City inks biogas waste-management study

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Already planning the area’s first waste-to-energy plant, Pattaya officials are now looking at harvesting biogases as a way to reduce the city’s growing mountain of garbage.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome and Assistant Professor Bunma Panpradit, head of the Energy and Environmental Engineering Operations Center at Thammasart University, signed an agreement March 29 to study trash separation and reprocessing.

The plan calls for garbage from four areas to be collected and sorted then repurposed to produce different types of alternative energy.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome (left) and Assistant Professor Bunma Panpradit (right), head of the Energy and Environmental Engineering Operations Center at Thammasart University, sign an agreement to study harvesting biogases as a way to reduce the city’s growing mountain of garbage. Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome (left) and Assistant Professor Bunma Panpradit (right), head of the Energy and Environmental Engineering Operations Center at Thammasart University, sign an agreement to study harvesting biogases as a way to reduce the city’s growing mountain of garbage.

For example, Bunma said, fruit skins can be reprocessed into charcoal, palm and coconut oils into ether, biodiesel and glycerin. Biogases from animal waste can be used in non-aerobic waste processing, producing methane and other thermal-energy gases.

He estimated it would take up to four years to bring such a facility fully online.

Pattaya produces up to 400 tons of garbage a day, second only to Bangkok. City officials have said that as the city grows in popularity, so does its trash problem. With insufficient space to continue building landfills, other solutions are needed.

The city is also moving forward with a Provincial Electrical Authority pilot project to construct the area’s first waste-to-energy incinerator.