MSW Power has been able to successfully demonstrate the Battalion-Scale Waste-to-Energy Conversion (BWEC) systems performance on simulated contingency base waste streams. However, field testing of irregular waste streams has identified several performance and reliability issues that must be addressed before the technology can successfully transition to an acquisition program. The core objective of this program is to demonstrate and validate a BWEC system capable of converting highly variable contingent base solid waste into electricity and heat in an efficient, reliable, transportable, and rapidly deployed configuration. In order to meet the requirements of Force Provider’s Expeditionary Capability Production Document, MSW Power will implement solutions to BWEC system in order for it to be able to demonstrate that it can operate reliably with a diverse feedstock and minimal with manpower. If this goal is reached during this effort, the system will immediately be strongly considered for acquisition for contingency operations.
MSW Power has been developing the BWEC system to process encampment waste generated in the combat theater to on-site electrical energy and heat for use on a base’s distributed grid network in order to reduce the dependence on diesel (JP-8) fuel and the logistical burden of waste disposal.
The key BWEC operations are summarized as:
Burn pits are known to release harmful toxins and pollutants, exposing the solider to unwarranted health and safety risks. A successful demonstration of the BWEC system will provide the DoD with a solution to replace the use of open burn pits for waste management in the combat theatre. In turn, this will help safeguard the health and security of the solider while promoting environmental responsibility. The cost comparison between open burn pits and the BWEC system cannot be evaluated due to the lack of information regarding fuel, manpower and emissions from open burn pits. It is also not hard to imagine that emissions from a controlled thermal process will produce a drastically reduced emission profile compared to burn pits. However, a cost comparison could be made between the BWEC system and incinerators. Data on incinerator fuel consumption suggest that the BWEC system could provide significant fuel savings, resulting in $16,900,000 in savings per unit over 10 years.