“Open-Loop Biomass” is defined as any solid, non-hazardous, cellulosic waste material which is segregated from other waste materials and which is derived from:
(a) Such forest-related resources as mill residues, pre-commercial thinnings, slash, and brush;
(b) solid wood waste materials, including waste pallets, crates, manufacturing and construction wood wastes (other than pressure-treated, chemically-treated, or painted wood wastes), and landscape or right-of-way tree trimmings, but not including municipal solid waste (garbage), gas derived from the biodegradation of solid waste, or paper that is commonly recycled; or
(c) agricultural sources, including orchard tree crops, vineyard, grain, legumes, sugar, and other crop by-products or residues.
“Closed-Loop Biomass” is defined as any organic material from a plant, which is planted exclusively for purposes of being used to produce electricity.
Biosolids are complex mixtures that can contain pollutants from household, commercial and industrial wastewaters with organic contaminants (such as pharmaceuticals), inorganic contaminants (metals and trace elements) and pathogens (bacteria, viruses and parasites). Depending upon the extent of treatment, biosolids are often applied such areas as farms, parks, golf courses, lawns and home gardens.
A mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline based on volume.
Ethanol is a liquid fuel that derives from plant matter. It is a sustainable resource that can be produced domestically and can be replenished indefinitely. The blending of ethanol with gasoline, or its use in place of gasoline or diesel fuel, supports the U.S. economy and contributes to energy independence. Vehicles running on blends of ethanol and gasoline, using ethanol as an oxygenate, produce significantly fewer harmful emissions than vehicles burning gasoline. Unlike petroleum-based fuels, ethanol produces no net carbon dioxide emissions.
The carbon-based wastes which may be gasified and converted into ethanol or electricity using the BRI Process. The process can operate on such feedstocks as municipal solid waste, corn stover, coal and other hydrocarbons, forest and wood waste, hazardous waste, biosolids, used tires or plastics.
A biochemical reaction that breaks down complex organic molecules (such as carbohydrates) into simpler materials (such as ethanol, carbon dioxide and water). Bacteria or yeasts can ferment sugars to ethanol.
Gasification, as opposed to incineration, consumes wastes by heating them to extreme temperatures in a vacuum, a process that is not harmful to the environment.
Gases which absorb some of the sun’s rays and redistribute them: this radiation in turn meets other gas molecules and the process is repeated, creating a greenhouse effect, trapping heat. Gases causing the greenhouse effect, which is due to human activity, include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), tropospheric ozone (O3), CFCs and HCFCs, compounds which attack the ozone layer.
An organic compound that contains only hydrogen and carbon. In vehicle emissions, these are usually vapors created from incomplete combustion or from vaporization of liquid gasoline. Emissions of hydrocarbons contribute to ground level ozone.
Municipal Solid Waste (“MSW”)
The solid wastes (trash or garbage) generated by communities and collected by their sanitation departments or waste management contractors. America generates some 240 million tons of MSW per year. MSW consists of everyday items such as product packaging, newspapers, food scraps, yard wastes, plastics, bottles, paint and batteries. Carbon-based wastes comprise more than 80% of these materials. MSW does not include medical, commercial and industrial hazardous or radioactive wastes, which must be treated separately.
Enzymes are active proteins that can increase (catalyze) the rate of biochemical reactions. Enzymes are natural chemicals created and used by living organisms (bacteria) but are themselves non-living. The bacteria used in the BRI Process is anaerobic.
All three major automobile manufacturers produce flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs). These are vehicles that can run on either regular gasoline or fuel mixtures that include up to 85% ethanol. An on-board computer monitors the fuel mixture and automatically adjusts the engine’s carburetion and fuel flow to match the fuel content.
A compound which contains oxygen in its molecular structure. Ethanol and biodiesel act as oxygenates when they are blended with conventional fuels. Oxygenated fuel improves combustion efficiency and reduces tailpipe emissions of CO.
A compound that is formed when oxygen and other compounds react in sunlight. In the upper atmosphere, ozone protects the earth from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Though beneficial in the upper atmosphere, at ground level, ozone is called photochemical smog, and is a respiratory irritant and considered a pollutant.
Any petroleum-based substance comprising a complex blend of hydrocarbons derived from crude oil through the process of separation, conversion, upgrading, and finishing, including motor fuel, jet oil, lubricants, petroleum solvents and used oil.
Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of organic material at elevated temperatures in the absence of gases such as air or oxygen. The process, which requires heat, produces a mixture of combustible gases (primarily methane, complex hydrocarbons, hydrogen and carbon monoxide), liquids and solid residues. Pyrolysis and thermal gasification are related technologies.
CO, H2 or CO2 produced by the partial oxidation, gasification, reforming, pyrolysis, etc., of any carbonaceous waste with moisture content up to 40% (by weight).
In contrast with many other energy technologies that require fuel to be purchased, facilities that produce electricity from municipal solid wastes are paid by the feedstock suppliers to take the fuel. This payment is known as a "tipping fee". The tipping fee is comparable to the fee charged to dispose of garbage at a landfill.