With more than 182 participating countries and over 2000 project submissions annually the Energy Globe Award is today's most prestigious environmental prize worldwide. It distinguishes projects regionally, nationally and globally that conserve resources such as energy or utilize renewable or emission-free sources. Award ceremonies are held all over the world. Prominent personalities as well as Energy Globe Ambassadors in 90 countries support the mission of Energy Globe. The activities of Energy Globe attract worldwide media attention - international TV stations report each year with approximately 1,000 hours of broadcasting time. The aim of the Energy Globe is to raise global attention on sustainable, everywhere applicable environmental solutions and to motivate people to also become active in this area.
National ENERGY GLOBE Award Bahamas 2018
The Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) is located on the small, rural island of Eleuthera. Striving towards environmental stewardship, CSD is a national leader in renewable energy, food security, and waste management systems. With no reliable recycling infrastructure or engineered landfill options on the island, CSD began experimenting with pyrolysis, the thermal decomposition of plastic as a means of waste plastic management.
The Bahamas, facing poor soil quality and susceptible to overfishing, is one of the highest importers of food in the Caribbean. This, coupled with a relatively high human development index compared to other Island thereby, leads to high food consumption and waste generation. Open pit dumps are the most common method for waste management in Bahamas, even though they are the least favorable option when compared to other waste management strategies.
The solution is to divert plastic waste from dumps and utilize it as high-energy inputs for other systems. The 150-person community of CSD is an ideal size for the creation and testing viability of working models. CSD began experimenting with pyrolysis as a means of waste plastic management in 2016. After a proof of concept prototype was built and tested, a full-scale working model has been built to produce fuel from plastic decomposition.
Propane, a fossil fuel, is used for this process whereby more energy is extracted out of the plastics than is put in. If one unit of energy is used to initiate pyrolysis, the theoretical amount of energy that can be extracted from the fuel is 40 times higher. The system is currently operating at a 64% yield conversion ratio, which means 64% of the plastic is being converted into liquid fuel.