Community incinerator turns slum garbage into cooking heat

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AfriGadget takes a look at a clever garbage incinerator deployed in Kibera, Kenya, that turns waste fuel and garbage into cooking heat for residents. The design of the furnace actually allows plastics and other waste to be burnt without releasing harmful fumes:

What kind of garbage? Any, plastics, food wastes even clothes – anything that will burn really! But doesn’t that produce toxic fumes you ask?? This is what’s so clever about the project. Using technology that I don’t understand the oven burns at temperatures of up to 930 degrees F. which basically detoxifies many hazardous pollutants.

“It uses a superheated steel plate inside the incinerator box to vaporize drops of water. The oxygen released then helps burn discarded “sump” oil from vehicles – itself a pollutant in the slums – driving temperatures higher”.

Turning rubbish into dinners in Kibera [AfriGadget.com]

This entry was posted in incinerator, kenya, recycling and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Community incinerator turns slum garbage into cooking heat

  1. Garr says:

    Very cool.

    Imagine all the energy produced and inadverdently wasted by day to day actions the whole time. If we could funnel that into fuel consuming procedures… but that’s probably a thought dangerously near to imagining a perpetuum mobile.

    But just think about it: install some kind of reactive layer on all the sidewalks of the world, and the energy transduced by pressure and friction of our steps could be used to power devices or what not…

  2. jonathan_v says:

    it sounds like they have an afterburner on there ( aka: oxidizer, catalytic incinerators, etc ).

    coffee roasting companies often (need to by law) use them… they’re designed to burn the smoke from a furnace or other source at a high heat.. so it degrades into inocuous compounds.

  3. felsby says:

    this technology has been employed in Europe for many years, sorry.

  4. Garr says:

    @felsby:
    no need to be. But just because it’s not state of the art (or rather the first installment of some state of the art) technology doesn’t mean it’s not noteworthy. And something tells me that this is something you won’t find in every backyard in central/east Africa.

  5. felsby says:

    @Garr: point taken. The post is just written in a style indicating some entirely novel invention.

  6. dculberson says:

    They closed the trash burning power plant we used to have here in Columbus, OH because it was apparently releasing dangerous levels of dioxin. If upping the temperature would have eliminated the dioxin, I suspect they would have done that. Raising the temperature surely helps, but I doubt it eliminates all the pollutants.

    In other words: [citation needed].

  7. Not a Doktor says:

    Looks like it uses transductive heat the way a nuclear reactor would.

    http://www.cameco.com/common/images/u101/reactor2.jpg

    So instead of a few uranium rods imagine that’s where the trash fire is. (I don’t think it has/needs a cooling tower either)

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