Ethanol From Green Waste – A World First in Renewable Energy Technology by Moratech


This amazing  technology  produces ethanol from green waste including household grass and leaves, unlike existing  technologies  which are currently influencing food supplies across the globe by producing ethanol from sugarcane, maize, corn and switch-grass. Calls from the United Nations to ban the production of ethanol from food crops are currently under discussion, which makes this discovery even more significant.

This process extracts ethanol through a fermentation process, and takes less than 24 hours to complete, producing ethanol (95%) and compost. Many different plant species were tested during the experimental phase, and yields of between 40% and 80% for ethanol and between 60% and 70% for compost were recorded. This ground-breaking achievement was developed by Morangaphanda  Technologies  (Moratech), based in South Africa. The company was founded by Wessel Roux and Daniel Mogano, and is a leading developer of new renewable energy  technologies .

Furthermore, feedstock for the process is plentiful and easily accessible! Municipalities are currently investigating ways to divert waste from landfill sites due to capacity problems, and currently have to incur costly tipper fees for waste removal. The significance of this  technology  is that all the green waste which is currently dumped in abundance at municipal landfill sites, can be utilised and converted into ethanol, ethanol-gel and compost. The average person generates 200 grams of garden refuse each day, so the refuse of a mere 5,000 people amounts to a ton of green waste per day!

The ethanol yield per ton of green waste is 500 litres. Ethanol is widely traded in the world, and is in demand at refineries for blending with fuel (E15 contains 15% ethanol), and other users include the pharmaceutical and food industries. A targeted 8% ethanol blend to petrol by the DME will increase the demand in South Africa. The international market has also increased the targeted blend. Currently the global production is 36 billion litres. This is projected to increase to 210 billion litres by 2030.

The flammable ethanol-gel is a safer substitute for paraffin, and is also coloured to prevent accidental swallowing of the product by children. It provides more cost-effective energy solutions to the underdeveloped portion of the community.

The compost generated from the plant material is free of weeds and is an excellent source of food for plants. Compost is a well traded commodity and various blends of chemicals can be added to produce fertiliser, which can be used by the council and the public. Incentives to separate garden refuse from municipal solid waste (MSW) could be introduced, for example, a free bag of compost for every ton of garden refuse delivered. It can be also be utilised to grow more feedstock, making the entire process completely renewable.

Due to the constant and economical production cost of this process, I predict that it will take the world by storm! Besides the pressure of using food crops to produce ethanol while people are starving, existing  technologies  also have other negative factors which influence the price. Firstly, they obtain feedstock at a variable cost, and secondly, they have to incur costs for the harvesting and transportation of such feedstock. Major such existing processing plants are found in the United States and Brazil. The only major producer of ethanol in South Africa is Sasol, who produce it from their Fischer-Tropsch process as a by-product, at an estimated 110 million gallons of ethanol per annum. New entrants into the market like Ethanol Africa are finding it difficult to be economically viable at the current maize price. The major sugar producers are planning to build an ethanol plant that will utilise the sugarcane waste. The risk is that if more sugarcane is planted to feed the ethanol production, it may negatively influence the price of sugar which is the primary focus of these producers.

Other current renewable energy projects by Moratech include the CO2 to Methanol project. With the threat of global warming looming over us, we need to use  technology  to reduce the amount of CO2 in the air. Their  technology  uses CO2 gas and hydrogen to produce methanol which is used by the chemical industry. The main benefactors of this  technology  will be coal-fired power stations and large emitters of carbon dioxide. Carbon credits can also be claimed for the reduction of CO2 gas. Future renewable energy projects by Moratech include the Waste-to-Electricity and Heat-to-Electricity projects.

I believe in promoting innovative products and services which provide sustainability and good value for money, and this is definitely one of them. Bravo Moratech!

Source by Tony Grunewald

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