Design and Deployment of a Hybrid Tactical Waste-to-Energy System

Monday, September 27, 2021 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Bertelsmeyer Hall, B10 1101 N State St.

Dr. Jay Valdes will lead a seminar titled "Design and Deployment of a Hybrid Tactical Waste-to-Energy System"

Join us in person or by Zoom.

The abstract is as follows: Deployed military units have two enormous logistics problems: Bringing in fuel, often through contested territory and at great risk and expense; removing garbage, either via contractors (a security threat) or open pit burning (environmental and health hazards). The Tactical Garbage to Energy Refinery (TGER) program was created to solve these problems. This presentation will describe how an operational requirement was taken from conception to full-scale prototype via a partnership between an Army laboratory, commercial small business, and a university which was funded by the Army STTR program. Deployment of two prototypes to a forward operating base in Iraq for field trials under combat conditions was funded by the Army Rapid Equipping Force. Subsequent development of a second generation TGER 2.0, redesigned based on the engineering “lessons learned” in Iraq, was funded by the Army Materiel Command. Coordination of this program demonstrates how university bench science and engineering can be funded, developed, and transitioned to military or commercial products.

TGER is a combination of two viable technologies closely linked for the tactical conversion of a variety of waste materials to energy. It utilizes a unique hybrid design of gasification to convert dry solid wastes (cardboards, papers, plastic bottles, Styrofoam™ products, etc.) to synthesis gas (syngas), and fermentation to process wet food wastes (mashed potatoes, breads, juices, etc.) to hydrous ethanol. The syngas and ethanol are then blended with air and fed to the standard diesel engine generator, gradually displacing regular diesel fuel. The hybrid design purpose is to treat all field waste having potential fuel value. On that basis, the combination of thermochemical and biocatalytic technologies can be considered a total solution to meet the need for onsite disposal of a broad range of wastes, while addressing some of the site’s fuel requirements. To make the system readily deployable, the TGER is skid-mounted and sized to fit in a single ISO cargo container. In addition to generating electricity which can be treated and connected to smart grids, TGER shows a 30:1 reduction in waste volume, produces gray water that can be used for field sanitation, and yields a benign char which is being evaluated for use as an on-site construction material. 


Dial-In Information

Zoom Meeting ID: 946 6199 9325, Passcode: 20213112

Event Type

Meetings, Lectures and Conferences


College of Engineering and Computing, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

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