The key parts of this project that make converting waste into diesel possible are the catalyst -- which contains silicon, aluminum and sodium -- and the turbine, which spins at 3,000 rpm.
The turbine, unlike most pumps and mixers, is designed to handle all liquids, solids and vapor and do so at a relatively high temperature for rotating machinery, Goff said. Most pumps and mixers handle only liquids or a mix of liquid and solids while compressors handle vapors, but this turbine reactor is a pump, a mixer and a reactor that can work well with all matter, he said.
The turbine "concept and overall design are unique," Cosper noted.
Meeting U.S. EPA requirements
Unlike combustion or gasification technologies that require extremely high temperatures -- and large amounts of power -- to break down waste, this project would operate at relatively moderate temperatures, Cosper said. That means less power resources would need to be put into the project.
Another benefit of the lower temperature, Cosper said, is avoiding undesirable chemical reactions that can occur at higher temperatures and produce toxic chemicals.