An unlikely green energy story: Garbage to jet fuel

KOLO-TV 8, July 22, 2022

Even the most environmentally committed households have garbage the recyclers don’t want. It goes into the green bins, left on the curb for pick up, destined for the landfill.

The last end result any of us would expect from this common act would be fuel in the tanks of an airliner, perhaps whisking us off on our next getaway. But in fact, that’s the aim of an impressive-looking plant off USA parkway in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center east of town.

Fifty trucks a day carrying common household garbage will arrive here. And, through a complicated tangle of pipe and tanks using an appropriately complicated sounding process called “high-temperature, low-oxygen gasification” is produced a substance that, like crude oil, can be refined into aircraft jet fuel.

“This is clean burning fuel,” notes Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. “There is no or low carbon coming from this clean-burning fuel. That’s what it’s about. How do we lower that carbon footprint? And this is one of the companies that shows how it can be done.”