CSE - Customised Search Engine - Conversations on Innovations

Custom Search

Innovation network making progress

Corporate Crowdsourcing

Where my visitors live

InnoCentive: Challenges-All Categories

IdeaConnection :: Idea Contests

EUROPA - Research and Innovation - What's New

EUROPA - Research and Innovation: What's New in Innovation

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Waste to Energy: The Answer for Remote Islands is the title of my 2nd theme choice from Waste Management World (WMW) in order to introduce readers to the magazine

However, with appropriate levels of realism and pragmatism it is possible to adopt an approach that provides adequate protection to the local environment. Funding is often a major issue, and external support is an inevitable requirement if modern standards of environmental protection are to be met.

Due to their relatively small scale, the development and operation of on-island waste treatment and disposal facilities which meet increasingly stringent legislative requirements is a challenge.

While Islands can range in size from the smallest rock to the 2.1 million km2 of Greenland, for those with a human population, the issue of waste management can be problematic. Often isolated from end markets for recyclates, does waste to energy technology offer these remote communities the ideal solution?
by Andrew Street
SITA's waste to energy plant on the Isle of Man handles all of the island's waste and exports 5 MW to the grid - around 10% of the island's needs
Image credit: SITA
Due to their relatively small scale, the development and operation of on-island waste treatment and disposal facilities which meet increasingly stringent legislative requirements is a challenge. Whilst many remote island communities are not usually subject to the same level of legislative control as larger mainland states (for example, with regard to key EU Directives relating to waste management), it is usual for an island authority to seek to adopt an approach, and to introduce facilities and technologies that at least go some way to reflecting the high standards set out in European or other similar legislation. 
Within EU legislation, including that relating to waste management, such as the Waste Framework Directive and Landfill Directive, there is explicit recognition of the challenge of seeking to apply the same strict standards to small islands, and in these cases exemptions or derogations often apply.
This should not of course be seen as a 'licence' for any local, island based authority to adopt standards which give rise to wholesale environmental damage. Indeed given the reliance many small islands have on maintaining the environment either for the purposes of supporting tourism or local agriculture, that would clearly be counter-productive.

Lessons from history

In the past there have been plenty of examples of inappropriate waste management on small or remote islands, with very little attempt at adopting a sustainable approach that protects the local environment. On many small remote islands across Europe – and across the globe – indiscriminate dumping of waste was often the norm, with open burning and sometimes the tipping of the residue in a remote corner of the island. For example, for many years on the Greek island of Santorini waste was tipped over a high cliff. However this is no longer practiced and great strides have been made across many of the Greek islands in addressing these issues.
An extreme example of poor waste management – described in the worldwide press in 2012 as 'apocalyptic' and a 'floating toxic time bomb' – is the island of Thilafushi in the Maldives. With an indigenous population of around 330,000 but with nearly 800,000 tourist visitors each year, the Maldives archipelago is considered one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in the world. Of the 1200 islands in the group, 200 are inhabited and half of these are designated as resorts. Consequently, pressure on the environment is enormous, and waste management has simply not been adequately planned for or invested in.
The result is an open dump receiving over 300 tonnes of rotting waste each day, and on an island that is increasingly threatened by rising sea levels; this clearly means something has to be done.
The relatively small permanent population and the potential impact of a transient tourist population can place considerable pressure on local governments in terms of funding waste management services. Most remote island communities can only afford the most basic of waste management systems without external funding, simply because they do not have the local tax raising capacity to fund the full range of infrastructure required to deal with issues such as power generation and supply, water supply and wastewater treatment, let alone to manage solid waste in line with modern standards.

Population critical

There are examples of larger islands having the capacity to develop modern facilities, and to attract the investment required to do so. Two recent examples include the Isle of Man (population of 85,000) and Jersey (population of 98,000), both of which have state-of-the-art waste to energy facilities in place. A third example is the Western Isles (population of 26,000) off the north-western coast of Scotland, where a new integrated waste treatment facility has fairly recently been commissioned.
Western Isles Integrated Waste Management Facility
The Western Isles Integrated Waste Management Facility was the first in the UK to use anaerobic digestion to treat source separated organic waste to generate energy
Islands with much smaller populations simply could not support the development of this sort of facility without external funding from central government, or through grants. A current example of this is the Isles of Scilly – one of the most beautiful island archipelagos in Europe - but with a very small indigenous population of just 2200 people. Without the current commitment from the UK government to provide substantial funding it would simply not be possible for the island's local council to address the urgent need to replace an existing but ageing incinerator with a modern waste to energy facility and at the same time remediate a site which has been impacted by waste management over the last 50 years.
A parallel situation also arises for St Helena in the South Atlantic – one of the most remote islands in the world. St Helena, a British Overseas Territory, has an indigenous population of around 6600, and currently a relatively small number of tourists. That is due to change in the coming years with the development of a €240 million airport, which will make the island far more accessible. Major improvements to the Island's waste collection, treatment and disposal system are currently underway, but largely reliant on funding provided by the UK government.

Limited markets

The size of the local economy and industrial/agricultural base often cannot sustain consistently high levels of material reuse, limiting local markets for recycled materials and for compost products. This is particularly pertinent for an extremely remote location, where the transfer of materials off-island would be both expensive, and difficult to justify in terms of sustainability. This is clearly less of an issue for islands close to a mainland market, and in these cases recycling should be encouraged and established transport routes utilised to transfer materials to mainland markets for recycling.
There will however always be some scope for local reuse and recycling. Particularly in the developing world the imagination of the local population appears to have no limit when it comes to converting waste into something of real value. In most cases however, the market is limited by the size of the local economy, or impacted by the transient nature of any tourist traffic to the island. Therefore a degree of realism is needed when it comes to the level of recycling and reprocessing that can be sustained.
Additionally, on many islands there are seasonal increases in waste generation, and high levels of packaging associated with the necessary importation of food and other goods. These variations make it difficult to sustain both local and off-island commitment to resource efficient recycling and composting. Seasonal variations are often related to tourist activity, which although valuable to the local economy, will always bring additional pressures to the local environment, including the generation and importation of waste

Viable options

Experience indicates that there are normally just a few viable approaches to waste management that could be said to reflect 'good practice' (although not necessarily 'best practice') within a western, mainland state subject to strict legislative controls (such as would be the case for European Member States).
As outlined, it would not be appropriate to adopt the same approach to dealing with waste on a small remote island as one would for a large European metropolitan authority with access to local and central funding, a range of options for collection, treatment and disposal, and an established and mature market for a range of segregated materials and process outputs.
For a remote island community, or indeed any remote location, the range of realistic options for managing waste are inevitably much more limited. Experience across the globe shows that the most likely options to be adopted are:
St Helena
Existing landfill operation of St Helena in the South Atlantic – soon to be upgraded with funding from the UK government
Landfill: Reliance on landfill as the principal disposal route, with some limited recycling and reuse, but within the limits of local markets. Efforts are typically focused on ensuring that the landfill site (normally a single site, unless the island happens to cover a very large area, or is made up of an archipelago of islands) is developed and operated on a sanitary basis and is subject to appropriate levels of management and control so as to minimise the environmental impact. There are many islands across the world where this approach remains the strategy, and is the preferred approach going forward.
Hopkins Architects Ltd
Jersey's recently commissioned waste to energy plant will process up to 105,000 tonnes of waste per year and generate around 7% of the island's electricity Credit: Hopkins Architects Ltd
Thermal treatment: On some larger islands, where the quantity of waste is sufficient to justify the investment, it is quite common for the principal disposal route to be thermal processing through incineration. The preferred technology would be conventional incineration, and it would be unusual for a plant to be smaller than 10,000 – 15,000 tonnes/annum (although there are a few examples of smaller sized facilities on islands). Rarely is this on a combined heat and power (CHP) basis, simply because typically there will be few opportunities for use of the heat, but almost without exception power will be generated and exported to the local network. Any residual wastes that cannot be incinerated would be sent to landfill, along with incinerator residues.
What is notable is that it is very rare for other waste treatment technology to be introduced on small remote islands – whether that be the treatment of residual waste to create RDF for thermal processing (simply because it would not make sense to introduce two expensive treatment processes for such a small quantity of waste), or the treatment of organic waste by anaerobic digestion or composting.
Anaerobic digestion would normally be inappropriate in a remote island situation due to the relative complexity of the technology, and also the challenges of disposing of the digestate. There are often similar challenges in disposing of organic waste derived composts, simply because the local demand for such materials on remote islands is often minimal, and it could therefore end up being sent to landfill – which somewhat defeats the object of investing in a relatively expensive treatment process in the first place.


Developing and implementing a truly sustainable waste strategy for small islands can be challenging, and this becomes all the more difficult for those islands that are very remote. However, with appropriate levels of realism and pragmatism it is possible to adopt an approach that provides adequate protection to the local environment. Funding is often a major issue, and external support is an inevitable requirement if modern standards of environmental protection are to be met.
Andrew Street is a director at SLR Consulting Limited
More Waste Management World Articles
Waste Management World Issue Archives
Waste Management World Issue Archives

Go Green Profitably_Circular Ecology - Energy, Carbon, Water, Waste - Home

If you are,

 as we are:

Passionate about energy, carbon, water and waste.

Dedicated towards robust, innovative and value for money assessment.

Experienced resource efficiency experts

Listed blow is a short selection of Circular Ecology's resources:

Inventory of Carbon & Energy (ICE)

Embodied Carbon Knowledge Hub

Services Offered 

  • Footprinting: Energy, carbon, water and waste footprints. For products, organisations, buildings (construction projects) and supply chains.
  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA): An LCA typically assesses the full life cycle impact of a product, activity or service and against up to 18 environmental impact categories. We offer both streamlined and detailed LCA.
  • Resource Efficiency Assessment: We draw on our LCA and footprinting background to assess resource efficiency and to make a number of recommendations for improvement. A truly resource efficient approach would conform to circular economy principles.
Craig's team are developing a free Embodied Carbon Knowledge Hub, dedicated to all things embodied carbon. We hope to have the site up and running by the end of 2013 or early in 2014. Read more about theEmbodied Carbon Knowledge Hub.

Check out the website of Prof. Craig Jones and discuss any issues with him and
his team of experts @

Circular Ecology - Energy, Carbon, Water, Waste - Home:

'via Blog this'

“To produce 1 kg of paper requires more embodied energy than is requires to produce 1 kg of steel”!

Granta Design: Blog

Granta Design: Blog

About Prof. Mike Ashby

Mike Ashby is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. He is a world-renowned authority on engineering materials and the author/co-author of best-selling textbooks, including the recently published Materials and the Environment. Other current texts include Engineering Materials I & II, Materials Selection in Mechanical Design, Materials in Design, and Materials: Engineering, Science, Processing, and Design. He has authored over 200 papers on mechanisms of plasticity and fracture, powder compaction, mechanisms of wear, methodologies for materials selection, and the modeling of material shaping processes, among other topics. He is recipient of numerous awards and honors including Fellow of the Royal Society and Member of the American Academy of Engineering. He has been a professor at Harvard University and held academic positions in Germany and France. He is also co-founder of Granta Design and guides development of Granta’s CES EduPack.

Ashby's series entitled 
Unappreciated materials
are as always most informative and ingenious.

"Some materials catch headlines, are held in awe, but not all.  Some get little respect, despite having changed the world.  They have become commonplace, anonymous, ignored and (particularly if they are cheap) cast aside when no longer wanted.  If they had feelings, they would be hurt. This brief series of blogs is to draw attention to their plight." says Prof. Ashby. 

Ashby makes learning about materials (engineering) and their mechanical strength very easy and enjoyable and in following the  above quote and link (MATERIAL/PAPER) the reader will hopefully be motivated to read just how great a material is our common old paper.



Then in the following post you will of a surprising fact when compairing of the energy used to manufacture paper and steel.

Modular, flexible, sustainable: the future of chemical manufacturing

"Picture a chemical plant. How would you describe it? You’re probably not thinking along the lines of compact, nimble or adaptable – but that's about to change. Europe's chemical industry is innovating in order to survive and thrive in the face of rapidly changing market demands and fierce global competition. New technologies will enable the industry to manufacture products faster, more flexibly and more sustainably, and EU-funded research is providing the solutions." writes The  european Union Research & Innovation Information Centre 

Read more and remember :  compact, nimble and adaptable!

"Modular, flexible, sustainable: the future of chemical manufacturing":

'via Blog this'

Friday, September 27, 2013

12 Disruptive Technologies That Are Changing The World according to recent study by Mckinsey Global Institute, May 2013.

In a recent report McKinsey's Global Institute discusses Disruptive Technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy. It came up with a list of 12 technologies that could have a potential economic impact between $14 trillion and $33 trillion a year in 2025. According to the authors, some of this economic potential will end up as consumer surplus; a substantial portion of this economic potential will translate into new revenue that companies will capture and that will contribute to GDP growth. Other effects could include shifts in profit pools between companies and industries."
The 12 disruptive technologies include: mobile Internet, automation of knowledge and work, Internet of things, cloud technology, advanced robotics, autonomous and near-autonomous vehicles, next-generation genomics, energy storage, 3D printing, advanced materials, advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery, renewable energy.

Screen shot 2013 05 23 at 5.35.14 PM


Chart showing how these technologies will affect the world:

Screen shot 2013 05 23 at 4.58.00 PM

 In many ways the conclusions reached by the McKinsey study show our insatiable taste for gadgets all be them highly innovative, and irresistible, aids at increasing our individual and collective productivity but do they truly address real world issues and the overwhelming treats of rarity or in some cases penury of resources, (minerals and easily accessible energy) , in the face of global warming and harmful pollutions?

 The operative word is perhaps that such issues are "overwhelming", truly mind boggling.

One can readily understand the collective preference for the more abstract disruptions which are highly rated and figure at the top of the list of 12, whereas energy storage so necessary for many renewable energy sources are relegated to the foot of the list.

Disruptive Technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy.

Read more.....

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Technology and Innovation Centre at Strathclyde University

As an Alumi of "THE PLACE OF USEFUL LEARNING", (Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland,UK) I am obliged to shout about my Uni's place at the forefront of Innovation, in Scotland and the UK. 

I cannot help bragging of my longstanding appreciation of Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Innovation. 
The latter is THE MODEL upon which Strathclyde's T&I Centre is based and is the first in the UK. Therefore I extremely pleased
 that my old outfit have come to the same conclusion a did I.

Below: Technology and Innovation Centre at Strathclyde University

TIC tube

The Technology and Innovation Centre at Strathclyde is a hub for world-leading research, transforming the way academics, business, industry and the public sector collaborate.
We are working together to find solutions to challenges that matter in areas of economic importance – including power and energy, health and manufacturing – and helping companies compete globally.


Technology and Innovation Centre_Strathclyde University,Glasgow,Scotland,UK.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"Pilot projects bury carbon dioxide in basalt." Report from Nature News & Comment_26 July 2013

 JEFF TOLLEFSON writes in Nature

"By early August, scientists will have pumped 1,000 tonnes of pure carbon dioxide into porous rock far below the northwestern United States. The goal is to find a permanent home for the carbon dioxide generated by human activities.
Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington, began the injections into the Columbia River Basalt formation near the town of Wallula on 17 July. The rock contains pores created as many as 16 million years ago, when magma flowed across what is now the Columbia River Basin. Bubbles of CO2 migrated to the edges of the magma as it cooled, forming layers of holes sandwiched between solid rock (see 'Rock steady').
In pumping emissions back underground, “we are returning the carbon dioxide from whence it came”, says Pete McGrail, an environ­mental engineer at the PNNL who is heading the experiment, part of a larger energy-department programme on ways to sequester carbon."



Read the full article freely available in The Journal Nature entitled  "Pilot projects bury carbon dioxide in basalt : Nature News & Comment" (pdf).

Monday, June 24, 2013

Materials Science and Engineering Defined: Innovation, Innovations! Innovations win the 82th, 24hrs Le Mans motor race, Audi again, Toyota on the podium.

Materials Science and Engineering Defined: Innovation, Innovations! Innovations win the 82th, 24hrs Le Mans motor race, Audi again, Toyota on the podium.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

PV energy is 40 times more efficient than the best bio-fuels_"Let the sun shine!"


PV energy is 40 times more efficient than the best bio-fuels_"Let the sun shine!"

Monday, May 27, 2013

The solar car driving Egypt into the future - Information Centre - Research & Innovation - European Commission

EGYPT's EVIRONMENTALLY DRIVEN Sunny Vehicles project, responds to one major global environmental concern, if not the main environmental concern, ie ever increasing GHG-Green House Gases  & their dominant role in CC-Climate Change due to place of the organic fuel based automobile in present & future society.

The Sunny Car project prototype is one of four built based upon solar-powered electric cars for the Egyptian passenger and light transport market. The eco-friendly machine converts sunlight into energy with photovoltaic cells on the roof, which means there are no-fuel costs and zero greenhouse gas dioxide emissions. 

Backed by a €246,975 grant from the European Commission, Sunny Vehicles is also supported by local Sharm El Sheikh-based engineering firm Airtec, Egypt's Mansura and Suez Canal universities, the Egyptian Establishment for Import - Export and Communications

Agencies (BISO) and Jordan's Royal Scientific Society, as well as Italy's Comcor Engineering and University of Modena, both of which work with famed Italian car brands Ferrari, Lamborghini and Fiat.

The main prototype, which the team hopes to develop into a two-seater city run around car or small transport vehicle, can travel at 40-50km/h with around 80km autonomy. However, the team has also developed a sportier, dune buggy, which can be used for desert, and reaches 100km/h.

The innovative simplicity of sunny cars lies in the charging process: each vehicle takes about ten hours to fully charge and any excess energy is stored in the batteries for cloudy days or night time. "Charging is not a problem,"Backed by a €246,975 grant from the European Commission, Sunny Vehicles is also supported by local Sharm El Sheikh-based engineering firm Airtec, Egypt's Mansura and Suez Canal universities, the Egyptian Establishment for Import - Export and Communications

Agencies (BISO) and Jordan's Royal Scientific Society, as well as Italy's Comcor Engineering and University of Modena, both of which work with famed Italian car brands Ferrari, Lamborghini and Fiat.

The main prototype, which the team hopes to develop into a two-seater city run around car or small transport vehicle, can travel at 40-50km/h with around 80km autonomy. However, the team has also developed a sportier, dune buggy, which can be used for desert, and reaches 100km/h.

The innovative simplicity of cars lies in the charging process: each vehicle takes about ten hours to fully charge and any excess energy is stored in the batteries for cloudy days or night time. "Charging is not a problem," Hafez says. "Sharm el-Sheikh is a city full of sunshine; the sun glows 365 days a year for more than 10 hours a day."

There are other advantages: the solar panels work silently so they don't add to the noise pollution already on the road; and the electric motor is more efficient and quiet than a petrol engine, with few vibrations produced by the smaller, lighter and easier to maintain motor.
WORK To Be Done (wTBD)
Much work remains to be done before Sunny Vehicles is ready to go into production, including cutting the cost of materials, and boosting the performance of the solar cells and batteries. "But every day we learn something new, and use it to improve the car," says Hafez.

Nonetheless, the prototype has already been showcased around the country, and in June 2011, the then Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf even lent his support to the project. 
Hafez talks of using the technology in buses and boats in Egypt's tourist centres, and says the zero emission electric motors will help transform the image of the region. "It is easy: you do not have to pay anything, so long as the sun shines," he says.

Project details
  • Project acronym: DEVCO-RDI Sunny Vehicles
  • Participants: Egypt (Coordinator), Italy, United Kingdom


2. Euro-mediterranean conf 2012 (pdf)


Friday, May 24, 2013

Innovation often misunderstood, says B.Guilhon_ Some of the ramifications of pretended misunderstandings and misinterpretations are presented below based on B. Guilhon of SKEMA Biz School article-book review in Le Monde

When Innovation is taken into Hostage! by Bernard Guilhon. Translated from Le Jounal, Le Monde

The Economy as an (unbelievably simple) Software Programme - 
[simplified for the sake of argument or book reviewing by Le journal Le Monde(in French)?]

Guilhon pretends (pure supposition?) that many economists and public decision makers(?) in France at least,wrongly believe that it is sufficient "to pull the levers" or "oil the springs" of an economy based upon knowledge,  the so called "knowledge economy." In doing so the flow of innovations will be constantly fed an thus the country (France) will maintain its position in the worldwide economic competition.

However the loss of export market share questions the above definition of the innovation process?

Guilhon, as reported in Le Monde, further maintains that the economic crises is a crises of how economies are thought of, defined. For the European countries (EU?) the crises started which started in 2007-2008 is not a financial crises but a crises due to the deindustrialisation hitting,especially,countries which have neglected to strengthen their industrial base.

He continues to chastise "the established view" for its lack of interest for industry (NB. often relatively hard and dirty work despite modern efforts in quality, health and environmental protection in developed countries) Such lack of interest, could he possibly mean low ROI-Return on Investment interest? leads him to use the expression "schizophrenic" concerning the "reigning - panicked" vision of innovation which places "great" value on the production of new knowledge without the desire to seek and implement the opportunities for applications of the said knowledge. Here I must remind the unwary reader and some economists of well known cost  comparisons: If the lab experiment cost is unity, a pilot scale up is 10 times more and a full industrialisation is 100 and that is probably a very conservative estimation.

That innovation is not seen as a transformation of ways of thinking and acting whose consequences provoke the downgrading of products and processes requiring reallocation of competences towards sources of creativity. Really! The guys involved don't know this! But at what cost & to whom?

He carries on R&D bashing as a process of increasing and preservation of scientific progress (over)-fed by pubic spending in R & D and in the creation of knowledge-intensive employment whose main motivation is to validate our main paths of excellence intellectual.

Thus progressively the economic machine looses its vitality (best people, brain drain and what have you)

In France:
1. Ageing of industrial equipment
66%  or 2/3 of all Companies have not sent any equipment to the scrap heap between 1990 and 2006-2011,
2. France has installed 15% less robots than Germany in 2011. (Popn. France/Germany roughly 25% less!     (Try again Prof. Guilhon).
3. France is classed 29th in the world for investment in information technologies.


Constraints due to globalisation are claimed to be under-estimated whereas the violence of the shocks taken require longer recovery times.

Employment has dropped continuously over the last 24 months. In the last 6 months, INSEE - National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies. indicates that unemployment has lowered on only 8 occasions while the level of  economic activity has remained inferior to the level in 2008.

ILO-unemployment rate
Monthly industrial Production indexes
NB-REM:There are 4 levels of economic activity (link) the main reference used by INSEE in France is GDP.

This unemployment produces an erosion of qualifications and tacit or "hands-on" knowledge of the the work-force, a disapprenticeship due to lack of practise, somewhat in contradiction with the basic building block of an economy supposed to be based on knowledge, in this case "Learning by Doing".   This loss of substance in the industrial sector not only deepens foreign debt but does so by replacing industrial work by lower paid work in the service sector.  

R and D policies,(presumably government policies) Guilhon claims, are inappropriate to aim to support companies most exposed to international competition ie. small to middle sized companies are the ones that loose out, while the large companies preoccupied by rationalisation (presumably to increase efficiency and profit ) and implantation close to large attractive markets allocate increasing investment R and D out with Europe (I suppose this means truly democratic Europe, the European Union) 
(NB. including cheaper, equally qualified and maybe less industrially wise although my latter comment may just be wishful thinking).

In this context R & D spending (investment) by industry represents 63% of total R & D spending.

Such weakening of industrial activities and accompanying delocalisation has, according to the US economist Gregory Tassey, a devastating effect on the R and D capacity of the (national) economy which in turn weakens the (Nations) global innovation infrastructure.

 Education and training
Guilhon criticises Education and training. He claims that under investment in Western Europe leads to a penury of qualified work, evident in many sectors (the book review does not say which sectors nor other evidence).

Delocalisation he qualifies as "shadow migration" allowing the "home" country to benefit from qualified productive factors while renumerating them at (lower) welcoming rates.

A LOOSER-LOOSER GAME (A FOOLS GAME when we know the high quality of education and the positions of those targeted,! Strong words indeed ) 

When qualified work moves the European schema appears to reproduce some aspects a Looser-Loser (L-L) Game as opposed to  Win-Win (W-W) play. This L-L game appears to characterise the relationship between  the developed countries and the developing countries 

Countries that export qualified labour (southern Europe) are expected to invest less in education whereas qualified labour importer countries would tend to do the same thing, not invest in education since they can depend on the investment of other countries.

Thus globalisation requires a systems vision of innovation, which requires simultaneous investments in strongly related complimentary actives: new technologies, human capitol, communication technologies, intellectual property legislation, valorisation structures.(I guess this specialist & many others do not follow this blog -I have only 2 followers to date- other wise Innovative issues such as Innocentive incredibly instructive Prof Guilhon.) 

On a global scale, identification of winners and losers depends on a much more detailed classification of the type of tasks done and it is difficult to predict what will be the exact consequences produced.

When the price of certain tasks is no longer set by a local market but by the global market ie. when the service given becomes interchangeable, the ratio salary/productivity (for equal skills) risks to sway in favour of geographical delocalisation of such tasks on an international scale. In this context, the most highly qualified tasks are not necessarily protected! (eg Innocentive's global approach to highly skilled Innovation)

Innovation remains handicapped by the "bonus of the existing product or service" which applies to the already installed productive base. Such down-grading produces losses and makes productivity gains uncertain. Added this innovation handicap Guilhon invokes a certain conservatism in economic judgements, preferring the existing or known to the unknown.  

Guilhon the climate skeptic and R and D bashing again to which he may be interpreted as adding world renowned climate expert bashing.  

Many (economists) diagnose the end of the the current energy (production and consumption) model

Whether this pleases them or not, he says, the current upturn of the american economy is not related to the production of new knowledge but a regain of competitvity by a falling dollar and a substantial reduction in the cost of (NB. dirty energy production & consumption) obtained by applying the (most modern) technologies of shale gas and oil extraction already ancient (1948! (NB 1. The USA is not an example to follow  in all things far from it, eg home arms control, the cowboy, hit it see if its still standing mentalities, arguably still pervades at least some of strates of american life and attitudes.  2. The technology: Guihon is refering to has known much and improved knowlegde and much improved techniques (innovations) but is truely a technology fraught with risk and in no way responds in a responsible way to counter the now well known effects of GHG-CC. One would expect economists not only to understand and decipher not only current economic result and deviation from prevision, but also,to plan with financial backing, for the future. A great start was made several years ago by the Stern Report "long since forgotten?

PS. Having made several comments without reading Guilhon's book perhaps I should read it but this review from Le Monde has not encouraged this step.

MOREOVER-To Get a real feel for Industrial Restructuring and Delocalisation try some of the following links on Glasgow Scotlands Forced Approach (The country of my birth was far from the centre of power in UK, London.
1945 at the end of WWII, 23 shipyards on Glasgow's Clydeside - latterly only 1 Norwegian-Kvaerner and a Yacht builder!
The story goes on concerning steelmaking closures, Integrated Mills near Ship Terminals,
and disloyal delocalisation notably a US Pharmaceutical Plant from Scotland to Luxemburg while I was still a student at University and closures at ICI Imperial chem Ltd due to World Wide overproduction of Nylon then later Silicon (both plants in Ardrossan, Ayrshire Scotland are long closed.


Saturday, May 04, 2013

End-of-Life Tyres (ELTs). update and review by B. Messenger, Editor of Waste Management World (WMW) magazine.

This article was my first choice to introduce readers to the Waste Management World magazine. Indeed it was not so long ago that local authorities here gave echo to their concern on the problems caused by used tyres and their ever increasing stock piles. The full text is given in the reference section. I have made a rapid selection and included all links for rapid reference and indepth lecture and action.

The original title in the Waste Management World magazine is:  TACKLING TYRE WASTE

Tackling Tyres
With the rapidly growing number of vehicles around the world, the disposal of end-of-life tyres is a growing issue. Often simply dumped by the million to pose a serious environmental, health and fire risk, the technology to recover higher value materials and energy from waste tyres is moving forward.

The recovery of energy and materials from used tyres is big business. According to a report by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, in 2008 around one billion End-of-Life Tyres (ELTs) were being produced globally each year. A further four billion were estimated to be held in stockpiles and landfills. Around the world it is estimated that some 1.5 billion new tyres are produced annually.
Figures published by the U.S. Rubber Manufacturers Association estimate that the U.S. - the world's largest producer of ELTs - generated 291.8 million tyres in 2009. With an average weight of 33.4 pounds (15.1 kg) that equates to some 4.4 million tonnes. According to statistics published by the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers' Association (ETRMA), in 2010 Europe produced around 2.7 million tonnes of ELTs.

Using traditional recycling techniques, granulated rubber recovered from waste tyres can be used variously as an aggregate, in tiles, adhesives, asphalt, sports surfaces, and extruded rubber products, to name but a few of its uses. And in terms of energy recovery the natural rubber fraction of the tyre can be considered as a renewable energy source.

With so many ELTs being produced, as well as the huge stockpiles from the past, waste tyres pose many potential dangers. They can contaminate groundwater, harbour disease carrying mosquitoes in pooled water and they are not only flammable, but once ablaze, extremely difficult to extinguish.
Often the result of arson, fires at tyre dumps are not uncommon. In 1990 Hagersville, Ontario was the scene of one of the worst tyre fires in history. As a mechanised army of fire fighters struggled to gain control of the situation, for 17 days 14 million tyres packed onto the 11 acre site spewed toxic clouds of thick black smoke into the air.
According to the New York Times, in addition to the toxic fumes, around 158,000 gallons (600,000 litres) of oil was released by the melting rubber was collected from the site. Chemical pollutants, suspected to have been caused by the operation to extinguish the fire were also found in the aftermath of the blaze.

NB NY Times has many links on the subject of ELT

And with a little "lateral" thinking by this blog auther:

2013 Removing the Need to Refill Tires may save compressed air stations by fueling compressed air driven vehicles ( the latter motorisation not entirely condemmed by seminal work by David MacKay FRS: Sustainable Energy - without the hot airSynopsis

In a separate incident an underground dumpsite in Wales,[UK] thought to contain around 9 million tyres, burned for an astonishing 15 years following its ignition in 1989.


High Value Alternatives

While the recovery of rubber, steel and energy from a potentially hazardous waste stream is certainly a big improvement over the not too distant past, increasingly a number of projects around the world are looking to ELTs as a potential source of much higher value materials.
One example of this is Dynamic Energy Alliance Corporation (DEAC), which recently relocated its headquarters from Memphis Tennessee to Dallas, Texas. The company has initiated the prototype phase of a project to validate its patent pending technologies to extract high value organic compounds from waste tyres. DEAC's process involves using pyrolysis to process ELTs with the production not only of energy, but of five marketable products – recycled carbon black, pyrolysis oil, fuel and extracts, a high BTU gas and steel.
The process the company is developing melds two technologies that it recently acquired licenses for, the Terpen Kraftig (TKF) Fractionator and Pyrolytic Augmentation.
The Pyrolytic Augmentation technology includes a series of specialised chemical compounds, which when combined within a pyrolysis plant are intended to enable the decomposition of the tyres to occur at lower temperatures - which would be a critical energy-saving benefit.
According to DEAC, a reactor technology included in the license allows it to recover additional high value organic compounds during tyre processing by changing the chemical reaction that's part of the de-vulcanization process used to convert the tyres' rubber into valuable products.
"The intellectual property includes a class of catalysts new to this industry but with exciting potential to improve the economics of waste tyre processing," explains Dr. Earl Beaver, chief technology officer of DEAC.
"The lower temperature enabled through the catalysts should allow for lower energy costs, lower maintenance costs and higher outputs of the most valuable liquid products and carbon black from tyre pyrolysis," he continues.
The TKF Fractionator process will capture the friable materials in the pyrolysis oil and purify them into high value organic compounds used in the fragrance, cosmetic and solvent industries - without disturbing the oil's hydrocarbon market value.
According to the company, the TKF processes, as adapted to its specifications, would produce up to 20 individual components at purity levels that are in high demand.
The process would consist of a series of unit operations functioning at a narrow range of temperatures, pressures, and volumes – which DEAC anticipates to yield the separation needed to maintain the purity and value of the products. Some of the 20 materials would be made in high purity for use as feedstock for downstream products, while others would be synthetic versions of natural products such as flavours, extracts and essential oils.
While the technology is still in the prototype phase, Charles R. Cronin, Jr., DEAC's chairman, is confident: "We believe these combined processes have the potential to produce more energy than the sum of the energy used to make the original tyre plus the energy expended to recover the products. These technologies may have the ability to transform the waste tyre industry from a landfill or rubber products business into a specialty chemical business."
Cronin added that the additional value will soon be validated in a life cycle analysis.(LCA)

The Tygre Project:

is an EU project and consortium involving a number of commercial and academic European organisations


Based in Redcar in the North East of England, PYReco is planning a facility which will use pyrolysis to breakdown tyres into high tensile steel, carbon black, diesel oil and syngas without producing any waste.


Ben Messenger, Managing Editor of WMW Magazine concludes: 
"While there are still some concerns surrounding illegal dumping or exporting of ELTs, the high recovery rates both in the U.S. and Europe are encouraging. However, in common with other waste streams, the greatest environmental and economic benefits from the treatment of ELTs lie furthest up the waste hierarchy.
Given the expanding global vehicle base, and the consumable nature of tyres, prevention is probably unattainable. Indeed, for the foreseeable future the number of waste tyres being generated globally will continue to grow. And for passenger car tyres, reuse options, such as retreading, are limited.
While the use of tyres as TDF is certainly better than landfilling or stockpiling, there are many interesting projects on the horizon which offer the potential of recovering not only energy or low value materials, but a wide range of high value materials and energy.
Around the world such projects are numerous. Not all will be commercially successful, but there are simply too many to think that none will make it. The date may not yet have been set, but the way in which waste tyres are treated looks set for a revolution."