August 2009, Vol. 21, No.8

From the Editors

Operations Forum Editor’s Note

Resource Mining

Steve Spicer

 Call it sustainability, green energy, bioenergy, or any of the other names circulating out there, finding ways to derive energy from waste products is at the top of everyone’s list. Some are pursuing this option to set an example as good environmental stewards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop alternative fuel sources. Others are more interested in lowering their utility bills. Regardless of which set of circumstances is motivating the interest — in many cases it’s a combination of both — the need for practical information and education on the topics remains the same.

Siloxanes: The Hidden Threat to Biogas Systems” provides just such information on burning methane from anaerobic digesters. The article explains where siloxanes come from, how they are formed, how they affect different types of engines, and how a gas conditioning system can help prevent siloxane-related problems.

Of course bioenergy projects extend far beyond cogeneration using digester gas. Listed below are some resources for learning more about energy-producing technologies and systems.

  • WEFTEC®.09 in Orlando, Fla., includes a focus area called Sustainability, Climate Change, and Energy Management with five workshops and 19 technical sessions. Topics range from microbial fuel cells to bioenergy and thermal processes to algae technologies. See for more details.

  • WEF’s Access Water Knowledge technical resource features a  Sustainability & Energy Knowledge Center , which includes links to research, training and networking opportunities, news stories, and groups working on energy solutions.

  • The Web site for  WEF’s Bioenergy Technology Subcommittee  also contains much information. The Web page includes presentations from the Bioenergy Technology Workshop, which was held during the 2009 Residuals and Biosolids Specialty Conference in Portland, Ore. Other resources include white papers on bioenergy topics and contact information to get involved.

Steve Spicer, editor

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