Friday, January 9, 2009

Trash Into Electricity

Gasification of trash.

 A local Michigan waste management company is asking to build a plant to turn trash into gas and make electricity with it. It sounds like science fiction, but it’s not. The process involves grinding up the trash and then turning it into a gas using the high heat of a plasma chamber. Could this mean the end to land fills in the future?

What’s next?

The following  from  explains how it works.

Plasma Gasification

First, garbage is fed into an auger, a machine which shreds it into smaller pieces. These are then fed into a plasma chamber - a sealed, stainless steel vessel filled with either nitrogen or ordinary air. A 650-volt electrical current is passed between two electrodes; this rips electrons from the air and creates plasma.

A constant flow of electricity through the plasma maintains a field of extremely intense energy powerful enough to disintegrate the shredded garbage into its component elements. The byproducts are a glass-like substance used as raw materials for high-strength asphalt or household tiles and "syngas".

Syngas is a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide and it can be converted into fuels such as hydrogen, natural gas or ethanol. Syngas (which leaves the converter at a temperature of around 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit) is fed into a cooling system which generates steam. This steam is used to drive turbines which produce electricity - part of which is used to power the converter, while the rest can be used for the plant's heating or electrical needs, or sold back to the utility grid.

Therefore, aside from the initial power supply from the community's electrical grid, the whole machine can produce the electricity it needs for operations. It also produces materials that can be sold for commercial use so, at some point, the plasma gasification system will generate profit for its users.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thank God For Tax Time

Thank God for tax season. People will soon be doing their taxes and hopefully they will be getting a refund. When they do they will have money to spend and maybe that will help keep things going for awhile longer.

Don’t count on things improving because of the government; it will take them weeks to decide on a course of action and months for there to be any real change.  No mater what the President wants to do, he can’t do it alone. It will take everyone from the average man on the street to the government to make things better.

Things will get better. It’s just that it’s not going to happen because Mr. Obama takes the oath of office. His administration will make positive changes of this I am sure. It’s just that things aren’t gong to magically improve because someone new is in the White House. The only sure thing is that it’s going to be a long and bumpy ride.

Like they say at the amusement park, “Keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times and enjoy the ride”.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Things I Hate About Winter

For my blog I decided to compile a list of ten things I really hate about winter.

1)      Not being able to see where the lane is when you are driving because of the snow.

2)      People who drive with their bright lights on making it hard to see because of the glare when they are driving toward you.

3)      People who tailgate and want to drive fast in bad weather while you are trying to drive at a safe speed.

4)      Shoveling the snow out of the drive.

5)      Shoveling the snow out of the drive after the snowplow goes down the street and pushes snow into the end of your drive.

6)      The cold.

7)      The utility bills for heating your house when it’s cold.

8)      Being outside when its fifteen degrees and the wind chill is five below.

9)      Fighting the crowd at the store because everyone is there trying to stock up because a storm is coming.

10)   People who go south for the winter and call you up to tell you it’s seventy three and sunny where they are.


If you understand where I’m coming from, smile and remember spring will come. It has to.

Monday, January 5, 2009

You Don't Know What You Have Till It's Gone

My mom told stories about her past repeating them until we kids joked about numbering them. To save time we said we could just say do you remember mom telling number 25 and laugh about it. Now that I don’t have her anymore I miss those stories.

My step dad wanted to take me fishing and camping, but I didn’t have time. I wish now that I’d gone with him.

You don’t know what you have till it’s gone and when it’s gone you can’t get it back. If youth could but see through the eyes of age we would have fewer regrets in life. If we knew how much we would miss something we might pay more attention to it before it’s gone, but that is a gift we can never have.

Let us be thankful for the memories we have and enjoy them until we no longer can.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


The more ahead I am the further behind I get. It seems I take two steps forward and one step back and my goal is never any closer.

 When I was young I thought that by this point in my life things would be different than they are. I’m not sure how they would be different, but they would be. I saw my future self as rich, retired, and traveling the world. I would be popular and defiantly better looking. The trouble with getting older is life gives us a reality check. We look around and discover we aren’t who we thought we would be.  Still if one is honest with ones self things are not that bad. It’s not a matter of not reaching your goals; it’s more a matter of redefining those goals. It is realizing what is really important in your life.            

For me those things are family, friends, and enough money to meet my needs. Riches and fame are always there if can share your life with those you care about. True happiness comes not from money but from sharing your life with others.

If you want to feel good about yourself you need to practice random acts of kindness and make a point of greeting everyone you meet with a smile.