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Siberian scientists not wasting their energy on new invention from household waste

By The Siberian Times reporter
20 November 2012

Experts have developed a way to zap household waste with a giant microwave reactor, turning it into coke, fuel and gas.

The experts forecast Irkutsk region could generate $6-8 million a year in savings on environmental protection measures and energy production. Pictured: Irkutsk State Technical University, mundus-multic.org

The recycling breakthrough was made by scientists from Irkutsk State Technical University working in tandem with specialists from Moscow's Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology. The waste-destroying machine can process 100,000 tons of solid household waste a year, it is claimed. 

'Microwaves are converted into thermal energy upon penetrating an object - and the object destroys itself from inside as a result,' said Natalia Dneprovskaya, Irkutsk State Technical University's chair of chemistry.

'This is basically a typical microwave with considerably increased power, size and efficiency,' said Sergei Gulich, an associate professor at Mendeleyev University and technical director of Engineering & Technical Systems.

'The machine has a special chamber heated with fuel gas and by microwave effect. When applied simultaneously these two temperature impacts cause the decomposition of substance inside in a no-air condition. 

'The substance decomposes into three components, namely carbon residue, gaseous phase and other elements, which then turn into stove fuel or engine fuel, depending on what kind of waste was originally used.'

The scientists say they have already recycled one ton of waste into 300 kilos of coke, which can be used in blast furnaces as standard coal, as well as 120 kilos of light stove fuel that powers the machine itself.

Waste processing reportedly gives 20% of synthetic gas required for any chemical production and also some ballast fraction to be used in making construction materials and nitrous fertilisers.

The developers say an initial investment of $400,000 is required to develop the eco-friendly reactor and predict a return within two to three years. 

The experts forecast Irkutsk region could generate $6-8 million a year in savings on environmental protection measures and energy production, according to Voice of Russia website.

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