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Letter to the Editor: Renewable Energy from Sewage?

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To the Editor: 

Lauren Milideo’s piece “New Technology Proposed to Treat Capital City Wastewater’’ in the Nov. 2 issue of The Bridge left me wondering about whether the pyrolysis involved will generate methane.  From Milideo’s article, I inferred that sewage-generated methane will be used to initiate pyrolysis and that the resulting combustible gases will be then used to sustain the process.  It seems like a potentially elegant solution to PFA destruction, which might actually result in a net surplus of combustible gases.  

Since gasification has been used (in World War II for example) to run trucks of firewood, it seems that maybe the process will produce a byproduct that would provide a surplus of fuel which could, for example, run a generator to charge batteries for municipally owned (hopefully) electric vehicles, e.g., emergency vehicles, school buses, etc.

Dan Hemenway, Montpelier