Prem Shankar Jha

A perennial problem that all countries face is the disposal of the liquid and solid wastes that we humans generate every day of our lives. Sewage treatment is now a well established and accepted practice for liquid wastes but solid wastes continue to be a headache , mainly because while they keep piling up every day, there is still no consensus on the best way to get rid of them. At present solid wastes are either physically sorted, or incinerated or dumped in landfills. Physicl sorting is not feasible in cities in the developing world, and is not entirely successful even in developed ones. Landfill sites are harder and harder to find, and incineration emits highly toxic furans and dioxins that shorten our lives.

Some time ago I had put up a post about the immense potential of a new way of disposing off these wastes. This is to gasify them, and use the carbon- rich gases and hydrogen obtained to produce transport fuels. This would not only get rid of the waste, but sharply reduce CO2 emissions by displacing fossil fuels.

In my wiki I have written an updated version of the proposal, citing its benefits in greater detail. Although it relates to India, the problem and the solutions proposed are universal. Do take a look.

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