Saturday, December 15, 2007

Goodbye Poop Pail, Hello Biodiesel

Here at Cracks Centraal, we do cloth diapers for Lil' F, and the soiled ones are stored in a "wet bucket" (water that's been treated with Borax) that we lovingly refer to as the Poop Pail. But future generations of Uptight Seattleites like ourselves might be able to content themselves with disposable diapers, happy with the knowledge that they'll be turned into fuel. Well, at least it's a possibility according to this story in the Toronto Star:
If a Quebec company has its way, dirty diapers normally destined for landfills will soon be transformed into a cost-effective, synthetic diesel fuel.

It's not such a stretch, says engineering and project management company AMEC, which is working on behalf of an as yet unnamed client to build a facility in the Montreal area that would use a process known as pyrolysis to convert diapers to diesel.
The initial plan is to convert about 30,000 diapers, about one-quarter of the diapers that end up in landfills in Quebec yearly. Piciacchia says that number of diapers will translate into about 11,000 tonnes of diesel fuel. The preliminary economic analysis pegs the cost of the fuel at 50 cents per litre.

Pyrolysis, also known as thermal cracking, involves heating up the diapers up in a closed, controlled environment at temperatures of up to 600C without air, essentially breaking them down thermally.


At 6:58 PM, Blogger kat said...

That's so funny that this is in development. My friend Seth can back me up on this, but I've been railing for years that some brainy type (ie not me) should find a way to recycle the inexhaustible resource that is dirty baby diapers into something more productive. I'm kind of pleased to know that I'm not insane. The logic is, after all, fool proof: in the future, even Doc Brown's time machine ran on garbage.


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