Mainstream Engineering Corporation, Rockledge, FL, specialists in advanced thermal control and energy conversion, has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Army to demonstrate food waste remediation for field kitchens by hydrothermal liquefaction. Mainstream sources say the process will eliminate waste, and produce an alternative fuel that can be used on site.
Mainstream sources say the U.S. Army is seeking a technology to rapidly eliminate waste generated by base camp field kitchens. These wastes cause odor and environmental problems, and can potentially lead to the spread of disease Studies have shown that solid waste is generated at a rate of three to four pounds per person/per day for base camp operations. A typical maneuver battalion of 550 soldiers will produce about 2,000 pounds of waste per day, much of which has high water content and low energy content.
Hydrothermal liquefaction eliminates low-energy-content waste, and produces an alternative fuel from this waste. The fuel can be used on site to produce power and electricity for the base camp.
Mainstream plans to use a batch reactor to demonstrate the feasibility of producing fuel from a heterogeneous, low-energy-content waste stream through a hydrothermal liquefaction process. The resulting fuel will be tested to determine its properties and potential applications. In particular, Mainstream will determine the suitability of the fuel as a drop-in replacement for JP-8 in a dual-fuel diesel engine.