Sep. 20, 2011 SVForum Transforming Waste Into Energy

On Tuesday, September 20, 2011, in Palo Alto at SAP, SVForum’s Interim CEO Jim Lussier introduced a Clean Tech Breakfast Series event “Transforming Waste into Energy.” Mikayel Nazloyan of PricewaterhouseCoopers moderated panelists Mark Bowles of ecoATM, Steve Goldberg of Venrock, Mike Jackson of the Westly Group and Patrick Mathews of the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority.

While there are strategies to keep trash out of landfills, eventually everything winds up there. Now high prices for oil and waste disposal are driving forces for transforming that waste into energy. The sources for biofuels feedstock have been traditionally agricultural products and waste. The cost can vary from a few cents to a few dollars fluctuating with supply. By using consumer waste, the feedstock cost falls to near zero. Seventy percent can be converted into cellulose that can be turned into to fuel for vehicles or electricity.

This energy strategy may not only reduce the need for new landfills, it may lead to the reduction of existing ones by mining the trash with high technology. In the Pixar movie Wall-E, a solar powered robot sorts through the garbage to find useful materials. A real robot might be running on the waste it finds.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.