resource recovery facilities throughout various regions in the Philippines starting with one facility each for the Visayas and Mindanao which are worth P230 million, based on a report by The Business Mirror.
“We would show in resource-recovery facilities what could be done to garbage. The same with proper segregation, recycling, composting and marketing of recycled materials,” Eligio Ildefonso, executive director of the NSWMC Secretariat said.
Officials have acknowledged that there is great potential in eventually exploring the construction of power and methane plants fueled by biomass wastes in sanitary landfills. This opportunity is not lost on businesses who are now looking into producing biofuel from wastes.
Biomass is defined by the Biomass Energy Center, as biological materials sourced from living, or recently living organisms. In the context of biomass for energy this is often used to mean plant based material such as virgin wood, high yield crops for energy production, agricultural residues, food waste and even industrial wastes from manufacturing and industrial processes.
“We have many open dumps. When we convert them into sanitary landfills we can put up methane plants,” DENR Undersecretary for Environment and International Affairs Jonas Leones.
Currently, there are already several waste-to-energy plants in the Philippines — the Bacavalley Montalban Methane Plant in Rodriguez, Rizal which produces 14 megawatts (MW) of electricity by extracting methane using landfill gas.
The Bacavalley San Pedro Methane Plant in Laguna on the other hand, produces 4 MW of electricity. There is also the Payatas Landfill Methane Recovery Plant in Quezon City which produces 1 megawatt. Lastly, the Consolacion Landfill Recovery Plant, situated in Cebu produces 4 MW of electricity. ( By Angel Ong )