Introduction: Turning Waste Into Cheap Energy (TWICE)
Turning Waste Into Food And Energy (TWICE)
TWICE (Turning Waste Into Food And Energy) brings together relevant bodies of knowledge for development of a practical and low cost system of proven technologies to produce food organically, generate renewable energy, and protect the environment. TWICE links biological systems in such a way as to utilize the the waste from one process to fuel another, and to spread the utility of one process out among as many other processes as practical.
The core technology of TWICE is anaerobic digestion (AD), a natural process based on microorganisms and practiced by millions world-wide. Major components of TWICE include concrete containment tankage, thermal storage, greenhouse, and co-generation system. Feedstock for TWICE can be any organic waste including residential, municipal, commercial, and institutional food wastes, food processing waste, animal and fish manure waste, fats and grease, algae biomass. etc.
When implimneted, TWICE provides the core utilities of: shelter, nutrients, heat and electricity, which allows the staged incorporation or numerous add on product streams, including algae, tilapia, mushrooms, fruit, off season vegetables, bedding plants and other associated bio-based food and energy products.
The Anaerobic Digester (AD) used in TWICE, affectionately referred to a the bountiful bowel, is set within a heated concrete containment vessel to provide assured containment of substrate, to provide buoyancy to bowel (and therefore relief of dynamic tension and stress due to loading), and a convenient means to control the bowel’s temperature much as happens in the peritoneum cavity of mammals. Ease of temperature control enables the digestion process to be operated mesophillically or thermophillically. The physical movement imparted to the digesting substrate provides the best features of conventional plug flow and completely stirred tank design.
The greenhouse super structure provides a building envelop for the bowel and its related systems. It is a double hoop framed structure, providing greatest heat containment over the bowel area, with bleed off heat passing into the secondary greenhouse structure for secondary growing opportunities. The greenhouse structure includes all of the best options commercially available in modern hoop structures, including: double film ballooning, roll up side ventilation, roll down insulative mats on inner bowel hoops, and easy add on expansion for development of multiple product streams.
The above set of circumstances allow for a multitude of tertiary production opportunities that make the TWICE Project unique and profitable. These opportunities include such things as: heat for home, farm and business use, electricity for use on site or for grid feed, and the use of CNG in vehicle fleets. TWICE also provides the utilities of shelter, heat, light and electricity for the growing of multitudes of profitable crops, depending on the operators circumstance and need. Because of the closed coupled dynamic system, TWICE can recycle CO2 from the combustion of the biogas to enhance the growing conditions of photosynthetic plants. In a similar manner, waste from one operation can become food for another; i.e., the digestate can be used to grow algae, or food crops; the algae can be used to feed the tilapia of the AD, the tilapia waste can feed a aquaponics system and the butchering waste can be fed back into the AD.
TWICE creates independence in a number of ways. First, it helps create independence from foreign oil by recycling a waste steam into a renewable energy source. Second, it creates independence from industrialized food system by bringing back locally grow food. Third, it creates independence for the community, by growing jobs locally. And finally, it is creating ecological security by minimizing resource use and converting waste into useful products.
TWICE is about exploration and learning, recycling and regrowing, creation and production: stepping out of the box to utilize the best of new technologies, a polluting waste stream and American ingenuity and work ethic to create a useful and necessary set of products, and is so doing, create meaning and purpose in peoples lives.
Finalist in the
Jack Daniel's Independence Project Contest