Mini Power Plant

The Air Force Research Lab engineers at Tyndall AFB, Fla., have completed the first phase of developing a transportable waste-to-energy system that holds the promise of producing electricity at forward military operating locations or rural domestic facilities. The mini power plant will produce electricity by burning shredded solid waste such as wood, paper, and plastic or even waste oils and contaminated JP-8 and diesel fuels, thereby reducing the need for fossil fuels at these locations and easing their burden on waste disposal. During phase-one testing, AFRL engineers successfully ran the system’s full-scale prototype furnace that is mounted on a 48-foot flatbed semi-trailer for up to six hours continuously. Now in stage two, engineers are designing the system’s energy recovery component that will generate steam using the heat released by the burning waste to produce the electricity. (Tyndall report by Mindy Cooper)