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Bioenergy Prototypes

Tactical Garbage to Ethanol Refinery (TGER) for U. S. Army

Dealing with food and other wastes as well as generating electrical power are two important challenges for people living and working in remote locations. The Tactical Garbage to Ethanol Refinery (TGER - pronounced "tiger") is one possible solution that tackles both challenges simultaneously. In partnership with industry (Defense Life Sciences, LLC and Community Power Corporation), LORRE designed a hybrid gasification and fermentation biorefinery that converts food, paper, cardboard, and plastics into biofuels. The food is converted to ethanol by way of enzymes and yeast. The other organic materials are converted to producer gas (low molecular weight hydrocarbons) by way of gasification. Both biofuels power a modified diesel generator. The whole biorefinery is built to slide into a standard shipping container for movement anywhere a truck or plane can haul it. When in place, the TGER slides out and auxiliary equipment for processing the incoming waste is set up alongside. Each day, the TGER processes 2,000 pounds of waste while continuously generating 60 kW of electricity. About 30% of the electricity produced is used to process the waste, while the rest is available for any other use.

The first two prototypes, built at Purdue, spent three months in field testing in Iraq during the summer of 2008. LORRE scientists and engineers continue working with Defense Life Sciences, who is commercializing the technology, to make improvements to performance and reliability. A picture of the TGER is below.