The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory has started to demonstrate a $6.8 million waste-to-energy conversion system that will seek to turn materials such as wood, plastics and biomass into alternative fuel for use at military bases.
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base said March 21 AFRL will run the demonstration through the summer at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii and be sponsored by the Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies.
AFRL will work to convert approximately 10 tons of waste into 300 kilowatts of continuous electric power per day as part of efforts to explore alternative energy options that could support military operations in case of power interruptions.
“If a technology can provide mission assurance through energy assurance, it can then be considered for more widespread implementation,” said Lt. Col. Scott Fitzner, AFRL’s acquisition systems support branch chief.
Biomass Energy Systems provides the project’s gasification process that works to turn wastes into synthesis gas that can be converted into electricity.
AFRL plans to use the technology developed from the demonstration in longer-term efforts to produce fuel for vehicles and field equipment.